Nowadays, we are getting older. The life expectancy currently is around 79, but in 2030 it will be around 90 years old. However, getting older does not automatically mean we also stay healthy at this age. The quality of life can actually be deteriorated. Because of this, healthy ageing is so important.
A healthy lifestyle does not only contribute to an increase in life quality, but the risk of developing age-illnesses also decreases when we live in a healthy way. This article is not only about the things we can do to become old and healthy but also about what the care professionals can do to contribute to the health of the elderly.
What can we do ourselves?
There are many tips we can follow to stay healthy and vital.
First of all, it is important to eat healthily. In addition, important factors to achieve this goal are to eat enough vegetables and fruits, to use wholemeal products, to eat less meat and to drink beverages without sugar.
Another important thing, of course, is to stay active. This does not mean that you have to do an intense workout. For example, cycling or walking are good exercises to do to stay active.
Specifically for older people, it is very important to do some form of strength training and grip/balance training. In this way, the muscles will keep their strength better and the grip and balance will stay up to standard. With the reduction in these areas, determination of what is going on can be done at an early stage.
Another, not physical but mental part, is seeking emotional support. Try to invest in friendships stay close with your family and friends.
A final thing to do is to continue learning. Train the brain by means of memory games, or go to an unknown place to learn new things.
What can the care professional do?
Not only we can contribute to a healthier life ourselves, but care professionals can also do certain things to help older people to increase their health and vitality.
A very important part, which is also reflected in a Dutch report about healthy ageing in the Netherlands, is that care professionals need to deal with the ailments of the elderly in a preventative way. The approach must prevent illnesses and disorders instead of curing or suppressing the illnesses and disorders. Another important aspect is to postpone mortality.
Optimizing the functioning of the elderly is another important aspect that care professionals can help with. This can, of course, be done by accompanying the elderly, but also by changing their living environment and their lifestyle. The life environment can be changed by installing systems like detection systems or call systems into the homes of people to make them feel safer in their own environment. In this way, they are less likely to end up in social isolation and also literally receive more freedom of movement. Through these integration systems, control will always be there when needed without the older person doing anything.
We are all getting older, and everyone wants to grow old happily. Older people will become part of society in the future and even more so we all have to contribute our part.