Recently the world took out time to celebrate all senior citizens across the globe in a bid to honor and celebrate their enormous contributions to society through various means like passing down culture, educating the newer generation, various shared experiences, promoting morality and discipline and the elderly wisdom they proffer that can’t be bought in any market. Like an African proverb says: “what an old man sees sitting down, a young man may never see even if he climbs the tallest tree”.
As a healthcare organization dedicated to the public’s health, we made the decision to introduce to your stables certain specific lifestyle choices you need to make and others that you may need to let go of as you age. You might be wondering when one is deemed to be a senior citizen, anyone who is 60 years of age or over can be termed a senior citizen. So, if you’re getting close to that age or have already entered that age range, it’s important to make place for better living to increase longevity.
Although aging is a fact of life, not everyone looks forward to it for a variety of reasons, including limitations on activities you could perform in your youth, weakened skin, diminished energy, aching bones and joints, and a higher risk for infections. But there are ways to position yourself for a better quality of life, so here we go:
- Be conscious of your diet: being a senior citizen is a blessing but comes with many risk factors like hypertension, diabetes and rheumatism which are more common, a healthy diet is a great way to make sure that you’re preserved from such risks. You’d need to limit fat, sugar and starch intakes and switch to healthier options like natural sugar, fresh fruits and vegetables and consistent intake of water.
- Get active: At this stage of life, exercise is a terrific approach to boost wellbeing. Joint discomfort may try to get in the way, but incorporating light workouts like long walks, brisk walking, and light jogging into your daily routine is a smart idea.
- Improve on your sleep: Even in your 60s, you need 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. This may be challenging because your body is adjusting to this new stage, but studies have shown that quality sleep aids in heart repair and promotes heart health.
- Boost your immunity: aging also comes with increased risk of certain conditions so you may want to get supplements that can help boost your immune system and help you stay protected. Supplements like Vitamin C, Zinc, Calcium, Selenium, Omega 3, 6 & 9 should always be on constant supply.
- Avoid red meat: Hmmm…who doesn’t like their lamp chops and goat meat pepper soup? But these needs to be substituted with white meat. Red meat has potentials of increasing aging, promote cancerous cells and put you in great danger of hypertension and diabetes.
- Avoid stress as much as possible: After many years of duty, now is the time to unwind, so try to avoid anything that can make you anxious because stress can harm your heart and other organs.
- Avoid smoking and drinking.
- Go for regular checkups: Constant checkups put you in position to spot abnormalities on time, so consider including them in your must-dos. Vision care, dental health, liver function, cardiac function, glucose tests and much more.
- Keep a healthy connection with your loved ones: it’s not enough to plan financially for your retirement but it’s important to have a plan on how to keep connected socially. The shift of having to interact with people on a daily to spending most times indoors can affect your health. Retirement does mean you can’t have fun, so keep your connections alive.
- Get informed: As your body goes through a lot of changes during this time, having the appropriate knowledge is helpful in ensuring that you keep on top of your health. Asking questions can help you immensely, so don’t be afraid to do so.
Aging is real and can come with a lot of uncertainties but one of the best preparations you can make is to ensure you’re covered under a health insurance scheme like those offered at HCI HMO. There’s a package specially crafted for senior citizens that will help them navigate this season with ease in terms of their health without having to break the bank.
Everyone will age at a point but reach out to HCI HMO today and get covered.
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate,
HCI Healthcare HMO