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Health For The Elderly

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Senior woman in a nursing home, with a caring nurse.

Senior woman in a nursing home, with a caring nurse.

In Australia, maintaining the good health of the elderly is one of the top priorities as evidenced by the fact that today’s older Australians live generally healthier and longer lives than previous generations. During 1960’s, life expectancy at birth was 74 years old for girls while 67 years for boys. Based on the latest mortality data indicate that girls born in 2013 can expect to live in the age of 84, and boys to 80. Life expectancy is positively increasing as most Australians enjoy greater standards of living and better access to high-quality healthcare.

Such also implies that the proportion of older people – 65 years old and above – in the Australian population is increasing. But on the other hand, while longer lives are a positive result for individuals, at the population level, increased life spans and older age generally result in increased ill health. Many health conditions and impairments, like arthritis, dementia and hearing loss become more common as people get older. However, on the positive side, most Australians consider themselves to be in good health. This enables senior citizens to enjoy a good quality of life longer and to participate in the community. It also reduces the demand for health and aged care services.

Here are some studies summarizing the health conditions of the senior citizens in Australia:

  1. According to Australian health survey, 7 out of 10 Australian elders rated their health as excellent or nearly excellent. The survey does not include people living in the institutions.
  2. 2 out of 5 hospitalizations in 2013 to 2014 were people aged 65 and over.
  3. Half of older Australians reported disability in 2012.
  4. 3 out of 10 deaths in older Australians were either due to coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases or dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. 4 out of 10 Australians aged 65 and above in 2014 were born overseas 14% in main English-speaking countries while 23% in non-English speaking countries.

Indeed, family members and caregivers have a variety of health concerns especially when it comes to their elders. Topics to maintain the good health condition of the elders are of great importance.

It will be of great help to consider the following essential health tips for senior citizens:

  1. Quit smoking. Smoking causes cancer, strokes, heart failure and erectile dysfunction to men. Taking this critical step will improve health and combat aging.
  2. Stay active. Physical activities help you stay at a healthy weight and stay fit. It also helps you look and feel better.
  3. Eat well. Many illnesses and health problems can be controlled by eating nutritious foods.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Replace sugary drinks with water – water is calorie free!
  5. Prevent falls. People become vulnerable to fall as they age. Be extra cautious and wear shoes with good support to reduce the risk of falling.
  6. Stay up-to-date on immunizations and other health screenings. By age 50, women should begin mammography screening for breast cancer while men should be checked for prostate cancer. Many preventive screenings are available.
  7. Prevent skin cancer. As we age, our skin grows thinner; it becomes drier and more elastic thus making it more prone to skin cancer. Be sure to protect your skin from the sun.
  8. Get regular dental, vision and hearing check-ups. By age 50, people notice changes in their vision as well as experiencing hearing loss. Thus, regular check-ups must be done. Teeth and gums also need proper care.
  9. Manage stress. Try some exercise and other relaxation techniques – meditation or yoga can give great ways to manage stress. Also, make time for friends and social contacts and fun.
  10. Fan the flame. When it comes to sexual intimacy, age is not a reason to limit your sexual enjoyment. Learn about physical changes that come with aging and get suggestions to help you adjust to them, if needed.

Health for the elderly is indeed a big concern not just by the society but most importantly by the family members of the elders themselves. Senior citizens should be entitled to enjoy a rich and dignified life after years of contribution to society. They have the right to enjoy life, be part of the activities of the community and be given importance most especially by their loved ones. Above all the physical, mental and other ways to maintain the good health and long life of our seniors, it is of great factor that we show them proper attention, care and love. For in the end, all of us will grow old. Nurture life; maintain good health and live life by being a blessing to others.

