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Maintaining Health Among The Elderly

September 14, 2017

 

Certain physiological changes are destined to occur as a part of normal ageing process and they affect the overall health and abilities of an individual. Certain diseases are more prevalent among elderly populations such as arthritis, osteoporosis, cognitive abnormalities, psychological dysfunction, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases etc. Mental health especially, is greatly influenced by the psycho-social factors faced by people aged 60 or above. However, all the detrimental changes that could badly affect health in this age group are not incorrigible. Apt preventive measures as part of home care can help prolong longevity and health.

 

Geriatrics is a sub-specialty of medicine that is dedicated to the health and care of seniors. Geriatricians are the trained physicians who specialize in this field and are known to provide premium quality health services exclusive to old aged. As a part of self-care, it is recommended that a consultation with a geriatrician should be sought by seniors. Necessary screening tests can help identify the presence of diseases at an early stage when it can be managed effectively. Similarly, factors such as inadequate treatment or no treatment at all can worsen your disease which can both be evaded through a consultation.

 

Senior health risks can successfully be dodged by making healthy lifestyle choices. The prime focus in seniors is sometimes just to successfully manage chronic diseases and thus live longer. Challenges that are faced by elders as a part of aging should be recognized both by the seniors and the caregivers and relevant measures should be done to get the healthy outcomes. Simple yet effective steps to maintain good health among seniors include the following:

 

Dietary modifications:

 

Diet alone can provide astonishing results while maintaining health. Take only required amount of calories to prevent obesity which is a common problem among seniors. Diet has an essential role in the management of certain diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Low glycemic diet and Very low calorie diets are few of the best diets recommended for people with diabetes. Naturopathy instructs that you should take meals that are low in saturated fat, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. Limit intake of sugars and starchy foods and increase fiber content in your food.

 

Weight Reduction:

 

Overweight and obese people are at greater risk for a variety of medical conditions including grave cardiovascular problems. Research shows that reducing as little as 5 to 10% of body weight has significant impact on managing obesity related diseases. Normal BMI is a predictor of optimum health especially among elderly.

 

Regular Physical Activity:

 

Regular exercise can play an essential role in augmenting health among seniors. It is recommended that the elders should engage in at least 30 min per day and five days a week of physical activity such as cycling, swimming, or brisk walking etc. Consistent exercise can help prevent and manage chronic diseases. Exercise also exerts a positive influence on mood and memory.

 

Safety precautions:

 

Elderly patients should adopt general safety precautions at home. To avoid falls and injuries, people with functional disabilities should use walking aids and the walking surface should also be modified by the caregivers or family members. Similarly, hearing aids should be used in people with hearing disabilities. Adequate sleep, compliance to medication,  proper lighting at home, driving with care and hiring a caregiver if necessary, are all essential measures that should be taken by people of older age groups.

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