Many people nowadays avoid thinking about ageing because it’s too upsetting to them, but it is obvious that many of us realise that with time we grow older many changes occur within us both physical and emotional. However, for some coping with these changes can become stressful. But, let me say that it is ideal to prepare better to deal with ageing, in terms of physical and mental health changes. We should know that ageing is the impact of time on the human body and it occurs on multiple levels: cellular, hormonal and metabolic ageing as well as accumulated damage.
What I would like to express here is, if I ask myself or you if we are really prepared to be healthy with ageing and how if we can reach the retirement and still be healthy. People world over are living longer and for the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond, I believe that it does need an individual commitment to healthy ageing as well as being aware of the value of being healthy with ageing.
It’s important to understand the challenges faced by people as they age and recognise that there are preventive measures that can help you on a path to healthy ageing. Moreover, Heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, dementia and diabetes are among the most common chronic health condition, so we need to ask him or her if they are meeting with a physician for an annual checkup, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly and engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviours which can help reduce obesity.
Nevertheless, besides what is mentioned, I suggest preventive measures which can help us as we are moving towards biological ageing to go for screening regularly, for instance checking blood pressure, screening for colorectal cancer, pelvic examination, screening for diabetes, eye and hearing tests, mammogram and screening for prostate cancer for men.
Also, we should stay connected with others as it is shown that healthy ageing is supported by feelings of social connection. Whether you spend time with friends, family members, or participate in other community activities, developing social connections is one of the best ways to care for yourself as you get older.
You probably have a parent or grandparent who is managing a chronic illness right now, or perhaps you are managing one yourself, However, while ageing itself is not a disease, it is a risk factor for these developing diseases. That doesn’t mean you will have an age-related disease, it just means you are more likely to experience these conditions as you get old.
In conclusion, ageing cannot be avoided, there are several measures you can take regardless of your age that can turn back your biological clock and help you live healthier and probably longer.
Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla, MD, Ministry of Health. He is a medical innovator and educator. For any queries regarding the content of the column, he can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org