What Active Ageing does for the Elderly?
The concept of active ageing has for a long time been misunderstood to mean an active lifestyle on health in later. Active ageing is a term used to describe several processes needed to maintain subjective well-being, physical and mental health as well as social inclusion in the old age usually above the age of sixty years.
World Health Organization (WHO) defined active ageing as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security to enhance the quality of life as people age.”
While there has been a dramatic increase of elderly population thanks to improved lifespan due to social and economic development, most elderly do not age actively significantly lowering their healthy life expectancy as well as the quality of life.
Despite the huge significance of equity release to elderly persons which can easily be obtained through responsible equity release, a vast number of elders don’t understand this concept leading to huge inheritance tax paid by their estates in addition to making their retirement uncomfortable.
How Can Elderly Persons Age Actively?
The primary idea of active ageing is well-being, health, and cognition. This is primarily because these functions are still a vital part of life even at old age. Older adults may find it hard to exercise daily due to their now fragile body or other obligations. They tend to be secluded from society and may not really focus on well-being and health. Nonetheless, various steps can be done to age actively:
- Physical Activity- Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscle that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity is, in fact, the best way in which elderly persons may age actively. It is not only limited to exercise but also involves bodily movement that is done as part of working, playing, house chores, recreational activity, active transport, and many other forms of movement. Older adults, both male and female, can benefit immensely from regular physical activities which could be done daily. Physical activities should be strenuous to achieve maximum health benefits which include reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, maintains healthy bones, muscles, and joints, minimize the risk of stroke, helps control joint swelling and pain that comes with arthritis among other health benefits.
- Engage in cognitive activity- Elderly persons should engage in cognitive activities to facilitate enhanced cognitive performance. When secluded in an environment that provides little stimulation or is boring, their cognitive function tends to decline significantly. Social interactions, as well as social networks, challenge an individual to communicate and utilize their cognitive abilities to apprehend both verbal and nonverbal communication, which is essential to maintain cognitive abilities in old age. The elderly can play computer-based games which have been shown to enhance cognitive function.
- Take part in social and leisure activity- Another way of active ageing involves taking part in social and leisure activities which have been shown to enhance memory, decrease depression as well as increase life satisfaction. Additionally, participation in leisure activities significantly reduces the risk of dementia in old age.
Benefits of Active Ageing
Active ageing comes with a lot of benefits which cannot be ignored. Active ageing, for instance, significantly reduces the burden of age-related disease as well as maintaining independence, physical function, and increased quality of life among adults. Without active ageing, the projected increase in the demographics of older adults would result in increased illness, more disability, and increased health cost for the elderly in society.
By ageing actively, older people would still benefit society in various ways instead of being problematic as often stereotyped. Older people play a significant role in society, thanks to their wealth of skills and experiences. They make a positive contribution to the community through their services. Most of the elderly people would strive to work beyond their retirement years by even starting a new business which positively impacts society. Additionally, older people are an essential source of volunteering and play vital roles as grandparents, carers, and mentors providing the society with crucial instructions. It’s, therefore, necessary to promote active ageing to sustain the critical roles played by the elderly in society.
It’s crucial for society to promote active ageing and ensure that the elderly are active members of the community. Secluding older people from society significantly decrease their cognitive value and makes them not to focus on their health or well-being. Older people should be encouraged in engage in physical, cognitive, and social or leisure activities as they age to enable them to achieve perfect health and well-being during the last stages of life.