‘Healthspan’ matters more than lifespan

Recently I was reading about somebody’s experiences with dementia, when I came across the term “healthspan”. It gave me pause, because it is a very relevant concept. And the more I read, the more I realised it is exactly what Glenvale Villas looks after.

What is healthspan? Well, as it suggests, it is your span of health, which has a lot to do with your quality of life.

There is a lot of literature and focus on the increasing lifespan of our community, leading to all kinds of benefits and also problems. However, we also need to concentrate on increasing our healthspan in tandem with our lifespan. Most people would probably opt out of a life lived in illness, in favour of a healthier life with younger death.

So there’s the trick – keeping your healthspan in line with your lifespan. There is little advantage to living longer, if you cannot live that time enjoying life.

There are, of course, many elements to maintaining your health, and some ailments are to be expected as one crosses the bridge into maturity. A few aches, a few pains. That’s manageable.

But the bigger question is how do we deal with the larger issues as we get older? That’s where managing your healthspan becomes crucial to your quality of life.

At Glenvale Villas our entire focus is on preventative and continuous care. This means we continually monitor your health through our 24 hr care approach. It’s not invasive and doesn’t feel like a hospital system. Instead it’s done in the privacy of your own home at Glenvale Villas and can be as simple as a weekly check up by our registered nurse. The level of care depends on what you need.

But the important thing here is that we are managing your healthspan, to maximise your independence and quality of life.

After all, a healthy life is all we really want, no matter what age we are.

There are also some things you can do to manage your own health. “For older people, the main causes of death are heart disease, stroke and cancer.”

If these are the main criminals we need to avoid, how do we go about doing so?

Some recommendations are:

Heart disease: Avoid smoking. Eat well. Exercise.

Stroke: Get your blood pressure checked regularly. Avoid smoking. Avoid heart disease! Keep physically active. Eat well.

Cancer: Cancer Council Australia suggest the five pillars of prevention.

  1. Quit smoking
  2. Protect your skin from the sun
  3. Maintain healthy weight and diet
  4. Maintain a regular exercise plan
  5. Reduce alcohol intake

So, the answer seems to sing loud and clear.  Live your life in health by avoiding the things we all know to be detrimental to health.

It also makes sense to ensure you can manage the ailments, by placing yourself in a situation which doesn’t cause further deterioration and ensuring you have access to the right kind of care and help. Glenvale Villas is the perfect answer to that. The independence of a retirement village with the reassurance of 24 hr care if you need it.

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