The demographic structure across countries is witnessing tremendous changes. Studies suggest that by 2030, the percentage of people aged 65+ will be at least 24% in Europe and 12% in Asia & Latin America. By 2050, there will be at least 50 million elderly people in the US. The geriatric population now lives longer and healthier. This, however, should not deter us from ignoring their health care needs. Discussed below are some important health care tips for the elderly to make their lives better.
Healthy balanced diet with plenty of water
The importance of having a nutritional diet cannot be overlooked. Many diseases including heart attacks, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and diabetes can be easily prevented just by keeping a check on the diet. Elderly need to be given a good amount of vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D to keep their body healthy.
Also, having at least 7 to 8 glasses of water daily flushes toxins out of the body. Avoiding alcohol, sugary drinks, tea and coffee is also important. Make sure that their weight is kept under check. Go for the Kaiser Permanente BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator to know their weight in accordance with height.
Smoking is a strict No-No
The life of elderly can be substantially increased by helping them quit smoking. It causes life-threatening ailments like cancer, heart failure and strokes. Remember, smoking causes erectile dysfunction in men because of atherosclerosis. It also affects their skin elasticity leading to wrinkles.
Exercises are important
Regular exercise makes sure that the elderly in your room are fit & healthy. It improves their strength and balance too. Physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day helps prevent illnesses, reduce stress, and maintain a proper weight. Also, you can ask the elderly to go for guided meditations and yoga to further enhance their health. It helps bring in tranquillity and relaxes the mind, body & soul.
Frequent checkups & preventive screenings
The importance of regular check-ups cannot be undermined. Visit your family physician regularly to keep an eye on the overall health condition. Remember, early detection of any disease can save their life. Here’s what you should go for –
- Cholesterol check-ups to mitigate heart disease. It is the No. 1 cause of death among men and women.
- Women aged 50+ should go for an annual mammogram. Breast cancer is a life-threatening disease.
- Men should take the Prostate Specific Antigen Test.
- Annual Fecal-Occult Blood Tests are equally important. Go for a colonoscopy every 2 years and sigmoidoscopy every 4 years.
- Anyone aged 45+ should get the diabetes screening done. This condition can lead to other life-threatening ailments like heart diseases.
- Ask the physician to check the blood pressure frequently. Remember, this should not be taken lightly or else you are putting a life at stake.
Dental & Vision Check-ups are not to be ignored
The elderly must be taken for regular dental checkups. Besides, make sure that they are doing the daily flossing and brushing at regular intervals. Small steps such as these take them a long way. Similarly, get their vision checked every few months because most people aged 50+ experience a change in their vision. Their ability to view small prints declines considerably. Don’t ignore eye problems like glaucoma and cataract. It could lead to permanent blindness. Hearing loss is also a common problem with old people. Make sure that they are not exposed to loud noise. If their hearing ability is impaired, consider buying a hearing aid.
Being proactive is absolutely essential when it comes to taking care of the elderly. With a healthy diet coupled with regular checks, you can indeed give old people a life they deserve!