New online portal dispels health myths for seniors

National Seniors’ new online resource launched today aims to help older people stay healthier as they age.

The Healthy Ageing Hub links users to information on ways to deal with chronic health conditions and pathways to a healthier lifestyle, based on the latest scientific research from Australia and around the world.

National Seniors Research Director Professor John McCallum said a lot of information about healthy ageing was available online but too often it required registration or paywalls, making it difficult for the average person to find the credible information they needed.

As well, a lot of ‘misinformation’ online could encourage people to follow fads or be conned into buying ‘instant fixes’.

“What we are aiming to do is to help older people stay as healthy as they can for as long as they can,” Professor McCallum said.

“To age well, they need to cut what’s called their ‘disease burden’, which reflects the number of years of life lost to premature death, as well as years lost to disability and the inability to perform everyday functions independently.

“You cannot always rely on the first page that comes up on a Google search.”

The Healthy Ageing Hub provides users with a wide range of fast facts, from how much calcium they should be consuming to the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and what is the recommended level of physical activity for their age group.

But it doesn’t stop at ‘getting physical’.

“A lot of people think that maintaining an active social life is just an ‘optional extra’ as you age,” Prof. McCallum said.

“But there’s a lot of scientific evidence to link a good social life with positive thinking and as a real support in times of stress and emotional problems.

“In the same way, keeping your brain active is not only rewarding but can also help ward off dementia.

“There are no real rules as to what you should do to stay mentally active – just as long as you find an activity challenging and engaging. The old saying that you are never too old to learn is true. It may even lead to new friendships with people who share the same interests.”

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