Aging as a Whole is a Vicious Cycle
Whenever anyone seems to be aging so badly that signs of senility, feebleness, and disability are present, it’s important to investigate their lifestyle.
Problems crop up in a person’s daily routine that are too often ignored, especially when they are only “showing their age.” It is estimated that between a third and half of senility cases result from the following treatable factors: Malnutrition, side effects from drugs, smoking, alcohol abuse, dehydration, depression, inactivity.
All these factors begin in awareness, stemming either from neglect or from habit. Alone or in combination, any of these factors can dramatically affect how a person looks and acts.
Not drinking enough water every day is one of the most common conditions in old age, chronic dehydration being a major cause of preventable aging. It is an avoidable complication that leads to many problems.
The ultimate solution doesn’t lie with medicine but with personal change. People in nursing homes improve remarkably after altering their lives in the simplest ways–giving them a potted plant to tend, allowing them to make up their own menus and take charge of tidying their rooms. These people regain a sense of usefulness and worth.
Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).