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Ways to Improve Elderly Health

Oct 7, 2021
By
Cardiologist, Gracie Square Hospital

Elderly health can be an incredibly complex topic. First of all, as we age, our bodies become more frail and there is generally more that can go wrong with our health. Therefore, promoting elderly health could be trickier than we think, but it is not impossible. There are still some activities we can engage in to help our seniors live more healthy lives.

Everything Starts with the Mind

To promote elderly health, probably the best place to start is with mental health. For a variety of reasons, seniors are susceptible to a decline in mental health. Here are some of the mental ailments the elderly are most prone to suffering from:

·        Anxiety

·        Affective disorders

·        Isolation

·        Dementia

·        Psychosis

There is a myriad of activities that we can engage in to help prevent at least some of the ailments above.

Social Aspects of Elderly Health

Social interactions help keep you healthy.

Mental health depends on healthy social interactions. That s why isolated people – not only elderly people – tend to suffer from more mental health issues. When people reach a certain age, due to the way society has developed, they might become more isolated, which is detrimental to their mental health.

To promote elderly mental health, we should:

·        Visit the older members of our family as frequently as possible

·        Encourage them to engage in social activities with other seniors

·        Ask them for their help to make them feel useful and engaged with the family unit

Promoting Mental Activity

These are all steps anyone can take to promote the mental health of seniors. But there are a few other tips we can share that can help as well like:

·        Encouraging our elderly to use their minds – puzzles, art, courses of any kind, and other activities that can challenge them mentally could help

·        Balancing their needs for care with their yearning for independence

·        Get them a pet if they want and can care for it – taking care of a pet can give the elderly fulfillment and a new sense of purpose

Proper Nutrition

Beyond all these activities, proper nutrition is also crucial to promote every aspect of elderly health. Just like for any person in any age group, making sure our seniors get the right kind of food considering their health condition is absolutely crucial.

The elderly tend to become micronutrient deficient. This happens because their bodies lose the ability to absorb micronutrients from the food they eat. Supplements are therefore a crucial part of the nutritional needs of the elderly. It is important to consult with the proper healthcare professionals to understand what each person needs to supplement their nutrition as they age. Our healthcare professionals here at Antidote Health can help you and the elderly in your family with this.

Physical Activity is Crucial to Promote Elderly Health

Together with mental activity and proper nutrition, to promote elderly health it is necessary to encourage physical activity. We might think that elderly people are too old or too frail to engage in physical activity, but they can and should as much as possible.

There are special programs, specialized coaches and trainers, or even free online content that can help the elderly get a healthy dose of physical activity. Naturally, finding seniors who can run a marathon or keep up with younger people is rare, but among the elderly many can still walkaround the block or in the park. Some can even bike or lift small weights. They should be encouraged to do so to the extent that the physical activity matches their ability and does not harm them.

Among the elderly there are some who face some limitations due to their physical condition – they require a wheelchair, they have bad joints, or frail bones to mention a few limitations. These seniors should look for people who specialize in physical activity for those who might have some physical limitations, but they should not give up on moving their bodies regularly because that could worsen their condition.

Elderly Health and Care

Stay active to keep mentally and physically fit.

Now that you know how you can promote elderly health, you can engage with the older members of your family and help them stay healthy. Remember, the most important aspect of promoting elderly health is to care. If you care you will make sure the seniors around you have all their bases covered in terms of the simple activities we can encourage them to participate in without the need for any additional assistance from professionals.

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