Tag: over65

Grandparents: the pillars of the family

Among the various social groups with which we interact daily, the family is perhaps that which is changing the most: social progress, economic dynamics, and increasingly fluid sentimental bonds are resulting in constantly changing family structures.

Due to these factors, mothers today are not always able to constantly look after their children. This is where grandparents come into play: the new pillars of the family.

The grandparents’ role

In a society where both parents work, who takes care of the children’s needs? Many couples are able to rely on grandparents.

Grandparents are usually already retired. They’ve lived full lives: they’ve worked, perhaps they’ve travelled… and they often don’t know what to do with all their free time. So taking care of a grandchild is a pleasure.

It’s not uncommon to see grandparents accompanying children to and from school, or taking them to afternoon activities. Grandmothers often spoil their grandchildren with excellent food, much to their delight!

It’s also a well-known fact that, after having been strict with their own children, grandparents tend to be more lenient with their grandchildren: guess who buys more toys?

Playing with grandchildren

Playing with grandchildren is fun for both the grandparents and the children alike.

Think of a grandfather at the park with his grandson: chasing around a lively toddler is a great way to keep in shape! Being immersed by greenery, a park is also an excellent place to take in some fresh air. While the child is occupied with the playground equipment, the grandfather can sit down on a nearby bench and read a good book.

There are also various playtime activities in which both can engage at home: for example, in order to keep their minds sharp, grandparents can teach their grandchildren how to play chess.

Grandmothers can teach their more creative grandchildren how to use seeds to create original designs. For smaller grandchildren there are numerous memory games to help them learn the alphabet, colours, numbers, animals… and much more!

Not to mention classic board games, to be played in groups. After all, who’s never played Monopoly?

When grandchildren get older, grandparents can help them develop a greater sense of civic awareness: after all, who understand the importance of reducing waste better than a Grandfather? Perhaps with the help of the internet, grandparents and grandchildren can even discover how to build creative things using recycled materials!

There’s never a dull moment

As we have seen, taking care of grandchildren can be a great way to stay youthful and active.

It gives grandparents the opportunity to rediscover the joy of playing and having fun, as if they were “kids” again: every day becomes a new discovery for everyone.

The parents can have peace of mind, while the grandparents and the grandchildren play: that’s the new balance in the Italian family!

Over 65 – Sports and health

Engaging in sports is beneficial at any age: it helps to maintain physical and mental health, thus improving and prolonging life. Engaging in regular physical activity over long periods of time helps to prevent many diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.

Engaging in sports regularly helps us keep in shape and looking great. But there are also many other important reasons to stay fit: stronger muscles and bones with respect to a sedentary person; a more efficient cardio-respiratory tract and greater stamina.

Thanks to a greater awareness of the benefits of constant physical activity, the number of people with gym memberships is on the rise. It’s also increasingly common to see people jogging or cycling outdoors.

An overview of people over 65 and sports

Despite the increasing awareness among young people of the benefits offered by sports, the situation among the elderly is lagging: just 15% of people over 65 engage in sports more than once a week.

Most elderly people go out for a pleasant walk around their homes almost daily. Some dedicate themselves to outdoor activities like gardening. This is already a good start: in fact, a little bit of daily movement provides for the following benefits:

  • Increased blood flow to the brain
  • Improved respiratory function
  • Numerous heart benefits, including better blood circulation to the body’s tissues
  • Walking is also good for the bones, as it helps them to maintain better density over time, without becoming fragile

All of these benefits are even further increased if the elderly person dedicates him/herself to a regular sports activity, in consultation with a physician, and monitored by a good instructor.

Which sports

Engaging in regular physical activity is the most effective anti-ageing factor for maintaining physical and mental health over time. For people over 65, it is highly recommended to engage in a regular sports activity: now let’s take a look at the exercises most highly recommended for people in their golden years:

  • Fit walkingwalking briskly outdoors. Recommended for everyone as a way to keep in shape, it’s good for the cardio-respiratory system, increases bone density, and tones the muscles.
  • Water aerobics: particularly recommended for those who are advised to engage in physical activity, but without overloading the hips and knees due to back painobesity or joint problems in the legs. Improves blood circulation and promotes muscular and psychological relaxation.
  • Pilates: with its smooth, controlled, and harmonious movements, this gentle form of exercise is particularly recommended for elderly people as a way to tone up the abdominal, lumbar and dorsal muscles.

A wide range of benefits

As we have seen, there are various physical activities suitable for people over 65. All of them play the fundamental physical role of preventing numerous diseases.

