Tips for Ageing Well in Paradise — For those looking for a foreign destination to retire, Bali is one of the top 10 best places worldwide to live, a ranking wedged between Bled, Slovenia and Cascais, Portugal.
At BIMC we witness firsthand just how popular Bali has become for a growing number of international retirees, many seeking medical treatments and advice on healthy living and longevity.
Here’s what we routinely recommend for a healthy lifestyle:
Eat Whole Foods
It’s more a way of eating than a formal diet. You load up on veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy. You eat less fatty meats, butter, sugar, salt, and packaged foods. Many studies have found that this diet can help you live longer and protects against heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Walk, Jog, Run
There are plenty of fun runs in Nusa Dua and elsewhere on the island and a variety of light hiking options around Bedugal and beyond. Aim for 30 minutes every day. No surprise research suggests aerobic exercise may delay or improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Other tips are obvious but let us remind you that you need to control your weight, boost your mental outlook, keep bones and muscles strong all of which helps you sleep better and reduce your chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Screening and tests
There are some examinations that everyone should undergo on an annual basis. Depending on the specific markers and symptoms you may be exhibiting as you age, having a year to year baseline to compare your numbers is of great benefit for your BIMC doctor.
Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure will be routinely checked during every visit to your BIMC doctor. Checking it at your yearly screening will set a baseline. But don’t wait an entire year to visit us and consider a home monitor.
Height: Significant loss of height can indicate the acceleration of osteoporosis. Height is lost as a result of compression of the spinal cord.
Weight: Significant weight loss or gain without trying can signify serious health problems. Weight gain can mean fluid retention or perhaps heart, liver, or kidney disease. Weight loss could indicate infection or cancer.
Blood Work: Yearly blood work should include a blood count to rule out any bleeding problems, glucose levels to detect diabetes, thyroid function tests to rule out any thyroid disorder, and blood electrolyte counts, which can detect kidney problems and early heart problems.
EKG: It is recommended that a baseline EKG be done for both men and women around age 50. It should then be done at least every two to three years, or more often if necessary.
Fecal Occult Blood Test: This test should also be done yearly. Blood in the stool can be an early indication of colorectal cancer.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy/Colonoscopy: The recommendation is that a sigmoidoscopy is done every four years or a colonoscopy every two years for anyone with a higher risk of colorectal cancer.
Tests for Women
Mammogram: Women over 50 should have regular screening, and many experts believe that routine mammograms should begin at age 40. Women between 40 and 50 should discuss the pros and cons of regular screening mammograms with their BIMC doctors.
During the checkup, the doctor should perform a clinical breast exam. Monthly self-breast exams should also be done, and you can be taught this technique during your yearly checkup.
Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam: This test should be done every three years, or yearly if at higher risk for cervical or vaginal cancer.
Measurement of Bone Mass: There is no standard for frequency of this exam. Women with a family or personal history that puts them at higher risk for osteoporosis should have this test.
Tests for Men
Prostate Exam: Staring at age 50, a man should have a digital exam of his prostate. The physician uses a gloved finger in the rectum to determine if there is any enlargement of the prostate. Enlargement could indicate benign enlargement or even cancer.
Whether you are a long time retired resident or newly retired in one of our Bali communities, we urge you to come and see us for a comprehensive medical check that includes cardiac screening at BIMC Siloam Nusa Dua.