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10 tips to remain alert and happy in old age

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various knowledge and educational sites in internet.

Old age

Old age

Introduction

Everyone has to become old one day and old age is definitely a period of concern as there is a gradual loss of physical and mental capabilities of an individual and options to live a happy and healthy life start diminishing day by day. Undoubtedly, old age is a very big challenge. The question automatically arises as how to face and cope up with these challenges just by sitting idlly or doing some constructive work as allowed by ones physical conditions. I believe the latter option is a better way to lead any life in general and the old age in particular.

In old age people either live with their children or in old age homes or living alone surviving on the help from servants. Whatever be the situation, the health in that age is the main thing which can bring happiness and peace in their lives. The main challenge in old age is as how to keep oneself active and alert in spite of so many odds.

We will discuss and ponder over some ways and methods by which one can try to make oneself more alert, happier and have a more fruitful life during this challenging phase.

Old age dwelling

1. Understanding that health is the most important thing in old age

This is definitely the top priority as good health is the source of all enjoyments in our life. The interesting thing in this respect is that to attain good health we might have to refrain from some of the indulgences that we were regulary having during our young age and were never bothering to stop them. The reason we survived all through that was simply the good resistance and immune system that we had possessed during those times. Yes, that time we could afford that extra indulgence and luxury. Now, we are older and any such indulgence can adversely affect our health. It is now time that we have to bring that elenent of discipline in our life which we always yearned for but missed miserably when we were young. Today we have to inculcate some elements of discipline and regularity in our life if we really want to have a good time in our old age.

The daily life in old age ideally should start with an early morning walk outside the house and should end with a post dinner stroll of 10-15 minutes. In old age rigourous gym schedule and other exersions are not required. Short walks would also suffice and only thing is that continuity is to be maintained. In old age the day is too long and sometimes night is also a long journey of past recollections and memories. To minimise complexities on that fronts some element of tiredness has to come in the body and it would only come through a number of actions taken inside the house itself. Going from the bed room or living room to kitchen and having a glass of water is itself is an exercise in the old age but sometimes we skip it thinking that when we go to collect the newspaper from the verandah then at that time we will take a glass of water from the kitchen. Why we are skipping the opportunity of a short walk by merging the two in one and later complaining that we do not have opportunity to walk and are locked in the house the whole day. We have to change our mindset. In old age we can not sometimes even hold the umbrella in the rains so how can we go for a walk outside. Remember many small walks taken in a day inside or outside the house can add together to make it equal to a good long walk.

There are many other small activities in our houses which appear insignificant to us and we even sometimes consider them as menial jobs but all of them are important because they give us opportunities to move our limbs and legs and are actually in the nature of mini exercises.

2. Limiting quantity of food and drinks

One of the most troubling things that one has to adopt in old age is the restrictions on food and drinks. If one can learn that one can definitely learn to live contendedly in old age. Why these restrictions? Simply because our digestive and absorption systems have gone old and willl reject the junk and spicy food immediately. So choices are now limited but if one can adhere to them they will bring the desired benefits very fast.

It is not only the quality of food which matters but the quantity also becomes a matter of concern as overeating can create acidity, indigestion, and inconvenience and sometimes may force one to take medicines or consult a doctor. The rule of thumb in the matter of balanced eating is that you have to eat only till you still feel to take more. That is the point where one has to stop. If one can not do that drink a glass full of water before the meals. Believe me it helps and works well.

Drinking in moderate quantities is always welcome and even advised by the doctors. But boozing more for fun and for long periods will be an adverse thing for the mental health as well as for the body in the old age. Too much drinking makes the cognitive faculties of a person weak and his self control and discipline are severely affected. One must be cautious on this account especially in old age.

Experts believe that a healthy old person can take some drinks in moderation and recommended quantity is only 7 drinks a week but not more than 3 at a time. But for those who have ailments, advice of doctor has to be sought.

Another drawback associated with old age is that in old age people are prone to falling may be due to loss of balance or slipping on slippery floors or slipping on stairs etc and after drinking as one has a tendency to disbalance, it could turn out to be a fatal thing at that age.

3. Chase your hobbies or inculcate new ones now

This is something which many elders are already doing and reaping the benefits. Those who are not, can still inculcate them in themselves. Remember, pursuing hobbies is the easiest and most pleasurable thing. We have to give it prime importance in our lives especially in old age. One has to choose hobbies as per ones temperament as every one has a different set of hobbies. It can be even in the nature of acquiring academic knowledge at such a stage but hobby is hobby. It gives immense happiness and satisfaction to its owner.

