Full Disclosure
March 20, 2008
Healthy living after fifty-five

As retirement approaches, several persons begin to make plans for this period of their lives which would occur in the next few years. Included in this must be a clear and specific plan for a healthy lifestyle and happy life.{{more}} Without the stresses of a daily job, persons consider themselves at increased mental ease and are able to take part in several activities of leisure.

Included in one’s attempt to maintain a high degree of wellness, there should be an increased awareness of our bodies and the changes which will occur with increased age, and the conditions which are likely to affect us with as a natural consequence of such, and importantly, the necessary protective mechanisms which must be put in place to prevent the many negatives which may visit us in the most untimely fashion. Our health care sector must also cater for the consequential trends and patterns which will develop as a result of an aging society. Further, the NIS and other insurance schemes will have to implement policies and programs that would be sure to include the rapidly growing aging population, and at the same time being mindful to take into consideration the many developmental changes which are occurring nationally, regionally and internationally. In other words, the manner in which we care for our seniors and our seniors care for themselves must never be static, but constantly evolving to meet the ever changing needs of our most experienced and resourceful group.

Exercise is a fundamental lifestyle facet will we must include in our daily plan of activities. The WHO clearly specifies the amount of daily exercise which is deemed as adequate, and we must try our best, baring physical limitations to reach this goal. This may take the form of our new hobby which we plan to pick up, maybe the back yard gardening or the beginners karate class, or even the afternoon walks in an attempt to not only familiarize ourselves with our beautiful country, but to obtain the necessary aerobic exercise and maintain optimal cardiovascular health. This can also contribute to maintaining our ideal body weight without which, we are more susceptible to the multiple maladies including increased risk for the silent epidemic killers of diabetes and hypertension.

A new found interest in home cooking of a particular dietary base can also assist and encourage healthy lifestyle changes, though this should not only be attempted as retirement age approaches, it can certainly be facilitated at this point.

We must also be more cognizant of the fact that among the many risk factors for the many maladies, increasing age and continued smoking is among them. Screening for colon cancer in whichever form, prostate cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer, if not commenced at an earlier age, must certainly begin at age fifty. The risk must be individualized based on family history of cancer and symptoms. Regular doctor visits are recommended to follow any medical condition which may be previously observed.

Consideration should be given to reading about different cultures, and if particularly interested and the opportunity arises, travel to different places to explore different cultures, in groups or individually. This can increase our awareness of different societies and make us more tolerable and less bigoted.

Every opportunity should be taken to contribute to our society and our nation’s education revolution. For us in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, our people will continue to be our most dependable resource; with this in mind we must be willing to offer and teach our skills to our youth and impart the right attitude towards work. The acquisition of skills which would be useful to the workforce and the transmission of a positive work ethic with an aim of improving the productivity of our nation must be driven by our seniors who are filled with experience and expertise.

Volunteer and community based organizations are in dire need of planners and organizers of fundraisers, with available time and skill, services in this area can be rendered.

With a physically and mentally healthier nation, and an aging population willing to impart the knowledge and experience that only age can acquire, we as a Vincentian society will continue to develop as a nation and enjoy continued prosperity and growth.