Avoiding and Dealing with Heart Disease

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Heart or coronary disease is one of the killers in Australia that claimed the lives of 19,766 Australians in 2013. A conservative number of 54 Australians are killed every day or one Australian every 27 minutes due to heart diseases. The figures are very alarming, especially for the elderly people since aging is one of the risk factors. For example, over 60% of people aged 75 and above had suffered with cardiovascular condition in 1995 compared with less than 9% of those aged below 35.

If you have not yet encountered heart diseases at this stage of your life, you are very lucky. Moreover, you deserve a pat on your shoulder if up to this year you haven’t experienced any symptoms of heart disease. Keep up with your healthy lifestyle because it is better to prevent heart disease than to cure it later. Here are some details on how you avoid heart disease and even how to deal with the existing heart problems.

happinessStaying Physically Active: Gone were the days when you used to enjoy your early morning exercises like swimming, running, biking, or brisk walking. But now that you have some physical limitations due to aging, do not believe that your physical activity should stop at all. Stay physically active! Get back with any forms of physical activity that will not be too strenuous for your heart. For instance, if you used to do running before coming going to work, you can slow down a little bit by enjoying a 5-10- minute of walk at your garden or at your favourite park. It helps you to keep a normal blood circulation that pumps back to your heart.

Low Doses of Aspirin: Dr. Joseph Hung, from the School of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Western Australia, proved in his study the goodness of taking a low dose of aspirin which is about 75-150 mg daily. It has prevention benefits for heart problems. However, the recommended intake of aspirin is not to replace the overall program of healthy lifestyle measures such as healthy diet, termination of smoking, control of blood pressure, and appropriate physical activity.

How to deal with heart diseases?

Balanced Diet: It is never too late to start eating or even to continue eating healthy food. A variety of food intake will enable you to get the energy you need each day. Eat more unrefined vegetables, fruits, and whole grain cereals.

Regular Consultation With Your Cardiologist: You cannot rely on self-medication neither on self-treatment. Regular consultation with the right medical specialist on heart disease is highly recommended. They will provide you the right medications that will be best for your heart as well to protect your body organs from the adverse effects of medications.

Choosing To Be Happy: Depression is a state of psychological instability that can weaken your heart. Happiness is a good antidote to depression. So make a choice now to focus at the brighter side of life each day and stay happy within your heart.

You can start making a wise decision to take healthy measures in order prevent heart disease. If you are already suffering from heart problems, continue to enjoy life because you are now smarter on how to deal with it!

Simple Living Guide for Older Men and Women

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Seniors should change their lifestyles to live longer. This is not really a difficult thing to do. You ought to remain patient, focused and follow the advice given by medical professionals.

Active Lifestyle and Proper Diet

fruits-and-veggies-300x176Adults past 60 years must live an active lifestyle. This means indulging in moderate physical activities, avoiding stress, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy foods. Such routine will help older persons stay strong as well as promote cardiovascular health. Eat balanced meals. This is one way of managing numerous illnesses like diabetes (Type 2), heart disorders, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Consume fresh fruits instead of juices for more vitamins and fiber. Opt for leafy green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach because of their antioxidant properties. Sweet potatoes, squash and carrots are also excellent choices. Sufficient calcium intake is important in maintaining bone health and preventing fractures. The elderly needs at least 1, 200 milligrams of calcium daily. You can obtain this from dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Tofu and almonds are also sources of this particular mineral.

Adults beyond 50 without diabetes and kidney ailments must consume a minimum of one gram or 2.2 pounds of bodyweight. This is derived from high quality protein (maximum of 102 grams each day for one who weighs 150 pounds. Protein is present in red meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and low-fat milk. Buy whole grain (low in carbohydrates) or cereals instead of white flour. Senior folks require six to seven ounces of grains per day.

Other Essential Tips

It is time for you to give up smoking and liquor intake permanently. Cigarettes can cause cancer and heart failure. Maintain the correct weight which can be measured by the Body Mass Index calculator. Avoid sweetened beverages and drink water instead. Work-outs, regular meditation and socialization can promote positive thinking and reduce worrying. Visit your dentist frequently. Take care of your teeth and gums so these will last for a lifetime. Periodic eye and hearing check-ups will also help you a lot.