There are some elders who have good hand in crafts and designing while there are some who have an expertise in painting and drawing. Creativity can be expressed in many forms. Nowadays we have applications using which one can dictate in the microphone and it is typed on a screen. So, elders having interest in creative writing can use this facility to reduce strain on their eyes.

Hobbies are not the only things to pass time creatively. There are other ways also. Playing with children under the afternoon sun is a very charming and enthralling activity. Gardening activities in the morning or evening times are another good avenue to pass time. So there are a plethora of activities which can be taken up commensurate with the energy and vigour that one possesses during the old age.

4. Think of doing some voluntary work

Have you ever worked voluntarily to help others rather work for a remuneration? If yes, you are a lucky guy as you might be knowing the happiness and contentment one derives out of it. In fact there are many ways a person can enjoy voluntary work in his or her old age. Like some community work in the neighbourhood, giving food and shelter to people during disasters, helping each other in an old home or surroundings where many seniors live, working in public parks like maintaining flowers and plants etc. Those who have never done that should give it a try. It changes our whole attitude towards life. Try it. It is worth going for.

Many people have a kind heart and want to help the needy and poor. They can think of raising a group of people in the locality which can contribute and work towards this noble cause. Elders can lead and guide these groups and use their experience for better management of these volunteering services.

5. Play some indoor mind games

Do you solve crosswords? Do you attempt Sudoku puzzles? If not try them now. They are not only a good pastime but sharpen our minds even in old age. Only care to be taken is that one has to stay in these activities for a short time. Sometimes these are addictive and remaining in them for a long time is a unhealthy practice. There are many online games which sharpen the brains. Monopoly, word games, scrabble erc are some of these worth trying.

There are many games where some score is obtained at every level or activity and crossing ones own score achieved last time gives a great sense of achievement and happiness. These are definitely a very good pastime in old age.

6. Find friends, find company

In old age there is nothing like good friends and good company. You can have them easily because there are many good elders who are also in search of same.

I am a retired person in my sixties and in the morning I go to a nearby park where we socialise with other people coming there and for about an hour we enjoy the company there much to our pleasure and satisfaction. In fact we have a WhatsApp group where people interact with each other also and plan for get to gethers or things like that.

Being introvert is not a good attribute and especially in old age it makes the things worst. One must come out of ones enclosure and mix with people and that is essential for distracting the mind from depressive sentiments and tendencies which arise in our minds due to isolation.

7. Revisit your passion

What was your passion when you were young? Singing, photography, reading, writing? Revisit it now when you have time to focus for it. If you are afraid that you alone can not do it, join a group. In old age joining a group makes sense. It gives an identity to the individual. You will feel homely in a group.

You had an ambition to write and become a writer one day. But you feel that your work might be rejected because of the quality issues. Do not worry. Go to some discussion channels or forums in internet. Share your views, read others views. It is a very good technique to sharpen ones writing skills. Try it. It is worth the time spending in it. This is what many budding writers attempt.

8. Join an evening club

Evening is the time of the day when old people living aloof or even in a family start to get those errie feelings of loneliness and isolation. A call from the friends regarding what time one is reaching the club is very assuring, rejuvenating, and soothing in such situations. It is suggested to join a nearby club where one can just walk and pass some time with the friends. Clubs are the great places for information exchange. You will definitely gain something there.

9. Naturopathy does miracles even in old age

Many people have benefited by the Naturopathy and it is very applicable in old age also. Some common tips are -

(A) Do not take water immediately after food. Wait at least 15 to 30 minutes. Of course, little sips of water can very well be taken during meals.

(B) You are old now. Do not jump or rush unnecessarily. Move slowly and steadily. You have enough time in hand. What is the hurry?

(C) Adopt anti-inflammatory and immune increasing items in your food consumption. Green tea, ginger, black pepper, basil, turmeric, lemon etc are some examples. There are many more.

(D) Eat your food slowly taking time. Let us help our digestive system in this way.

(E) Eat fruits before meals so that they are digested well before the main meals.

(F) Include and adopt Yoga and breathing exercises in your life style.

(G) Do you take bed tea in the morning? Take 2-3 glasses of lukewarm water before enjoying your bed tea or coffee. It is amazing. You will feel the difference soon.

