Ogungbo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that most diseases in our mothers and fathers may be prevented or at least slowed down as a result of a healthy lifestyle.
“Osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressures, diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, depression and certain cancers are some of the common conditions that can affect the elderly.
“We have enough technology and enough sense of not to be sick again.
“In addition to diet and exercise, other important life style modifications can lead a healthier life in elderly,’’ he said.
Ogungbo said the worst thing was for someone to spend his or her live working to bring up and provide for the family, then at the time to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labour, die or fall sick with some illness.
He said there were some social factors that are likely to be responsible for many of the problems of the elderly in the community, including loneliness from losing a spouse or friends and inability to independently manage regular activities of living.
“They include social factors for the elderly, difficulty coping and accepting physical changes of aging, frustration with on-going medical problems and increasing number of medications.
“Others include social isolation as adult, children are engaged in their own lives, feeling inadequate from inability to continue to work, boredom from retirement and lack of routine activities, financial stresses from the loss of regular income,’’ Ogungbo said.
He said these social factors can have negative impact on the overall health of an older individual like cancer, arthritis, alzheimer’s disease, stroke and heart attacks, while sudden death are more common in the elderly above 50 years of age.
Ogungbo said some suffer from ill-health seemingly soon as they retire from active service from 50 to 60 years of age.
“In Nigeria, that means many who were employed in the civil service and without much in their savings or a credible pension when ill-health occurs, they rely on friends and family, especially the children to look after them.
“Yet, these children may not really be in a position to pay for expensive treatment for their loved ones. As they also have children, mortgages and rents, bills and lives to live,’’ he said.
Ogungbo said to prevent some of the health challenges of the elderly; balanced diet and participation in regular exercise are paramount in maintaining a healthy life for people of all ages.
However, he advised that the elderly should get rid of bad eating habits and eat more fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, plenty of water and exercise.
“The elderly should eat well, make their own supplements and stay off sugar. Sugar is a deadly metabolic poison. It reduces immunity and feeds cancer,’’ the expert warned.
He advised the elderly to beware of the side effects of drugs and drug interactions including over-the-counter drugs, herbals, and alternative medicine.
“To prevent ill health in your parents get them out of the house. Get them T-shirts, shorts and trainers and get them on the streets.
“Encourage them to go for walks and smell the outdoors; get your mother out and your father will follow. They should go out for walks and short exercises: breathing in deeply and relaxing the minds to clear out the stresses of life.
“Get your mother on the dance floor at home: dancing with you and the grand-children. This stimulates the mind, body and spirit encouraging blood floor to dormant parts of the body.
“Play games with your father especially card games, ‘Ayo’, chess and scrabble. Teach them Sudoku and so many other brain training games that are available as Apps online,’’ he said.
Ogungbo said with proper diet and exercising money would be saved in the future and probably live long enough to truly enjoy the fruits of their labour.