Aging is part of the processes of the cycle of life, and although we tend to relegate it to the last stage, in reality, it begins after 30 years, without our being able to notice it.
“It’s a cellular agingwho does not have a certain symptomatology, but every ten years there is a 10% drop in functions”, explains Dr. Carmen Sucre, specialist in Memory center for geriatric specialties.
However, the difference is slow or rapid aging, and it will depend on the diseases that lead to changes in the body, environment, public health systems and personal lifestyle, whether it has been organized or disorganized.
If chronic diseases are controlled with good treatment, proper diet and exercise, the patient can be diabetic and live to be 100 years old. “But if I’m diabetic and I don’t have a good health system or my awareness of the disease isn’t clear, it ends accelerated deterioration or death“says the doctor.
Geriatrics, explains Dr. Sucre, is a relatively new specialty, dating back to the 19th century, due to advances in health that have allowed the world’s population to have a longer life expectancy. It is also one of the four spheres involved in the health of the aging adult, along with the social sphere, autonomy and physical functionality and mental health.
“The important thing is to emphasize that aging is a dignified process, not a terminal stage in which you no longer serve or must isolate yourself. (From the age of 65) it’s an age where you are more sensitive, you value life, the simple things that you don’t see in youth, values, family time”.
Sucre offers preventive geriatrics, which people from the age of 40 begin to take care of to healthy, successful and dignified aging, “which happens by walking and speaking well, stable, making decisions; and if I have a degenerative disease, knowing that when I was healthy I decided on this disease, and that my family is aware”.
The geriatrician explains that in this area we work as a team, due to the different complications that elderly patients have, not only health, but also social. “The problem could be loneliness, abandonment, that he has stopped walking because he has no one to visit him and he is depressed…”, or for the same reasons he has stopped eating and is malnourished.
The keys to dignified ageing, in addition to a healthy lifestyle, are in the company, but also in study and learn something new, fun and recreational, get away from what has been done all his life. “We also talk about orienting ourselves in space and time every day.” Evaluate the ocular and auditory part. Get dental exams. Now there is odontogeriatrics, because the elderly need to keep their teeth until the end of their life or to use prostheses, to access an ideal diet.
“I also strongly recommend, when you’re older, to keep the spiritual part, so you have that peace of mind.” It is important that at this stage of life you can go to a center where you can receive stimulation and share with contemporaries.
The Memory Center (urb. La Joya) offers a long and short stay residence service, a day center and workshops to stay active in old age, through cognitive, psychomotor activities and rehabilitation exercises, which reduce deterioration. “Reactivation (since the pandemic) has been slow, with much fear on the part of patients due to the consequences of COVID-19, and with new protocols, because it is not just the coronavirus, but many other respiratory and dermatological diseases that affect this population. More information: 098-020-6949.
Colony for the Third Age (COTE)
Since this month, the Center for the Integration of Elderly People of the Pro Senex Foundation has been renamed Colony for the Third Age (COTE), in order to offer different laboratories, such as the singing coral And the one of Bodybuilding (from May 15).
In June, moreover, the Laboratory of Dance to remember. And since April the Laboratory of Participatory leisure.
“The laboratory comes from work. And these are restless laboratories, because older people are restless,” says Dr. Aldo Guevara D’Aniello, geriatrician and gerontologist.
Each module is developed with an instructor who gives work instructions during the meeting, establishing the objectives to be achieved by week, month and year. “The dance group, for example, aims for participants to join the Remember Dancing Group, which has existed for 26 years,” explains Guevara.
laboratory work 2 times a week at different times, so that if anyone wishes, they can attend two. The first requirement, says Dr. Guevara, is to be 60 or older. To find out more, you can call 234-6747 or 099-951-3229.
Medicinger, at the Interhospital
For those who are not yet used to the idea of being in large groups, a personalized or small group workshop it can be a good way to start socializing and stay active.
Medicenger offers workshops on different topics (now they deal with memory), either individually or for two or three participants. Soon they’ll be talking on the care of patients with Alzheimer’s diseasein a workshop for the family: how to feed them, how to care for them, how to distribute the hours of sleep, explains the internist and geriatrician Gabriela Altamirano Vergara.
Each activity lasts approximately 2 hours, begins with a physical activity and continues with exercises to strengthen memory, improve attention, orientation and perception. “When the patient arrives, it is done cognitive test, a quick and easy test. The idea is to make a scale for evaluating cognitive disorders, and to serve as a reference to continue to evaluate and ensure that this score improves or is maintained”.
Explain to the patient why you are doing this and the importance of be accompanied by a carer, who will attend the exercises. The patient receives printed material, with which he will work during the week. “When you finish this material, you come back to new assessment, new work and new content.” Dr. Altamirano explains that many times relatives need urgent advice to care for their parents or grandparents, and for this reason they should be included in programs for the elderly. Telephones: 096-985-7615.
Club Mitra 60, face-to-face and online
Mitra 60+ is a leisure club created for the integral well-being of the elderly with specialized activities, in a single space, with a multidisciplinary team of professionals.
“Our face-to-face programs are in Quito Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and cumbaya Mondays and Wednesdays from 09:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,” explains the director, María José Ollague. But there is also Mitra online, with live workshops via Zoom.
Students learn chair yoga, zumba gold, arts and crafts, active mind, dance and movement therapy, choir, and hold workshops with special guests, as well as celebrations throughout year round.
Mitra operated as a virtual-only space during the pandemic and has now reopened its face-to-face venues. “The happiness of reuniting is infinitesaid Ollague. “Some come with depression, and the change is immediate. They are motivated again and I have seen the need for a social space more than ever”. Information: 099-523-1502. (F)