The youthful stage lasts only for a short period while aging is a progressive physiological procedure in humans.
Factually, everyone would like to retain his or her youthful age, in good health, throughout the lifetime.
Nobody likes experiencing the difficulties and miseries of illnesses associated with aging. Yet, we all will age over time.
So, the amicable solution to the reality of aging and the cherished desire to stay fit always is to age gracefully while remaining fit, fair, and healthy.
Practicable steps for health and well-being should follow while the process of aging continues.
Criteria for healthy aging
Healthy aging involves promoting all-around care for ensuring the well-being of the individual.
It should comprise physical fitness, social well-being, financial security, and mental fitness.
This ascertains that you, the individual concerned, are never feeling bad or let down with the progress of years leading to your aging.
- Promoting health and physical fitness
Regular exercising, maintaining a healthy diet with an adequate balance of all nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are the basics.
Leaving a stress-free life is essential for maintaining good health through all ages, especially when one’s health declines with age.
Morning walks, consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, vitamin and mineral supplements, participation in recreational activities or games, and adequate rest or sleep should be an issue.
An occasional visit to a qualified physician for a checkup needs to be the norm. Again, suggested tests are to be carried out in due course.
In case any major illness is suspected, a proper and thorough diagnosis needs to be done, and treatments are undertaken accordingly.
- Fostering social well being
Old age and a retired life is the best time for socializing and participating in various kinds of activities of social interest.
You can join clubs, associations, and even political parties as per your aptitude. You can pursue traveling if it interests you and wanders about in the world extensively to meet various people and expand your knowledge and mind.
You may even take up some freelance work if you wish. Involving yourself in various community welfare programs will also keep you occupied while promoting the well-being of society.
- Ensuring financial security
Retired life or old age cannot be enjoyable if financial security is not there. This serves as a support for everything you do.
However, this often needs to be planned and carried out beforehand, in advance. Some measures can, however, even be taken after retirement.
Senior citizens may conveniently avail of several plans and programs which may be specially provided by various authorities for them. These plans and programs need to be thoughtfully and judiciously carried out or opted for.
- Maintaining mental fitness
Staying mentally healthy and youthfully is very important. The very thought of aging makes you feel old.
You must not let depression take the better part of you. Indulging in hobbies, recreation, intellectual pursuits or social services keeps the mind fresh and young immensely.
Exercising both body and mind regularly and eating healthy food will go a long way to keep you free from severe mental diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Thinking positively and actively seeking variety and challenge in day-to-day life will maintain a young mind in aging yet healthy body.
Maintaining a healthy diet for senior citizens
Nutritional needs and appetite change as individually as we get older. Every senior citizen needs to change food habits and maintain a healthy diet as he or she ages.
Some age-related challenges that can inhibit proper nutrition in seniors are:
- Physical difficulties
- Reduced sensitivity
- Financial problems
- Side-effects from medication
But with the four tips mentioned above and healthy food choices listed below, senior health can properly be maintained as aging becomes the case.
- Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and veggies are an essential part of any healthy eating menu. Fiber-rich foods should not miss out on daily meals for older adults because they’re vital for regularity.
Aging brings about a lot of changes which makes older people experience heart problems more than younger people.
However, regular consumption of fiber-rich diets helps to lessen the effects of age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and digestive problems.
Don’t dare to reduce dietary fiber content either by juicing or pealing. Every individual, especially older adults should eat five portions of whole fruits and vegetables per day.
As long as health importance is concerned, drinking water regularly is second to none. The diet pyramid for older adults requires the drinking of 8 glasses of water per day.
Don’t wait to feel thirsty before you can drink water. Your body needs water more than usual as you age. Why? The ability of the body to preserve water reduces as age calls.
Drinking the right amount of water daily is the surest way to keep hydrated. Contrarily, dehydration has many side-effects such as drowsiness, especially in seniors.
Seniors with liver or kidney-related problems should consult their doctor for the amount of water adequate for them.
- Unsaturated fats & omega-three fatty acids
Switch from solid fats to unsaturated fatty acids when preparing food for seniors. The healthiest fats for aging adults are mono-unsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fatty acids, mainly omega-3, are essential for both youths and seniors. It helps older adults to prevent inflammations that can lead to arthritis, rheumatoid, etc.
Secondly, regular consumption of diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids prevents age macular degeneration and neurological disorder such as senile dementia.
To maintain a healthy diet for seniors, vary protein choices with unsaturated food choices such as salmon fish, beans, peas, and other diets containing omega-3 fatty acids.
- Calcium-rich diets
Older adults should get enough calcium supply for proper health maintenance. Adequate calcium helps at an older age – to fortify the bones and maintain them more.
Vitamin D is also recommended as it helps to keep the bones healthy, and again, required for quick absorption of calcium from foods.
Have three servings of dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and milk with calcium-fortified cereals for healthy bone maintenance.
As recommended by the World Health Organization, WHO, for senior health, older adults above 50 should get 1200mg of calcium on a daily basis.
- Vitamin B12 and C
Vitamin B12 and C vitamins are necessarily essential as people age. Vitamin B12 is in charge of the production of red blood cells and nerve function maintenance, besides, it’s responsible for DNA. It can be obtained from poultry and dairy products.
Vitamin C helps in collagen production and the prevention of certain diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and related others.
On the other hand, maintains healthy teeth, repairs bone tissues, and heals wounds faster. The good news about these vitamins is that the supplements are available, but ensure to consult your healthcare provider before getting one.
- Whole-grain cereals
Seniors are at high risk of developing certain nutrition deficiencies. Eating diets rich in specific nutrition can prevent a contradicting situation.
Whole grains supply the folate many seniors need. Also, regular consumption of whole-grain cereals supplies vitamin B1, B2, B3 for aging adults.
Therefore, older adults are advised to consume at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, rice or pasta, slices of bread and others daily.
- Magnesium and potassium rich-diets
As one grows old, he or she needs magnesium and potassium for health maintenance. By eating foods rich in magnesium, a vital function which cut across 300 physiological tasks is performed appropriately.
Potassium, on the other hand, reduces the chances of developing kidney stones, helps in the proper functioning of the cells and strengthens the bones as well.
Here is just a sample menu for older adults healthy eating:
Half whole-wheat bagel
2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter, coffee, one medium banana, and 1/4 cup milk.
Tuna salad sandwich
1/4 cup raisins, 1 medium leaf lettuce, 1 cup low-fat milk, four smaller-sized carrots, two slices of 100% whole wheat bread, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsps chopped celery, and 2 ounces canned tuna.
8 ounces of fat-free strawberry yogurt
1/2 medium apple
1 cup cooked spaghetti, 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce, 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (canned, no salt added), three medium meatballs,
1 cup tap water, one tablespoon ranch dressing, 1/4 cup cubed avocado, 1/4 cup garbanzo beans, 1 cup mixed greens, three slices cucumber, three tablespoons shredded, reduced-fat cheddar cheese,
No doubt! Healthy life maintenance goes in hand with a proper diet, particularly for seniors who are up 65 years of age.
Lack of healthy diet choices leads to some of the deficiencies older adults suffer. That, notwithstanding, utilizing the beneficial aging suggestions will help every aging senior.