Old age, also called senescence, is a period in life that offers both opportunity and challenges. There are many changes that occur, a few of them being changes in body image, work status, living arrangements, social networks, physical health etc.
There is a reason this period is also referred to as the ‘golden years’ and does not always have to be viewed with a negative lens, as this could be a time of immense growth, which in turn is highly dependent on the attitude with which old age is perceived.
We aim to enrich, equip and empower every individual to help in coping with and acknowledging this period in life, thus encouraging them to age gracefully!
- Comprehensive Assessment and Care of an older person
- Adult vaccination
- Fall Assessment and Prevention
- Health Promotion and Screening
- Memory Behaviour Assessment
- Dementia Management
- Occupational Therapist to check memory, gait and assist rehabilitation to independent living e.g., Post-Stroke and other conditions
- Physiotherapist advice for appropriate exercises to improve strength and mobility
- Expert Support for addressing Psychological needs of older adults
- Speech training by Therapist for speech related issues
- Tele or Video Consultations and scheduled Home visits by Geriatric Doctor when necessary
- Laboratory and Medicine delivery services at home
Tips for Good Health
The process of ageing brings physiological changes like decrease in metabolism, memory, vision, capacity to learn and behavioural changes. Older individuals are more likely to be deficient in certain nutrients and they need to make an effort to meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for these nutrients. As you age, it is good to eat food that is as close to its natural form as possible and minimise processed foods.
Improve physical function and lower risk of heart disease. Seasonal fruits and locally available fruits like Grape fruit, Amla, Banana, Citrus fruits, Melons, Avocado, Apple, Mango, Papaya. High fiber and anti-oxidant rich fruits can be provided. Diabetics can take Apple, Guava, Pomegranate, Robusta, Orange, Musambi, Passion fruit, Water melon, Papaya (2-3 pieces) Any one fruit can be taken per day, preferably as whole fruit and not in juice form.
High fiber vegetables stimulate intestinal motility and prevent constipation and improves blood sugar level. Take three servings daily (A standard serve is 150g in a day). High Fibre Vegetables include Green leafy vegetables (spinach), Cauli flower, Beans, Carrot, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Peas, Cabbage. Most vegetables are rich in fiber. Diabetics should avoid Potatoes, Carrot, Beetroot and underground roots except Radish. Vegetables cooked with lots of added butter/cheese or oil and canned vegetables should be avoided.
Help to maintain bone strength and keep bones healthy during older age. Calcium rich food include Milk and milk products, Dark green vegetables, White beans, Soya milk, Egg, Shell fishes, Sea foods, Calcium fortified cereals. Calcium supplements or tablets may be required for older persons.
Whole grains provide fiber and most nutrients. They are a good source of carbohydrates, some proteins and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Sources of grains: Barley, Brown rice, Wheat, Rice, Flak seed, Corn meal,
Millets, Oats and Oat meal.
Foods low in saturated fats helps to reduced heart diseases and also to reduce inflammation and build up cell membrane.
Sources of Fat: Walnut, flax seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, olive oil, vegetable oil, Fish oil
Protein helps to repair and build up the body tissues. It also helps in weight management and cardiovascular function and improves muscle health.
Sources of Protein: Egg white, Pulses & Legumes, Milk and milk products, Green leafy vegetables, Small fishes, Nuts, Soya milk, Lean meats (chicken & duck), Soya chunks
Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D are essential Vitamins. Vit B12 helps to maintain the nerve system working well. Vitamin D helps to keep bones strong. Foods rich in vitamins or supplements have to be consumed.
Water helps to keep the urinary tract and kidneys healthy and prevents constipation. Daily fluid intake 2-3 L / day. For those with kidney or liver disease Urine output + 500 ml
Regular exercise improves immune and digestive functioning, lowers blood pressure and improves bone density. There is also a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. Older adults should include stretching and balance activities as part of their weekly physical activity.
- Along with changes in lifestyle, it is vital to improve your attitude towards growing older as this will help enhance your quality of life.
- Accept that your body is changing and that there will be daily tasks that you might find more challenging.
- Be flexible and do not blame your age for what you cannot do.
- Focus on what you can do.
- Continue to stay curious and learn something new everyday.
A few suggestions - Remain connected with family and friends, maintain a journal, pursue a new hobby, engage in physical activity etc.
Most importantly, the real secret to happiness at every age, especially old age, is gratitude for the simple blessings in life.
Dr Manoj C Jacob,
MD (Med), PG Dip.Ger.Med. (CMC Vellore) is a Consultant Physician and trained in Geriatric Medicine (Care of older persons) at Sunrise Hospital, Kakkanad.
Contact Number: +91 9946001005