Active Ageing and Its Importance in Singapore

In Singapore, seniors make up around 15.2% of the total population. Members of the senior population are aged 65 and above.

This puts a burden on society’s current resources to properly accommodate the ageing population.

active aging singapore

As the number of senior citizens increases, it’s critical to ensure that they age healthily. Healthy ageing is achieved only when older adults are taking proper care of their physical health as well as mental health.

What Is The Concept of Active Ageing

Active ageing is a recently developed concept by the European Commission that focuses on promoting the idea of longer activity coupled with higher retirement age.

This holistic approach encompasses an individually and socially designed mix of various aspects that range from personal to familial, to professional and social.

The aim is to identify the need to promote adequate responses to the increasing number of people reaching seniority.

It does this by recognizing their particular dependability on health-geared aspects, social interactions, services attendance, or psychological characteristics.

The Benefits of Active Aging

In many countries, more and more senior people are living productive and full lives well into their 80s and 90s. Research suggests that once you start practicing healthy living earlier in life, you make better lifestyle choices later on. Active ageing is a rapidly popularizing phenomenon that needs to be practiced in Singapore due to its increasingly ageing population.

The phenomenon of active ageing optimizes the opportunities for health, security, and participation to improve the overall quality of life of aged people. To promote active ageing, one has to participate in physical activity on a regular basis. This can, in turn, help you sleep better, increase appetite, and may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dementia, unexpected falls, and loss of balance are also issues that can be avoided with physical fitness. Keep in mind that each individual has different physical abilities and fitness levels, so it is best to start off slow. Being somewhat active is better than not being active at all.

Singaporean older adults should aim to stay active for a minimum of 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise each day. This doesn’t mean that you should complete your exercise sessions in one go, but you can divide them into three ten-minute slots.

Doing so will help you in the following ways:

Disease Prevention

Active ageing can prevent you from succumbing to numerous widespread diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Physical exercise enhances the overall immune system, which is crucial for seniors as their immunity is often compromised.

Better Mental Health

Physical activity is not just great for the body, but also the mind. Regular exercise sessions can produce endorphins, which is the hormone associated with a good mood. Plus, it helps improve your sleeping patterns, which is ideal for insomniacs and people with poor sleeping patterns.

Lower Risk of Injuries

Senior members are more prone to injuries and falls, which can be potentially dangerous for their independence. Exercise sessions can improve flexibility and strength, which then helps retain coordination and balance. It is especially hard for older people to recover from injuries, which is why it’s important to avoid them at all costs.

Increased Social Support

Being active as you age is also excellent for keeping you socially engaged. Whether you have joined a walking club, a fitness group, or gardening classes, you will make new friends. Similarly, maintaining relationships is crucial for aging adults since it helps them overcome loneliness and depression. Make sure to find an exercise that you love, then stick to it. This way, physical activities will never feel like a chore again.

Enhanced Cognitive Abilities

Consistent exercise can improve your motor skills and consequently benefit your cognitive health. Numerous studies show that exercise lowers the risk of dementia and improves a person’s cognitive skills.

Why active ageing is important?

Active ageing is important since it improves your quality of life, promotes healthy living, and lets seniors age gracefully. By combining healthy diet choices with exercise, seniors can maintain their independence and cruise through their golden age smoothly.

From a healthcare perspective, a lot of elderly Singaporeans have different physical limitations that prevent them from carrying out daily life functions. Physical activity can boost seniors’ overall health, which allows them to live life to the fullest.

Disease Prevention

Active ageing can prevent you from succumbing to numerous widespread diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Physical exercise enhances the overall immune system, which is crucial for seniors as their immunity is often compromised.

Better Mental Health

Physical activity is not just great for the body, but also the mind.

Regular exercise sessions can produce endorphins, which is the hormone associated with a good mood.

Plus, it helps improve your sleeping patterns, which is ideal for insomniacs and people with poor sleeping patterns.

