Mr. Raman, a senior citizen retired from Govt service recently, and Dr.Joshi, a senior surgeon, were travelling in the same compartment.
After introducing each other, Raman asked Dr Joshi, "doctor, as a retired person I have a question regarding health.
Apart from diabetes, high BP, cholesterol and obesity, can you name a single most important point, that senior citizens should take care of. I do know the health hazards of tobacco consumption and alcohol."
This way he hinted the doctor that he did some homework.
Dr. Joshi said,
" good Mr. Raman, you already know the most prevalent risk factors that affect health most.
*What I always tell is not what procedure I do in the emergency room, but on how one can avert a situation to come to see me in the emergency room; and lead a quality life.*
At the outset, I suggest one to make a habit of *practising silence for a few minutes as the first thing before getting up from the bed*. It is a *calm reconciliation with one's own self.* Second is to *have an attitude of gratitude for life as a whole.* It may be towards the mother earth or the sun that are supporting life. It may be your society, parents, teachers or wife/husband. It can be any one and anything that is making a part of your life. This *attitude aligns you and orients you with cosmic force. It brings positivity and it will show energizing and healing effect on you. I will touch upon this later again.*
Coming to pure medical advice...
*Falling down is the most important risk factor for elderly.*
In my experience I have seen it as the most debilitating, and difficult to cope with or recover situation for the elderly patient and demanding situation for the family members or attendants.
*"Never fall down"* is the golden rule for elderly.
For some unfortunate, falling makes the beginning of ending.
Raman grew curious, " If you don't mind what is your second most important advice?".
Dr. Joshi, " *Keep walking. Walking is living.* Walking helps in maintaining many health conditions including heart health. I know people in late 90s going for long walks. Ofcourse you should guard against many factors in walking at that age, but *not walking is a risk factor* for any age. Please note, it is not like people are walking because they are fit, but people are fit because they are walking.
Those who can't walk due to medical reasons, should try pranayam, or breathing excercises that can be suggested by the family doctor."
Seeing the enthusiasm in the face of Raman, Dr. Joshi continued on his own.
Third most important point is , *" keep yourself hydrated. Elderly people are prone to reduced water levels and electrolytes in the body*. Drinking water by sipping frequently, butter milk, coconut water, ORS etc. help."
*"Next important thing is good bowel and gut health*. Eating easily digestible and fibre rich foods will help. One should have cooked food, and avoid fried foods, bakery foods and fast foods. Eat moderately and have dinner at least three hours before going to bed. Daily consumption of a few dry friuts and seasonal fruits will be great for overall health as well. And walking and remaining hydrated also help in maintaining bowel health."
*"Another important aspect of health is being active mentally and remaining calm emotionally. Having an attitude of gratitude, and contributing to someone's happiness, work like medicine. Some call it cosmic wisdom or Cosmic orientation*.
It is important to prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases and depression.
There are *several positive activities you can engage yourself in, and you can pick up what interests you most for creating activity for the brain.* The *creative as well as the analytical functions of the brain should be put to use.*
*Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic that we studied in school may be basic, but they are valuable habits as you age, for mental and motor skills.*
Traditionally, Ayurveda preparations of Brahmi and Aswagandha are used as supplements.
May be I can add here that as you age more, you should have an RMP who visits you periodically and sees you closely from medical point of view. In case of any emergency *Time is the essence*. Early detection and quick response make a world of difference."
*"Lastly, to age gracefully, and to leave the world peacefully one needs God's grace. So meditate also. Medical care and meditation are complementary to each other."*
"And my bonus advice is *you should have your daily dose of entertainment*.
*Elderly are NOT barred from having entertainment and laughter.* A *relaxed mind and happy heart provide the best health and immunity".*
Mr. Raman thanked the doctor from the bottom of his heart.
Please share with your loved ones.
*Wish you all a very Healthy, Hearty and Peaceful life