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Exercise is the key to staying physically fit, healthy, while ageing

Exercise is the key to staying physically fit, healthy, while ageing


The importance of staying physically fit and healthy while ageing was one of the topics discussed at a seminar on ageing held by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, April 4, 2012.{{more}}

The seminar, held at the Methodist Church Hall, was part of the activities organized by the Ministry of Health to celebrate World Health Day, April 7 2012. This year’s World Health Day was held under the theme “Ageing and Health: Good Health adds life to years.”

Persons attending the seminar on Tuesday listened to presentations from a three-person panel and were also invited to ask questions. The Panelists were retired surgeon Dr Cecil Cyrus; FIBC/FCIB regional Unsung Hero Jestina Charles and Registered Nurse Dr. Patricia Kathleen Israel.

Panelists discussed the importance of keeping oneself physically and mentally well during ageing, and even during old age, to ensure that they gain the best from their lives at the later stages.

Issues including the care of the elderly, programmes to include the elderly in communities and society and keeping active during old age were discussed.

Minister of Health Clayton Burgin stated that while there are many intiatives of the government to improve the life of senior citizens, government intends to focus more on the elderly. Burgin stated that ageing should concern ‘each and every one of us’, and advised persons not to look at life in a linear fashion, but to preserve our health now and into the later years of life.

Dr Cyrus, speaking on the care of the elderly, related his experiences where the elderly were neglected in health facilities and at hospitals. He related that one woman had died due to a diseased breast which was noticed by doctors and nurses, but was thought to be the woman stuffing her nightgown. Other instances of neglect of the elderly were relayed by Cyrus, who also stated that how the elderly are cared for in a nation, reflects the quality of the Nation.

Cyrus also advised persons to keep fit through sustained exercise. He also informed the audience of low blood pressure and how it could be controlled. Cyrus stated that he has suffered from the disease ever since he was a child and persons with severely low blood pressure can simply consume something sweet.

Also speaking on the importance of good exercise, Unsung Hero Jestina Charles stated that good exercise, a positive attitude and good nutrition can help to keep senior citizens mentally and physically active. Charles also stated that ageing affects every part of our bodies and mental and physical fitness is key in order to age well.

Charles also stressed the need for socialization among senior citizens, as it plays an important part in staying mentally alert. Charles added that loneliness or isolation leads to depression and that the elderly need to feel involved, and must be kept happy through socialization, which has a therapeutic effect on the mind.

Dr Israel, in her presentation, stated that the contributions of the elderly to communities and families should be celebrated. She further examined how the country has positioned itself to take care of the particular needs of the elderly.(OS)