Did you know that by 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above? This group could also be more prone to the five most common chronic medical conditions which include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke and heart attack.
It is no wonder the topic of active ageing has been on the rise in recent years. What does it mean exactly? It means that people are choosing to be more physically and mentally active as they grow older. The benefits of this lifestyle change can include less aches and pains, a longer life span, improved mental health, healthier relationships with others and an increased sense of meaning.
To support this approach, there are active ageing programmes (AAPs) designed to help seniors stay active, healthy and socially engaged. These are easily accessible in neighbourhoods across Singapore. In fact, a new active ageing centre was recently opened in Kembangan-Chai Chee to better provide social and health support to its more than 1,500 elderly residents.
But on your own, what can you do to protect your overall health and continue enjoying a high quality of life as you age?
5 Tips to Achieve Active Ageing
1. Having a healthy diet
Get a head start in active ageing by first focusing on what you eat. This is a key aspect that can minimise the risk factors of diet-related illnesses like hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis. A well-balanced diet can ensure you get the nutrition your body needs to function optimally.
Especially as you approach 65 years old, it is crucial to eat more nutrient-dense food such as fish, lean red meat, tofu, rice as well as fruits. Incorporating a variety of foods in your everyday meals can help you feel stronger and more energised. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, which is vital in Singapore’s hot weather.
2. Prioritising mental health
When it is time to retire, it can be a difficult period of adjustment with the fear of not having enough to do and finding ways to stay engaged throughout the day. That being said, it is common to feel stress and anxiety as this next chapter of life approaches.
Additionally, if you have endured the pain of losing a loved one or don’t get to see family often, it can be especially tough on you during such periods. Combined with unexpected factors like the social isolation brought about by COVID-19, this can unknowingly take a toll on your mental health.
Before work is out of the picture, start planning for your retirement early so you can manage the transition better and look forward to enjoying the fruits of your labour. To proactively improve your mental well-being, doing the things you enjoy and staying connected with others through the AAPs in your vicinity can help tremendously. This can go a long way in warding off the depression that may come with ageing.
Apart from your mental health, your physical health is equally important. In fact, 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity is recommended for adults and seniors. You can also opt for 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity as per the Health Promotion Board’s National Physical Activity Guidelines.
It was also recently highlighted that a surprising number of people are suffering from vitamin D deficiency in Singapore, including the elderly. By going outside to exercise, not only can you improve your strength and balance, but you can also get sufficient sun exposure required for your body’s Vitamin D production during this time. Starting with incorporating regular activity in your daily routine, you can delay or even prevent the common diseases.
4. Taking care of your teeth
With age, your gums are also more likely to recede, leaving your teeth and roots vulnerable to decay. Simple habits like brushing and flossing your teeth often can prevent painful toothaches and the discomfort of tooth loss. Through regular check-ups with your dentist, you can also avoid further dental complications and continue being in good oral health.
5. Checking in with the doctor regularly
Regardless of your age, it is important to stay on top of your health to prevent more complicated problems in the near future. Some chronic medical conditions like diabetes can be hereditary so you’ll want to make sure your doctor is aware of your family’s health history to detect the risks early.
Live Life to the Fullest with Expat Insurance
All the above tips are crucial when it comes to promoting active ageing from an early stage. With that in mind, it is important that we start preparing for our future well ahead of time.
In addition to medical insurance, it makes good financial sense to have dental insurance plans to cover all your needs. Should you require dental surgery or hospital treatment, Expat Insurance can provide coverage for a range of procedures so you have less to worry about. Especially for foreigners who are intending to settle down in Singapore for good, now is the time to plan to ensure a comfortable lifestyle in your golden years.
Make informed lifestyle decisions with Expat Insurance today. Feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.