(H) There are many such things in Naturopathic doctrine. Try them. They are simply miraculous.

(I) Do not remain in same posture while reading, playing indoor games or viewing a program in TV or mobile. In old age it is more than necessary to change posture often. It helps in reducing the stiffness in muscles and ligaments. Change posture as frequently as possible.

Naturopathy

10. Develop a stress less environment

Stress is a thing which affects a large percentage of people on Earth. This is a silent killer. By keeping oneself occupied in constructive things and by remaining in positive territories, one can reduce the stress levels considerably. Yoga and good life style help in reducing stress levels. Self control and calmness in life are also very instrumental in containing stress levels. These are some ways to reduce the stress and these remedial measures are very essential in old age when tolerance and endurance diminishes.

Many people use prayers and reciting of religious poems for stress reduction. It is in fact, akin to meditation. Atheists might mock it but believe me, whatever be the reason it works. It brings that solace and peace in us which all the luxuries of the world can not.

Keeping a good company of like minded people also helps in keeping the stress at a bay. In old age taking a long walk in the morning or evening is a favourite of many and if some good company is also available during these walks then it becomes more pleasant. Such company could be anyone from the family, friend circle, or neighborhood.

Light exercises in the old age

In addition to above tips I will like to cover the issue of exercise in the old age as people have apprehensions about it as to which limit we should exercise in old age.

It is not possible to do rigorous exercises during the old age but light exercises can be taken up easily. One thing which I can share from my own experience is that we have to do a number of light exercises each for 3-4 minutes and if we undertake about 15-20 of them it will totally take an hour in completing them and as we change the exercises one after other every 3-4 minutes, we do not get bored with the monotony.

Let me give a set of such exercises for the benefit of all the seniors and at the same time there is no binding to do them only because one can customise them by replacing some of them by own exercises being undertaken by the individual. So my set starts with lying down on a tough mattress on a flat surface or a thick carpet if one is doing them on the floor, and the the sequence starts like -

  • Lie down, facing up, move the fingers outward and bring back, repeat 5/10/15 times as per the convenience. Now move the fingers inward and repeat in same way.
  • Keep both feet together and keeping the heals together and fixed in their place rotate the feet clockwise and then anticlockwise 5/10/15 times as much as possible.
  • Keep both feet together, raise one leg above and bring it back, then raise other leg and bring it back. Repeat 10/15 times.
  • Keep both feet together, rotate one leg clockwise for 5/10 times and then anticlockwise for 5/10 times. Repeat this for 2-3 times.
  • Now bend the knees and embrace left leg in both the hands and pull towards chest and release back. Repeat the same with right leg. Do for 10/15 times.
  • Now take both the hands below the waist and keep them flat in the curved part on the back and take breath and press downwards. Do it 5/10 times. This one is very good for back strengthening.
  • Now turn over and rest on the belly and keep everything in touch with the flat surface and raise the chest and head slowly up and stop if you feel strain on your back because of the bending. Repeat for 5/10 times. Fat persons may have discomfort and consult a physiotherapist before attempting this one.
  • Now stand up and move and rotate the left hand clockwise and anticlockwise 5/10 times. Repeat with right hand.
  • Stretch both the hands up and stretch and bring back. Do it 10/15 times.
  • Raise left leg up by bending at knees and then keep it back and then raise right leg up and keep it back. Move the hands back and forth while doing this and if you cannot go out when it is raining or hot outside, this is a good substitute of walking. Do it 200/300 times.

As per my speed all that finishes up in an hour and is a good workout in old age.

Conclusion

Discipline and good habits are the gateway to a happy life. The quality of life can be greatly enhanced with simple living but occupying oneself in positive territories. Old age is very challenging but becomes easier to manoeuvre if we follow some good patterns of living.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

Comments

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 16, 2020:

Robert, thanks for visiting.

Robert Sacchi on September 16, 2020:

Thank you very much for the tips.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 17, 2020:

Anupam, thanks a lot. Appreciate.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on July 17, 2020:

Great help for many. Thank you Umesh.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 19, 2020:

Ana, thanks a lot.

Ana Yong from Singapore on May 18, 2020:

Useful advice. Thanks.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 18, 2020:

Demas, thanks a lot for your encouraging words.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 17, 2020:

Stellar advice here, advice that we and other elders can do well to "inculcate".

