SABC News - Exercise improves quality of life in the elderly: Expert:Wednesday 8 February 2017

Exercise improves quality of life in the elderly: Expert

Wednesday 8 February 2017 20:05

Veronica Fourie

There are concerted efforts by many organisations to help the elderly to improve the quality of life by stimulating the brain.

There are concerted efforts by many organisations to help the elderly to improve the quality of life by stimulating the brain.(REUTERS)

Good health is something that can never be taken for granted. While many South Africans live longer, their quality of life is not always what it should be.

Scientific research has found that there are more people over the age of 65 in South Africa than children under the age of 15.

There are concerted efforts by many organisations to help the elderly to improve the quality of life by stimulating the brain.

The elderly are taught to breath properly, drink a lot of water and keep walking! The advice comes from the founder of the Senior Mind Moves Institute, Dr Melody de Jager.

She told a group of older citizens that these elementary aspects can improve the brain function. People live longer as a result of medical support and medication, but the quality of life doesn't always improve.

Dr De Jager offered some easy ways to keep the brain in good health.

"It is important to look after your senses, it feeds the brain. Drink water with a straw or bottle with a nozzle. Open the door with alternative hands. Do things differently. When you wash yourself, do it firmly and apply cream. Don't rush it - you have time, do it properly. Your skin, touching, and movement, and your senses support your emotional wellbeing and health.”


When people grow older, they often change their walking pattern out of fear of falling but that can also be controlled or prevented, says De Jager.

Senior Mind Moves facilitator, Celeste van der Walt says anyone can improve the quality of life of elderly people by just a little love and care.

“Make eye contact with them. Hearing also goes, so help them to listen and hear, and touch them, and to make them feel important. For someone who is not used to touching, don't be in their face. Give them a bear hug from behind by crossing their arms, and put your face against theirs. It's comforting and the touch makes them feel important.”

Dr Melody de Jager says it's also important to have the best coffee, tea and chocolates you can afford. She encouraged the audience of older people to use their hands as often as possible.

Share this page: Printer friendly version
 
SABC ©