EXERCISE YOUR MIND
Like your muscles, your brain atrophies with disuse. Senility is six times greater in old folk who withdraw from people and from life.
WATCH YOUR EYES
Old age usually affects eyesight and hearing. But in poor countries curable eye and ear infections can cause much greater disability. The answer is a health system offering effective diagnosis and referral.
Malnutrition causes half a billion deaths annually. But obesity helps Kill 50% of people in industrial countries by putting pressure on heart and joints, causing heart disease, strokes and arthritis. There are very few fat 80-year olds.
Stress increases blood pressure. Depression makes you apathetic. Both contribute to heart disease. Lonely old people have a 50% higher death rate than married couples.
Every cigarette you smoke shortens your life by 5 1/2 minutes.
The surest way to live longer is to be born in a rich country. A clean, warm home, safe water and a full stomach all reduce vulnerability to infectious diseases.
Too much rest can kill you — by making your circulation sluggish and your muscles weak. Just one year of exercise can make a 70-year old as fit as a person of 40.
If your needs and abilities are not respected or taken seriously— complain. The best person to fight for better housing, employment and health care is you.