However, the psychological aspect should not be overlooked: in fact, sports also play a social function, and help to fight loneliness among the elderly.

It is also important to consider the level of independence achieved by elderly people with fit bodies: being capable of carrying your shopping bags on your own is a goal that not all people over 65 are able to achieve!

So don’t wait: if you want to achieve excellent results throughout each phase of your life, now’s the time to take up a sport.

Travelling during your golden years

trip can have many nuances: it can be an adventure, it can be relaxing, it can be a means for socialising and meeting people, or it can be an opportunity for fun and cultural enrichment.

Anyone, at any time of their life, can find the trip that’s right for them. This is also true for people over 65.

Travel agencies are increasingly dedicating more attention to this age group: nowadays, in fact, people who are over-65 are typically retired, and therefore have a lot of free time on their hands, which they often take advantage of in order to take all the trips that they couldn’t take when they were young.

Recommended vacations

The classic type of vacation that more or less all retirees tend to enjoy involves spending time at spa: that’s because these types of vacations combine relaxation with a wide range of personal wellness treatments and rehabilitation activities. Thanks to special packages for people over-65, spa vacations are becoming increasingly accessible to everyone.

The free time that people have during retirement can also be exploited for trips around the world, in order to visit exotic countries and learn about different cultures. One can travel by plane, but ships are also recommended: why not pamper yourself on a cruise?

Another type of vacation that the elderly might enjoy consists of food and wine tourism. Visiting never before seen Italian cities, while enjoying traditional foods and sampling extraordinary wines: ideal for connoisseurs of excellent cuisine!

Special discounts

Thanks to the considerable increase in tourism among the over-65 age group, numerous transport companies and accommodation facilities are offering special discounts for this category.

  • Trains: the main Italian and international railway transport companies offer special prices on their High Speed lines. A useful way to incentivise this kind of environmentally-friendly travel.
  • Museums: all the most popular places of cultural interest now offer special discounts for the elderly. This is an excellent way to stimulate people from this age group to keep their passion for culture alive. Did you know that you can often get additional discounts on museum admissions if you purchase them together with train tickets?

Travelling to stay young

Travelling has become an elixir for longevity. Travelling stimulates our curiosity, and allows us to discover and learn about new places, thus keeping the brain active.

For people over 65, travelling has become a way to turn back the clock to a time when they might have been too busy to travel, and to dedicate themselves entirely to their passions.

Cultivate your interests, stay active, give yourself the gift of a trip dedicated to your own personal wellness, enjoy excellent food and wine, and dedicate yourself to cultural tourism to never stop learning. Life after 65 can still have many surprises in store: don’t miss out on them!

Food helps to keep you in shape

As the philosopher Feuerbach once said, “you are what you eat.” Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there’s a strong link between diet and health.

Eating various types of foods, sparingly, and several times a day helps us to live longer, and helps prevent diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

The false claims about food

Countless new diets are proposed each year. Many of these are based on the complete elimination of one or more categories of nutrients deemed to be “bad for you”:

  • Carbohydrates: these are often the first to be put on trial, accused of making us fat. The truth, however, is that people obtain energy precisely by burning carbohydrates. Therefore, they shouldn’t be eliminated entirely, but we should however reduce our consumption of sweets and alcohol in favour of whole grains.
  • Animal protein and red meat: the results of a research study indicating that red meat is carcinogenic have recently been making the rounds. The truth, however, isn’t quite that simple: red meat can potentially cause cancer if consumed in excessive amounts and if associated with other risk factors. Animal proteins should not be eliminate at all costs, as this would pose a risk of serious nutritional deficiencies. Our consumption of red meat, however, should be limited to less than once a week.

The Mediterranean diet: tradition and health

The Mediterranean diet is both a culinary style and a lifestyle. In fact, it is considered an extremely important element of historical and cultural heritage. This type of diet is widespread among most of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Morocco. This diet is ideal for preventing arteriosclerosis, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer, especially of the digestive system.

The food pyramid for the Mediterranean diet is as follows:

  • Carbohydrates are permitted, so bread and pasta are allowed, though preferably whole grain. These should constitute the base of the diet.
  • Large amounts of fruitsvegetables and legumes are recommended. These foods contain vitaminsproteins, and fibres, which promote bowel motility. It is recommended to consume multiple portions of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is considered the condiment par excellence. Milk and dairy products can be consumed daily, but no more than once a day.
  • Fish and eggs are permitted, as they are low in fat and provide for the intake of animal proteins.
  • It is preferable to consume white meat than red meat. White meat can be eaten 2 or 3 times a week, red meat less frequently.
  • Limit the consumption of sweets and hard alcohol
  • One glass of red wine, which is rich in antioxidants, is permitted each day.

