Elders need to focus on increasing their immunity and taking health seriously

COVID-19 has transformed our outlook on healthy lifestyles. From treating ailments as they come and go, many are now focussed on overall mental and physical well-being. According to studies, while Indians are seemingly more resilient to the virus, co-morbidity factors (diabetes, or hypertension) lead to complications, and can, at times, be fatal. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that seniors look at health holistically, says Jagadish Ramamoorthy, co-founder and director, Alserv.

Below, he shares five ways elders can have a healthier 2021:

Choose personalised meals

As the body ages, energy and nutrient requirements undergo a drastic change. Unfortunately, seniors seldom adjust their eating habits, leading to poor nutrition. In India, 50 per cent of the elderly suffer from malnutrition, while 90 per cent consume less than the recommended nutrient intake.

Come 2021, elders will need to follow a customised diet plan that fulfills all their energy and nutrient requirements while also fortifying their immune system against infections to stay ailment-free. For elders that stay alone or are not able to cook, there are eldercare services across the city that deliver home-cooked, nutritious and personalised meals. Subscribing to one is a great way to ensure a balanced diet.

Get full-body checkups

Regular medical checkups should become the norm for elders in 2021. During the pandemic, many elders were hesitant to visit their doctors’ offices or hospitals for minor ailments or aches.

Given the situation, elders should be increasing their frequency of health checkups. Home medical check-ups and online doctor consultations are a safe alternative to hospital or clinic trips – something that elders can take advantage of to not skip appointments. It is advisable for anyone above the age of 60 to have their vitals checked monthly, and get full-body checks every quarter.

Increase digital literacy

The new normal will be a digital world dominated by online interactions. Elders will need to transact online, order, and track e-commerce purchases or daily necessities. They will even have to pay their utility bills via their smartphones.

It is essential every elder learns how to navigate the digital space. Some seniors can find it difficult to navigate through the digital world. In such cases, having a caretaker or a service that offers a single touchpoint will make life easy.

Become a netizen

Studies suggest that one out of three elders battle loneliness, a precursor of depression and other mental issues. Regular social interactions with friends and family are the best way to fight it. However, restrictions on mobility and public gatherings are likely to continue in the coming year.

In 2021, seniors will need to learn how to use social media and video calling apps to stay connected with their loved ones. They can also join online clubs, groups, or communities to interact with like-minded people.

Tickle the funny bone

Laughter can add years to one’s life, reducing the impact of stress on the heart; especially at a time like this. According to geriatric experts, the prevalent conditions of uncertainty can have long-lasting effects on elders if they do not have a means of staying jolly.

In the new normal, seniors should turn to funny TV shows or stand-up specials. Reading comic strips, sharing memes, or engaging with hilarious social media posts are also great ways to surround oneself with laughter.

The ideal “New Decade” resolution

The fight against COVID isn’t over yet. Even if a vaccine doesn’t seem far off, self-vigilance is crucial. Elders need to focus on increasing their immunity and taking health seriously. It is, however, heartening to see the way elders have adapted to the new normal. They have discovered a sea of opportunities via Zoom fitness sessions, online cultural programs and more. The trend needs to continue.

The great Mahatma once said, “The future depends on what you do today.” It is the lifestyle choice that one makes today that will determine their tomorrow. Therefore, in 2021 the best New Year resolution every senior should take, and keep, is to stay health-conscious. With a strong resolution, the transformation towards a healthier and more fulfilling life will happen organically.

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