If you are above 60 years of age, read on

Societies are ageing across the world and one of the main achievements in the last century is the amazing longevity that women are enjoying. Maintaining health and quality of life in old age are particularly important for women.

Though recommendations for overall good health remain pretty much the same throughout life, there are special challenges associated with the post-menopausal state and age-related changes. It’s all the more important to ensure regular health check-ups. The focus should be bone density testing, tests for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Annual hearing and vision tests are recommended. mammograms and cervical cancer screenings as recommended by your physician. Please do talk to your physician about preventive health checks.

As you age, your immunity goes down making it imperative to get the recommended vaccines as needed. Immunizations for Herpes Zoster, Pneumonia, Flu etc. are special vaccinations that are recommended in addition to important ones like Hepatitis B if not done already.

Diet and Exercise are the pillars of a healthy lifestyle at any age and continues to play a significant role as you grow older. Balanced nutrition with special attention to protein, vitamins and calcium. Healthy foods should promote a healthy body weight. Weighing too much or too little increases the risk of some health problems as you grow older – e.g., your fall risk might increase making it critical for women to pay special attention to getting enough bone-healthy calcium in their diets.

Regular physical activity reduces your risk for many health problems. Studies show women need more, not less, exercise as they grow older! It’s key to discuss with your doctor on safe, and the amount of exercise to ensure that it meets your needs for cardio, muscle-strengthening and balance.

The third prong of the healthy lifestyle is sleep. It’s proven that more women than men experience insomnia, and this problem increases with age. Reach out to your doctor to ensure your sleep issues are addressed and take your medications, if prescribed, regularly. Lack of sleep can cause mental stress that can manifest in other physical ailments.

It is also essential that we take our medications conscientiously as prescribed and not skip, modify or take indefinitely. It is also a good idea not to take medications suggested by WhatsApp or Google or a neighbour. Always seek the advice of your family physician.

Relationships and health - Social activities, relationships, family time, connecting with friends, colleagues and family have all been found to be helpful in lowering stress, finding fulfilment and being happy. This translates to better physical health for most. Loneliness, sadness and bitterness can lead to many chronic diseases or worsen existing ones.

So, make time for yourself and your relationships!