"Healthy aging is not just about avoiding diseases, but also about enjoying life and staying active, connected, and productive.”

The above statement is true and with some effort and dedication can be achieved by people who make significant efforts to walk on the path of healthy aging. I know many residents who are in their 60s or early 70s and have decided to lead a healthy life by channelizing their lifestyle. But how do we do it for those who are 75 and above? Elders with multiple comorbidities, especially chronic diseases like Dementia, Parkinson's Disease etc. primarily affect one's personality or change them completely.

Most of the time it's thought that there's nothing one can do for such elderly people, but I feel otherwise. Being a trained nurse and having spent most of my time in an elder care home for the past six and half years, especially those who have Dementia and Parkinson’s disease is that they can be helped to have a life that leads to healthy aging.

Design a Meaningful Life by Adopting a Holistic Approach

One of the critical factors is knowing your elderly loved ones as a person, what their past likes and dislikes were and what they enjoy doing. Their hobbies can help engage them in what they used to love doing; it may be gardening, singing songs, playing musical instruments, or reading but you need to know what that is, to help them relive the happy moments.

A push, a word of encouragement and your active participation is what it takes. We have a resident who loves listening to songs and singing but her speech is affected, that doesn't stop her from singing or humming her favourite song when she hears it "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" or moving her hands and dancing to the tunes of the music.

One of the core aspects of healthy aging according to me is enjoying life to whatever extent possible besides being physically or cognitively healthy, even if you are living in assisted living homes. As caregivers or family members, we just need to know what our elderly loved ones enjoy doing and do our bit to continue to create those happy moments in their lives by being with them to make their lives easy and happy.

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