Older people can stay away from accidental falls by getting rid of objects like wayward electric wires inside the house. Install night lighting especially near the bathroom and hallways. You should be updated on health checks and immunizations. Yearly wellness visits will help you become more aware of these vaccinations and health screenings. The skin of humans becomes thinner in the course of aging. It gets to be drier and rigid. This is the time when creases appear. Wounds and bruises heal quite slowly. Avoid over-exposure to the sun because this can eventually lead to skin cancer.

There should be no restrictions in enjoying your lives. Growing old is not a reason to sulk or live abnormally. On the contrary, it is the period when you should enjoy more. It is not hard to adapt to changes. You have to be more active in promoting wholesome behaviors. Strive to remain energetic and healthy during your senior years.

Ways to Keep Active and Busy

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Elders should keep busy since boredom has serious adverse effects on their physical and emotional wellbeing. Looking for the right mix of activities should not be too difficult. Children can help parents find recreational activities and fun things to do. Likewise, there are many daycare facilities for adults that offer development programs for seniors.

Formal Programs and Centers

Active seniors in the gym

Active seniors in the gym

These traditional procedures consist of work-out sessions, excursions and serving of nutritious food. Non-profit senior organizations manage this type of activities and charge minimal fees. On the other hand, majority of senior facilities are supervised and subsidized by local or national government agencies together with private sector groups. These centers conduct minor activities like picnics, walks, dances, health clinics, and massage therapies. Many hubs for the elderly are listed in websites or community directories.

Social groups also conduct activities like indoor games, reading and story-telling sessions or writing workshops. Library access, physical fitness equipment such as stationary bikes and exercise machines and exercise sessions are often offered free of charge by these groups to older individuals. Senior folks can raise domestic pets for a change. Dogs, cats, birds, or hamsters will make great buddies and serve as reliable companions for them.

Fitness programs are ideal social events for those who are past their prime. Some of these exercises include walking groups and aerobics classes. This is a chance for them to catch up as well on recent news, developments and social happenings. Senior citizens with good social lifestyles generally have a positive outlook on life. Exercise can make their moods better while improving mobility, healing, mental faculties and strength. In other words, it helps enhance all the elements of an older person’s life, cognitive functions and social dealings

Importance of Socialization

Old-folks-exerciseSocializing or interaction is also essential to old folks. It helps neutralize depression which contributes significantly to health issues such as immune system deficiency, exhaustion and loss of memory. Adults (60 years old and above) need to maintain social calendars because these promote interaction and motivation. The tendency of senior men and women is to become lethargic. Social engagements are often limited. This is where the properly managed retirement community comes in to provide assistance. Social activities and programs undoubtedly entice the elders to participate actively.

It is also advisable to maintain day to day responsibilities and routine tasks. At first, this may seem to be a liability for old persons. Gardening, cleaning their rooms and walking back and forth look like a liability for someone in his or her golden years. The truth is these can be enjoyable and seniors will feel duty-bound to perform these chores.

Family members and peers can help them understand the benefits. It is a matter of understanding what all these things will ultimately do for their loved ones. These organized errands can be enjoyable instead of being burdensome. In short, the active lifestyles and responsibilities should turn out more of a boon than a bane for senior persons.

A Day in the Life of a Funeral Director

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Planning a funeral for a loved one is a great responsibility.

In this short documentary you will see a behind the scenes look of a funeral home and what really is involved in funeral planning for a family, being a Funeral Director or Conductor on the day of the funeral service, and finally internment of the deceased.

Melissa Laird, a Funeral Planner, also sometimes known as a Funeral Director, shows how arranging and planning a funeral is very time sensitive and an onerous responsibility, which sometimes requires her to become a mediator, advisor, confidant and consultant to the families she serves.