The aging face numerous unfamiliar challenges. Most of them have a number of worries such as; “What will I do now that I am retired?” “Will my pension money run out?” “Will I survive this chronic disease?” I feel lonely and neglected” These and many more real issues wear them down and consequently lead to additional mental health issues.
Kenya and generally Sub-Saharan Africa have the lowest proportion of people aged 60years and older. In Kenya particularly the percentage of men and women aged above 60 is about 3.9% of the entire population. Unfortunately, this means that they are greatly marginalized in terms of resource distribution. Kenya has high rates of growth for this demographic albeit with the current low numbers. This means that interventions need to be put in place to be able to meet the very large youth population who will inevitably be transitioning to the over 60 groups. So, what can be done to help those over 60 effectively navigate these unchartered waters? These can broadly be categorized into physical, mental, social, and economic.
One of the main and arguably most pertinent concerns the aging has concerned their physical health. At 60, most of the poor habits fostered over the years begin to manifest as chronic diseases. A long-time alcohol drinker for instance may begin to have liver cirrhosis and failure consequently. Given that the body is weak and frail at this point it is unable to effectively contain most of these diseases. As a result, most of them suffer from hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases just to mention a few. Particular preventative measures are known for specific conditions but as a general rule proper nutrition, appropriate physical exercise, and adequate rest greatly alleviate most physical and mental conditions.
In terms of nutrition, the over 60 must ensure they get a balanced diet with emphasis on vitamins and minerals to help boost their immune system. Older women, for instance, particularly need a good supply of vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D as these are greatly affected by menopause. It also goes without saying that drinking enough water is an irreducible minimum.
When it comes to physical exercise most over the 60s become confused and reluctant as most argue their bodies just can’t, which in some instances is true. This is why the over 60s need to engage their doctors and physiotherapists to find out the most appropriate physical activities for them. A simple walk every day can go a long way. Not only does it help their physical bodies but also offers an opportunity to get fresh air and sunshine which is linked to higher levels of serotonin known for boosting our mood. All these concurrently help improve your mental health.
Most people are cognizant of the need to have adequate rest every day, but few have appropriate tools for it. As older people suffer neck and back pains, they require special beds and mattresses to counter this. Unfortunately, most are either ignorant of this or can’t afford it which leads us to the economic challenges they face.
The retirement age is set at 60 for most organizations which means that most have to rely on a pension, savings, family, or well-wishers for financial support. This means that most rely on tight budgets or none at all. Aside from developing new and strengthening current interventions in these, there is a great need to raise awareness among those below 60 to effectively plan for retirement.
The over 60 are advised to have regular check-ups to ensure good health and enable anything otherwise is caught early enough. At the mention of this most will complain they have no time or do not know where to find these services. That is why at Ponea we have curated a wholesome package called +60 Comprehensive for men and women that enables you to have a full-body check-up at your comfort. With us, long queues, delayed and substandard services are a thing of the past. For those who may be suffering from back and necks pains there is an affordable Physiotherapy package that allows you to be attended to at your very home. We take care of the booking and hold your hand throughout the journey at an affordable price to ensure that you are treated like the VIP you are and thus effectively navigate the unchartered waters of over 60.
Call or Whatsapp at +254111013900 to book your appointment today.