Healthy ageing is about creating the environments and opportunities that enable people to be and do what they value throughout their lives. Everybody can experience healthy ageing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines healthy ageing “as the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.”
Functional ability is about having the capabilities that enable all people to be and do what they have reason to value. This includes a person’s ability to:
- Meet their basic needs
- To learn, grow and make decisions
- To be mobile
- To build and maintain relationships
- To contribute to society.
Factors like the home, community and broader society, and all the factors within them such as the built environment, people and their relationships, attitudes and values, health and social policies, the systems that support them and the services that they implement affect the healthy aging.
Being able to live in environments that support and maintain your intrinsic capacity and functional ability is instrumental to healthy ageing.
Dr Aaditya Doshi, a geriatric doctor from Pune said, “It is important to create an environment where people can have healthy aging. The family, the lifestyle, the culture and the economic status, everything plays a role in healthy aging.”
Dr Doshi further said, “One should keep the brain active and should cultivate the relationship, so that they do not feel lonely. Not many are aware about healthy aging as a concept. It is essential to take meaningful steps to have healthy aging.”
Dr Pankaj Borade, a psychiatrist from Pune, said, “Regular exercise is one of the greatest keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Humans can go longer without food than without sleep.”
He added, “It is essential to take healthy diet and good sleep. Also, one should always keep oneself engage is some kind of activity. Older adults who engage in meaningful community activities like volunteer work report feeling healthier and less depressed.”