Due to its wide variety and health benefits, the Mediterranean diet has been added to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list.

The Sardinia of the supercentenarians

In Italy, there is one particular geographical area with a high density of elderly people: Sardinia.

In fact, this region, together with the Japanese island of Okinawa, boasts the highest percentage of supercentenarians.

What are the secrets to the Sardinian people’s longevity? The genetic factor certainly has something to do with it, as does the microclimate and the greater level of physical activity among the elderly residents, who remain active in cultivating the land and raising animals.

This guarantees the consumption of high quality food. In fact, according to recent studies, Sardinian wine appears to contain large amounts of antioxidants. According to ongoing research, Sardinian cheeses have bacilli with evident probiotic activity.

Pane, casu and binu a rasu” (bread, cheese and full glass of wine): that’s the recipe for living a good long life, according the Sardinians!

Exercise your mind

Thanks to medical advancements, people are living considerably longer nowadays. That’s why it’s important to reach your golden years with a youthful and well-trained mind, and to do everything you can to keep in shape.

The mind is like a “muscle”: if you don’t keep it well-trained, it will eventually lose its strength.

Some people live to 90 years of age with a perfectly clear mind, while others begin to show early signs of dementia as early as 65 or 70.

In addition to having a natural genetic predisposition, let’s take a look at some other ways to keep your mind well-trained!

Lifestyle

It might seem trivial, but changing certain lifestyle habits can have an extremely positive effect on the brain. There are several activities that are seemingly unrelated to the brain, yet impact it in a positive way: let’s find out what they are!

  • Regular physical activity. Taking a long walk every day (at least half an hour) increases the delivery of oxygen to the brain. Aerobic activities, like cycling and running, help to protect the hippocampi, which are responsible for the formation and maintenance of the memory.
  • Engaging in our passions. There are numerous group activities that help to keep the brain active: travelling, go out dancing, playing lawn bowling, fishing, and gardening are all activities that encourage social interaction and keep the mind young.
  • Sleeping well (which doesn’t mean sleeping a lot): some people just a few hours of sleep to feel well-rested. With quality sleep (regardless of the number of hours), the mind will be fresh and rested.
  • Mediterranean diet. This consists of a varied and well-balanced diet, low in fat and free radicals. Excessively large meals are not recommended. Did you know that two shots of espresso per day help to keep the brain young?

Mental exercises

Now let’s move on to the specific exercises designed to keep the mind well-trained. While there’s no need to attempt impossible puzzles, “difficult” games can certainly be more stimulating. Whatever the case, a series of exercises suitable for everyone are listed below:

  • Puzzles: A book of puzzles is an excellent way to exercise your brain. Some scholars argue that two crossword puzzles a day can delay the onset of dementia. Other games, especially riddles, can also be beneficial.
  • Chess: this complex and stimulating game requires a great deal of concentration. Every match is different, and this requires the players to continuously seek out different solutions. This in turn will have a positive impact on memory and mental clarity!
  • Counting down. Here’s a challenging maths game: starting from a high number, continue subtracting a fixed number, and try to increase your speed.
  • Reading: Reading a newspaper every day, from start to finish, stimulates brain activity. Reading a book is also good for this purpose, especially if it’s a mystery: investigating the plot alongside the protagonist is a good way to stimulate brain activity.

Don’t stop there!

It’s important to constantly seek out new stimuli in order to keep your mind well-trained.

Solitude, laziness, and boredom are enemies of the brain!

Enjoy the company of friends and family as much as possible, indulge your passions and hobbies, eat properly, and sleep well: this is the best formula for reaching your golden years with a mind that’s still fresh and dynamic!

Vimec Accessibility L.T.D. Suite 56 Basepoint Business Centre | Caxton Close | Andover Hampshire SP10 3FG Registrar of Company for England and Wales n° 05967788 Headquarters: Vimec s.r.l. | Via Parri, 7 - 42045 Luzzara (RE) - Italy - Tel. +39 0522 970666, Fax +39 0522 970677 - Ust-ID-Nr.: 00758850358

© Vimec. All rights reserved.

Contact Us

Contact Us

We would like to hear from you. Please send us a message by filling out the form below and we will get back with you shortly.

What do you need?
Select the product or products in which you are interested

It seems that you are not in UK.
Are you shure you want to visit the UK website?
Click on the "no button" to visit the international site in English.