Staying Active

Ageing is a global phenomenon and India’s population is also rapidly ageing. This demographic transition is an undeniable reality and is going to be a huge challenge in years to come. In order to meet the needs of this increasing population, proper strategies need to be formulated. One such strategy is the concept of active ageing. Active ageing aims to extend healthy life expectancy and quality of life for all people as they age, including those who are frail, disabled and in need of care.

It is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. It applies to both individuals and population groups. Active ageing allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need it.

Ageing well is a concept frequently used in order to show the ambitions in developing an inclusive elderly care and service with the objective of increasing independent living. Building an inclusive society and improving quality of life (QoL) of increasingly elderly population that meets the needs of older people can be a key strategy for active aging. In addition, this strategy will lead to increase in number of active and healthy older people in the community so that they represent significant resource for the society. The main domains of active ageing are good physical, mental and social health.

Physical health can be maintained by regular, moderate exercise by older adults. This can help delay or prevent the onset of disabilities and many chronic diseases reduce the risk of falls and fractures, improve mood and relieve depression, increase mental acuity, and perhaps increase life expectancy.

With ageing process certain levels of cognitive abilities are compromised. However, it has been found that cognitive training improves cognitive abilities in healthy elderly people. It includes specific stimulation regarding concrete memory or language related processes, as well as more general tasks based on broad constructs such as attention or speed of processing. Studies suggest that engaging in cognitive tasks can protect against age related decline in cognitive abilities and the risk of developing dementia. It is important to keep the brain active through stimulating activities

Social participation and social support are strongly associated with good health and well-being throughout life. Participating in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities in the community, as well as with the family, allows older people to continue to exercise their competence, to enjoy respect and esteem, and to maintain or establish supportive and caring relationships.

When all three of these domains are included in the ageing process, wisdom years become healthy, happy and active.

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