Getting older can seem daunting greying hair, wrinkles, forgetting where you parked the car and so many things. Ageing can bring about unique issues. It’s important to understand the challenges faced by the people as they age, and recognize that there are preventive measures that can place yourself on a path to healthy ageing.
As the baby boom generation ages, demographers project significant increases in the proportion of the United States population age 65 and older. The Harvard Joint Centre for Housing Studies (JCHS) projects that the number of U.S. adults age 65 and older will grow from 48 to 79 million over the next two decades. By 2035, JCHS expects that 50 million households approximately 1 out of every 3 in the United States will be headed by someone age 65 or older, and the number of people age 80 and older will double to 24 million. The older population will also become more racially and ethnically diverse, with the non-white share of this population expected to increase from 22 per cent to 31 per cent. The nation’s existing housing stock in terms of options, affordability, and accessibility is ill-suited to meet the housing needs of an increasingly older population that overwhelmingly wishes to age in place. State, local, and federal governments and a range of partnerships among housing and health.
It’s not an unavoidable part of getting older. In fact, about 1 in 20 Americans 60 and older has depression, the lowest rate of any age group. But many depressed seniors don’t get diagnosed. Older Americans themselves and their doctors may dismiss any symptoms as a natural reaction to illnesses and life’s setbacks.
Many older Americans may have something called subsyndromal depression. You may feel less pleasure or interest in activities and people as you did before, but you don’t have full-blown symptoms for major depression.
You’re more likely to be depressed if you have long-term health issues like heart disease or arthritis that put limits on your life. People who need home health care are more likely to have the condition compared to other older adults.
Medication and psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, can treat it. Loneliness can lead to depression. So, seek out a way to connect with others. Talk to friends and family. Join a class or a group. Do volunteer work. Find whatever ways to enrich your body and spirit.
Income is an Inadequate:
Older adults and their families face many financial issues in acquiring treatments and resources to support health. Financial resources can be quickly drained by paying for multiple prescriptions for chronic conditions, inadequate reimbursements for mental health services and the lost work time and productivity of unpaid family caregivers. If a senior or a senior couple is relying on investments and savings to augment income such as Social Security or pensions, and for various reasons those retirement accounts did not produce the anticipated results, many seniors find themselves in a bind in later years where they can’t seek employment to make up the inadequate income.
Another major factor for inadequate income could be that the income flow from year-to-year is not keeping pace with inflation. This is particularly true for seniors on Social Security or fixed pensions who have to pay for the high cost of medical care. The cost of medical care has been increasing significantly faster than the yearly increases in Social Security. Also, in some areas, the cost of maintaining a household due to higher utility bills, higher taxes and higher maintenance costs have risen faster than the cost of living increases in Social Security income.
Health is Failing:
Health can deteriorate over a period of time or a change in health can occur suddenly. Sudden unexpected changes in health might be a diagnosis of cancer or it might be a heart attack or a stroke or some other acute health issue.
Acute changes in health can also lead to disability and the need for a caregiver. However, often the senior recovers and the disability disappears. On the other hand, sometimes the acute healthcare issue results in permanent disability and a permanent need for care.
A worsening of health for a senior – especially a senior of advanced age – will typically trigger the need for intervention and the need for making some serious decisions about living arrangements, costs, government support and family support.
Isolation and Loneliness:
Social isolation and loneliness tend to increase as people age and as family and friendship networks become smaller. Social contacts also usually decrease after retirements and may continue to decline with the deaths of family members and friends as well as changes in residence.
Getting older means that our friends are ageing, as well. It is common for seniors to lose their friends to Alzheimer’s disease or even death. Spending time with remaining friends and family members becomes all the more important. A pet can be wonderful for daily companionship, as well.
Nutrition Problems in the Elderly:
Nutritional problems in the elderly can cause a number of complications, including weakened immune systems, lowered energy levels and chronic health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.
Making changes in their diet to match the changes in elders’ changing caloric, energy, taste and access needs helps prevent malnutrition, which often goes undiagnosed.
Falls are very scary things. Most people know that falls are dangerous for older adults.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 out of 5 falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury. Fear of falling can also seriously affect an ageing adult’s quality of life and sadly, can keep a person from being active and thriving.
There is no such problem in the world that cannot be solved. There are always an option and prevention of any problem.
As we age, we make choices about our lifestyle, health care, personal pursuits, and our plans for old age. A few “steps to successful ageing” will help guide us to healthy and active golden years.
What are the steps to successful ageing?
1. Adopt and maintain healthy habits and positive lifestyles :
-Exercise regularly with weight-bearing, maintaining the triad of weight bearing, aerobic and balance activities.
-Get a regular medical check-up.
-Avoid falls, head injuries and medications that cause confusion.
2. Keep yourself stimulated:
-Enjoy hobbies and interests with passion, particularly social activities, such as dancing and singing.
-Strengthen family relationship.
-Engage in adult educational activities to challenge your mind.
-Identify your physical limitations, such as difficulty walking or problems with balance.
3. Be smart with financial planning:
-Plan in advance for retirements.
-Carefully manage investments and assets.
-Decide on your future living arrangements.
4. Work to maintain dignity and good health on old age:
-Choose a doctor knowledgeable in the medical care of the older adult.
-Choose a healthcare system that makes appointments and cares for elders.
-Check about long-term care insurance.