Lower Risk of Injuries

Senior members are more prone to injuries and falls, which can be potentially dangerous for their independence.

Exercise sessions can improve flexibility and strength, which then helps retain coordination and balance.

It is especially hard for older people to recover from injuries, which is why it’s important to avoid them at all costs.

Increased Social Support

Being active as you age is also excellent for keeping you socially engaged. Whether you have joined a walking club, a fitness group, or gardening classes, you will make new friends.

Similarly, maintaining relationships is crucial for aging adults since it helps them overcome loneliness and depression.

Make sure to find an exercise that you love, then stick to it.

This way, physical activities will never feel like a chore again.

Enhanced Cognitive Abilities

Consistent exercise can improve your motor skills and consequently benefit your cognitive health.

Numerous studies show that exercise lowers the risk of dementia and improves a person’s cognitive skills.

Why active ageing is important?

Active ageing is important since it improves your quality of life, promotes healthy living, and lets seniors age gracefully.

By combining healthy diet choices with exercise, seniors can maintain their independence and cruise through their golden age smoothly.

From a healthcare perspective, a lot of elderly Singaporeans have different physical limitations that prevent them from carrying out daily life functions.

Physical activity can boost seniors’ overall health, which allows them to live life to the fullest.

How Do You Promote Active Ageing?

Active ageing is a holistic approach that involves different lifestyle choices for better living.

It includes physical fitness, social interactions, and better awareness about health aspects such as sleep and nutrition.

Here are some of the ways to increase active ageing.

Go For Walks

Studies suggest that people who exercised for 30 minutes every day reduced their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 25%. This can include any type of physical exercise, be it walking, running, gardening or cardio.

Take Part in Social Activities

Seniors that socialized more often than those who didn’t were shown to be happier and enjoy a better quality of life. Lack of social interaction can increase blood pressure levels, disrupt sleep patterns, and induce anxiety. All these factors can potentially contribute to a person’s premature death.

There are numerous things you can do with community partners. These involve learning a new language, participating in intergenerational activities, and doing game nights. You can watch live demonstrations of healthy cooking classes or learn new skills in group settings.

Be Positive

A Yale study found that older people who were more optimistic about ageing lived over 7 years longer than those who were not.

This shows the importance of keeping a positive attitude towards this natural and inevitable phenomenon.

Practice meditation and mindfulness whenever you are feeling pessimistic or overwhelmed since that can help immensely.

How To Stay Active As You Age?

Active ageing is extremely beneficial for senior members of society. For that, it is important to stay active. If you are someone who wasn’t physically fit before, start off slow.

Begin by doing only 5 minutes of exercise every day and gradually increase the time limit. Choose aerobic activities that increase your heart rate. These can include dancing, swimming, brisk walking, boxing or even raking leaves. Aim for a minimum of 2.5 hours every week for aerobic exercises.

Besides that, muscle-strengthening exercises are also important as you age. Try using dumbells or an exercise band and set aside 2 days of the week for muscle training. You can allot 30 minutes or less each day, depending on your abilities.

Last but not least, perform balance exercises. Practice standing on one foot and take the support of a chair if you are starting out. You can also upgrade to learning tai chi, which is a mind-body exercise for improving balance. Joining yoga classes can also help. Sign up for a class or simply watch videos on the internet and follow along.

The Best Tips for Healthy Ageing

We know that it’s not just about living longer. Rather, it’s about living healthier and happier for a long time as you grow older. The tips below are designed to help you pursue active ageing and promote good health.

Watch Your Food Intake

This may seem like a no-brainer, but having a balanced diet is critical for maintaining your overall health.

An ideal diet should contain lots of fruits and greens, whole grains, fish oil, and fiber.

Low quantities of lean meat and low-fat dairy are also recommended. On top of that, lots of water consumption is also necessary to stay hydrated.

