What are the major problems at old age?
- The health issue comprises of poor vision, declining hearing faculties, forgetfulness, poor mobility, constipation and poor digestion, anxiety and depression, mood changes, urinary problems and social isolation and inability to adjust with the new generation
What are the other issues related to health?
- The issues could be in relation to long-standing hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, joint pains, asthma, cancer and chronic liver, lung and kidney problems due to chronic indulgence with smoking, tobacco and alcohol.
Is there any change in attitude at old age and what is the remedy?
- People are generally pessimistic, anxious and depressed and do not have proper sleep. Ageing is itself stressful. Think young even if you age physically. How about learning a new language, new computer lessons or perhaps a new musical instrument? How about having to sing with a Karaoke? How about writing a book? Can we look after the education of the poor and needy? Be optimistic and be happy. Reduce your expectations from others to a bare minimum.
What about physical activity?
- Being active physically is the greatest antidote against ageing and mental stress. Simple exercises that we have done at school are enough. These would prevent imbalances and falls. A walk in a nearby garden will refresh you. Please walk in a group with your friends. Discussion with your friends should include only positive ideas and experiences and should not be based on the issues related to your immediate family members. Sunflower Hospital Nagpur
What should be the attitude in day to day affairs?
- Be energetic, full of zest, enthusiasm and count your blessings. You would continue to command respect from your relatives and friends only if you are jovial and less demanding. Death is inevitable. Live every day as your last day and thank Almighty that you have lived so long.
What about medical treatment?
- There are no anti-ageing drugs. Supplements of Vitamins, Calcium and antioxidants are necessary only in those who are deficient. However take your medicines for hypertension, diabetes and other medications on a regular basis. Home monitoring of blood pressure and glucose are recommended. A periodic medical examination from your family doctor is suggested. Please follow your doctor’s instructions and keep a proper medical record.
What about social activities?
- Within your limits be as social as possible. Periodic travels should help to refresh you. Family outings, picnics are useful to feel young. Be surrounded by younger people and share your positive experiences with them. Sunflower Hospital Nagpur
What about alcohol, tobacco and smoking?
- Smoking and tobacco should be avoided to reduce the chances of cancer and heart attacks. Alcohol in moderation is safe. Red wine has some medicinal properties.
How to prepare for death?
- Those who are prepared for death live longer. Keep your will ready. Mention some donations in your will for the underprivileged. Some for your old school or college. Some for somebody who has changed your life for the better. Some for our soldiers and some for the orphanages. This thought itself will always make you feel happy. You need not give everything to your family.
How to deal with forgetfulness?
- Keep writing in a diary everything that you have done in the day. Things to do should also be mentioned. Solving puzzles, crosswords and reading and writing will always keep your memory intact and rejuvenated.
Author: Dr Jay Deshmukh
M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD
(Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi)
Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur