As years advance, the body, informs you in its own language that some of its parts are not functioning optimally. Most of us do not take these signs seriously and conclude that this is all a part and parcel of getting old. We tell ourselves – “Ah! these are the norms of ageing, better accept the new reality.” Now this is where we go wrong. Not wrong in accepting the new reality but in the unspoken decision that nothing needs to be done.
What needs to be done is to take each sign, each indication of failure or suboptimal output of the body seriously and investigate it with the aim to find its cause and then treat it. This will help you in slowing down the process of ageing and regain health and independence.
Listed below are seven common issues that affect our seniors which are taken rather lightly by seniors themselves and their family members.
Commonest of ailments that is often ignored unless it is severe and intensive. Please don’t make this mistake for it directly affects the quality of life and mars the present moment. Taking it seriously will help you locate the cause and enable its treatment which may even turn out to be non-medical. Its remedy may even be available at home. Just don’t ignore it.
Falls are the single most widespread calamity that affects our seniors and their ability to lead a life of independence with ageing. It is also the leading cause of their death. A major causative factor that is not given sufficient attention is the state of infrastructure at home. It invariably does not cater to the safety of the elders. Lack of bar rails in toilets, slippery and even wet floors, poor lighting, absence of night lights, poorly designed stairs, uneven surfaces due presence of rugs and carpets that demand negotiation while walking, cluttered and filled rooms not allowing easy access etc create conditions for easy tripping and falling. These factors when added to poor balance and insufficient strength which elders are prone to make the situation ripe for a fall.
A safety audit of the home by a specialist from SAMARTH team will definitely help in increasing the safety of elders at home. Just dial 87006 77878 and ask for it.
Poor balance and inadequate strength in elders do not happen suddenly. Plenty of warning is available as both these only creep up in time. In its early stages poor balance can be improved with simple exercises. Strength adequacy can be obtained with a combination of proper diet and exercising. These must be tackled well in time.
Bones tend to get weaker with age and any fall leads to severe injuries. Repair of fractured bones and their healing pose further problems. That is why falls must be prevented by ensuring timely preventive actions.
These measures will ensure that a major catastrophe is averted.
As we age the neurons in our brain reduce in numbers. Lesser usage or minimal challenges to the brain also affect its performance. To add further misery, lesser or disturbed sleep directly affects the memory functions of the brain. It is the short term memory that is most affected. These factors then add up to give the elders a feeling that their brain is decaying. If they themselves and the family both feel this way then it is only sensible to get the brain functionality evaluated. There may be some medication that may be necessary. Please address the issue squarely.
Using the brain more, and often challenging it with brain games, puzzles, sudoku, word games etc., is known to reverse this process. Resolve to keep attempting “new” with your brain and surprise it regularly with simple tasks that it is not familiar with. You could practise writing with the left hand, wear your watch on the wrong wrist, walk backwards, read time from a mirror facing a clock etc. These types of activities will keep the brain healthy and functioning well.
Isolation or loneliness could be caused by physical, emotional or social factors. Talk to the elders and find out what is the root cause. And then address the root cause. Very often the remedies are simple and require very minor changes in the environment. But left unattended this could easily lead to a state of depression.
This is a very serious issue and definitely needs medical help. Attempting to solve at caregiver level may not work out at all. Sometimes very simple medications can alleviate the problem. Please seek medical aid. There is a tendency amongst people to treat depression as part of the process of growing old. It certainly does not belong there. Proper medical care is needed here.
A very common problem amongst the seniors with ageing that is not given proper attention and ignored as if old age implies the presence of this issue. There is always a medical reason behind it and all such conditions are treatable. Please consult the Doctor and locate the reason for it and handle it. Ignoring the problem may give rise to additional psychological trauma and affect mental state of the elder.
Most seniors with ageing suffer from multiple medical problems and the medication prescribed is invariably from different specialists. This may give rise to unwanted conflicts between the medicines and unwarranted side effects. This can easily be avoided if you share your medicine regime with the Doctor who is prescribing the medication at that instant. The specialist will always take into consideration the complications possible and avoid a conflict by suitably amending his prescription. In case this was not done then a physician must be consulted to weed out the problem areas. In case any help is needed on this issue, feel free to consult us at SAMARTH. We will ensure that necessary deconflict is done.