Fresh fruit juice, green tea, and black coffee can also help you stay hydrated, but shouldn’t be heavily relied upon.

Avoid sugary and carbonated drinks at all costs.

Pay Attention to Oral Health

Brushing your teeth twice and flossing on a regular basis is fundamental for basic oral hygiene.

In addition, getting regular dental checkups will minimize the chance of serious problems like gum disease.

Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation

Even if you are practicing healthy living by eating right, you might still have some internal deficiencies.

Vitamin D deficiency is especially common amongst the adult population and can cause bone issues, cognitive problems, and heart disease.

To improve your heart health and psychological well-being, get your dose of vitamin D.

You can get outside and get some sunshine for at least 20 minutes a day or take vitamin supplements.

You should also get properly examined by a doctor and see what other mineral and nutrient deficiencies you might have.

You can then supplement those deficiencies with a doctor’s prescription.

Take Care of Mental Health

For a healthy lifestyle, ensuring optimal physical and mental functioning is extremely important.

After all, being happy, stress-free, and fulfilled goes a long way in promoting active ageing. There are different ways to do so, and these include:

  • Spend time with friends and family. Developing meaningful relationships with the people you love can drastically improve your quality of life. It helps reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and put you in a better mood.

  • Take part in different community activities and volunteer opportunities. Taking the time out to indulge in activities that give back to the community helps empower seniors as they feel more fulfilled. Spend time making community partners so you can improve your social health and also enjoy life.

  • Accept your age. Evidence from a qualitative study suggests that people who maintain a positive attitude about ageing live longer and recover better. Ageing is unavoidable, and once you learn how to embrace it, life becomes a lot easier.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Good sleep is important for optimum health outcomes. Adults above the age of 18 should aim for a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep. This will help improve your heart health and reduce the risk of stroke, obesity, stress, and depression.

Pursue New Hobbies

Finding new and meaningful hobbies is important for healthy living and active ageing. They give you a sense of purpose, help you stay active, and enable you to lead a fulfilling life. Seniors who participate in fruitful hobbies are known to stay happier, experience less depression, and live longer.

Active Ageing Programmes

Active Ageing Programmes encourage older people to stay healthy, keep their minds active, and increase social engagement. Older adults can join such programs to broaden their community network, make new friends, and stay socially active.

There are different types of active ageing programs that focus on different health aspects of elderly people. These include healthy eating, physical activity, healthy living, health education, and improving the overall quality of life.

Examples include:

Group Exercise Sessions

This active ageing program allows seniors to learn a range of different exercises, including Zumba, stretch band exercises, and Pilates. Staying active is crucial for successful ageing as it improves cognitive functioning and life expectancy.

Health Workshops

Through different fun workshops, older citizens can learn about nutrition and food. This helps them maintain good health once they start making healthier lifestyle choices. They can indulge in healthy cooking classes to prepare healthy dishes and wow the other seniors as well.

Social Activities

Seniors can stay actively engaged, learn new skills, and get regular exercise through different social activities. These can include organized hiking trips, card games, and Karaoke.

Conclusion

Active ageing is one of the pillars of ensuring the long-term health of Singapore’s ageing population. Government agencies should focus on this part of public health more and invest in advanced community care programs.

Ageing is inevitable, but with the right practices and lifestyle choices, it can be done right. If a beloved friend or family member is in need of quality and affordable home care that will level up their physical and mental wellbeing, consult the experts at Home Instead.

With our free and zero-obligation consultation, you can familiarize yourself with what we have to offer in terms of active ageing services for the elderly.

For more information, tips and guidance, get in touch with us today!

References

  1. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/physical-activity-for-seniors
  2. https://thegreenfields.org/5-benefits-exercise-seniors-aging-adults/
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1112943/singapore-elderly-share-of-resident-population/#:~:text=In%202020%2C%20residents%20aged%2065,total%20resident%20population%20in%20Singapore.
  4. https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/66B/6/675/588906