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How To Help Elderly People? With Physical Health, Mental Acuity, And Emotional Well-Being

How To Help Elderly People? With Physical Health, Mental Acuity, And Emotional Well-Being

According to the ‘India Ageing Report 2023’, jointly published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), India’s elderly population is projected to constitute 1/5 of its total population by 2050. By the end of the century, seniors will outnumber children aged zero to 14. Four years before 2050, the elderly population in India is expected to surpass the number of children aged 0-14. Concurrently, the population share of individuals aged 15–59 will decline. The demographic shift towards an aging society in India highlights the urgent necessity to prioritize the well-being of the elderly amidst the burgeoning population as shared by G.P. Bhagat, Founder of SHEOWS.

As members of society, we can contribute to the well-being of our elders by actively offering assistance and support. This may involve engaging in volunteer initiatives or group activities that facilitate communication and interaction with them. Additionally, we can advocate for greater compassion and care towards elders both within our homes and communities by promoting awareness and education on the importance of respectful treatment and support for the elderly.

The elderly should be taken care of including their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But how can we support and do better as a human being and in our society:

Physical Health: The Foundation of Well-being

Good physical health is crucial for staying fit and healthy in old age. Seniors benefit greatly from regular exercise like walking or swimming, which enhances mobility, balance, and mood while reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Elders need a well-balanced diet to avoid malnutrition and various health-related concerns. A balanced diet should include green leafy vegetables, fruits, protein sources, whole grains, etc. The nutrition quotient is followed by regular health check-ups and preventive screenings for overall well-being.

Promoting Mental Acuity: Exercising the Mind

Mental stimulation helps to prevent various cognitive health issues like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental health disorders. The elders should indulge in activities that require brainwork like playing board games – Chess, Ludo, puzzles, crosswords, or learning any new skill could be painting, reading, or playing any musical instrument etc. This helps boost the brain activity and helps in releasing happy hormones in the body leading to overall development of brain and body function.

Nurturing Emotional Well-being: Building Resilience

Emotional well-being is of utmost priority for overall health and satisfaction for elders. Maintaining the bond and connection with family, friends and loved ones is more crucial as we age in life. Emotional needs and dependency increase in life as we age, we need our loved ones or somebody to rely upon and support us in old age. 

Old age homes serve as a valuable asset to society, offering dedicated care and support to the elderly, ensuring their holistic well-being, and preserving their dignity within the community. They look after their well-being and engage them in activities and people to build a safe space or environment to communicate and interact with each other to avoid mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, or grief. Whether through therapy, support groups, or talking with trusted individuals, acknowledging and addressing emotional needs is vital for maintaining a positive outlook on life not just for the elderly but for all age groups in general too. 

Supporting elders’ physical health, mental acuity, and emotional well-being is essential for promoting a fulfilling and vibrant life in old age. By prioritising regular exercise, mental stimulation, social connections, and emotional support, seniors can embrace ageing with grace and vitality. Let us continue to empower and uplift our seniors, ensuring that they live their later years to the fullest.

 


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