If we can't stop aging, maybe we can promote healthy aging.
“Health” is from the Old English “hoelth” = state of being sound. WHO definition of active aging: “process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.”
Healthy aging may also be called decelerated aging, subclinical aging, or slowed aging.
Caregivers and healthcare pros must worry about the literacy level of elderly patients. We are talking about pharmaceutical health literacy, which studies have shown seniors do more poorly at than younger people. Awareness of the problem and the implementation of successful counseling programs could minimize the adverse outcomes of low health literacy. Identifying health literacy level isn't easy, but appropriate counseling of patients can greatly improve the quality of life for patients with limited health literacy.
There is much advice about fighting aging. Because the biomarkers of aging [LINK] are so slippery, it is hard to get a handle on what a successful fight would look like. If we accept that the presence of age-related diseases and syndromes is the way to tell if someone is getting biologically older, then anything to reduce the risk or severity of these illnesses is a way of fighting aging. While anti-aging drugs may not have lived up the hopes of some, our modern medical system has developed many medications for management of specific conditions. For instance, it is known that statin medications reduce the risk of heart disease. In this sense, statin usage could be considered a method of fighting aging.
Is exercise a panacea? Of course not, but it does help stop or slow many age-related maladies. For instance, sarcopenia, the reduction of muscle mass often experienced in old age, has only one real treatment: exercise. Anabolic steroids can also be employed, but many doctors and patients shun them.
Luck and genetics play a part, but we do have some control over how we age, and if we take the right measures, we can reduce the chances of age-related diseases. If we can do it right, we might be able to postpone the effects of age, or reduce the severity of those effects. Healthy aging generally becomes harder the older you get.
Things to avoid as you get older:
"The fractal-like networks of tissue in our brains, bones, kidneys, and skin all lose structural complexity as we age." - LEWIS A. LIPSITZ, Nautilus Magazine
Chronic diseases that particularly afflict the elderly include
Experts estimate 62 percent of Americans past age 65 have more than one chronic condition.