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 18, 2020:

Peggy, yes, old age comes so early whether we like it or not. Thanks for your comment and happy to know that you found it useful.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 18, 2020:

It is amazing how quickly old age comes to us. We may still feel like youngsters, but our bodies tell us that things are now different. Your tips are truly good ones.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 07, 2020:

Devika, thanks for visiting and happy that you liked this article. Appreciate.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 07, 2020:

Everything we at a young age feels great bust as we get older we realize what we should have more of and less of in our daily menus. I believe that everything in moderation is key. Thank you for the useful tips it is most interesting and worth a try for any one.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 05, 2020:

Harish, thanks for your beautiful comment. Appreciate.

Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on February 04, 2020:

A very useful hub, so well written with some great tips to the elderly. I can't agree more. Old age is inevitable, one must ponder over these thoughts. Thanks for sharing this article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 31, 2020:

Denise, thanks for your appreciations. In old age, we have to somehow control our indulgences and bring that 'never there before' discipline elements in our life. It is tough as I am also struggling to achieve them but the fact of matter is that they help.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 31, 2020:

These are some very good points. I like the idea of small walks adding up to a long walk. I never thought of it that way.

Blessings,

Denise

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 30, 2020:

Brenda, thanks for your elaborate comments. Old age is a challenge for everyone and anything which can help and support in that phase is welcome. Some of the suggestions compiled by me in this article are worth pursuing.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 30, 2020:

Umesh,

This is a good article.

It is difficult to deal with solitude when one starts aging so your ideas are great.

Joining a group, doing activities or hobbies one once loved before, finfing new things, volunteering...etc

Walking is good for one, but i get the idea that we just do it all at once and save a few steps. Probably not the best idea.

Great write.

P.S. thank you for wishing me congratulations. It is appreciated.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 30, 2020:

Bill, thanks for your visit. Feel good that you liked the points. I know these are not so easy but we have to try and try. That is the only way for us. Wish you a healthy life and yes, I also congratulate you for your 2019 hubbies award.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 30, 2020:

Wonderful advice! So far so good for this old man. :) Thank you for the message you sent to me. Greatly appreciated!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 30, 2020:

James, thanks for visiting and for your nice words. I am happy to know that you liked it. Be in touch.

James A Watkins from Chicago on January 30, 2020:

I very much enjoyed your needful and most excellent Hub. Thank you for writing it.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 28, 2020:

Rajan, thanks for your visit and nice words. Really appreciate.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 28, 2020:

Some very useful pointers for enjoying the dusk of life. I personally follow quite a few of them. Thank you.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 27, 2020:

Dora, thanks for visiting and happy that you liked the article. It is easy to suggest but difficult to follow, still I am also trying to adopt some of these marvellous tips useful in our later life.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 27, 2020:

Thank you for all these wise counsels. The short walks idea is great. I intend to do that. Will also heed your Naturopathy suggestions.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 26, 2020:

Liz, thanks a lot. Your comments are always adding value to my work. Long back, I read that playing games useful in sharpening of mind is one way to keep alert. That thing somehow remained engraved in my mind and reflected while writing that piece of advice in the present article.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 26, 2020:

I was especially interested in your comments about mind games, as I know people who practise these. I also enjoy having a go when I have time to do so.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 26, 2020:

Mpfana Manu, very lovely comment. I appreciate. At the same time it is better to adopt them at an early stage so that you would not repent like some of us who started to adopt them at a later stage. All the best. Keep in touch.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 26, 2020:

Manatita44, happy to see that you have gone so thoroughly through this article. It is encouraging and motivating for me. As regards adhering to these basic concepts I am also sailing in the same boat and trying to adopt as many things as possible. Early morning warm water intake has done miraculous healing in my case. I do not know how to thank the mother nature for it.

Mpfana Manu from Harare on January 26, 2020:

Thanks, not yet old but I'll know what to dodo when the time comes. Thanks again

manatita44 from london on January 26, 2020:

Some very salient points. I need more exercise and I do need more discipline. Perhaps I need better food, too. Working on it. Thanks for this Hub.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 25, 2020:

Eric, thanks a lot for your quick and early comments. Feel good that you are able to map certain elements here with your life. I wish you a good time now after your nursing home stay and hope you continue your good work in HP. All the best and keep in touch.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 25, 2020:

Well written and thought out. I just left a "nursing" home after a very short stay. You got it right here in my experience.

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