(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Increased health risks for seniors are one of the biggest issues that the elderly face as they age. Aging already takes its toll on the organs, immune system, vision, and memory, so facing increased elderly health risks for other issues can be worrisome. Fortunately, it is still possible to enjoy a healthy, vibrant life as a senior by being aware of and safeguarding against these potential hazards.
Poor health choices throughout one’s life can lead to poor health as a senior. Poor nutrition deprives you of vital nutrients that could cause a weakened, vulnerable immune system and impaired cognitive function. It could also increase your risk of major health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Poor lifestyle choices such as tobacco use can cause several forms of cancer and lung diseases; while alcohol abuse is a major factor that often leads to kidney failure later in life, resulting in a poor overall quality of life. Also eating excessive low-quality carbohydrates and less of high-quality proteins and vegetables leads to reduced essential nutrients intake and increased susceptibility to infections.
Poor nutritional habits contribute to over 70 percent of the diseases elderly adults commonly suffer from and can lead to premature death. A senior is recommended to focus on eating healthy foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, glucose-heavy natural foods, fruits, and vegetables since his or her digestive system is not performing at its best. The digestive juice production may have decreased, constipation and indigestion are likely to occur more often.
As we get older, we’re more likely to take multiple prescription medications to treat age-related conditions and preserve our health. However, this comes with a number of issues. Certain prescription drugs already pose a risk of side effects to the elderly because of the different effects they have on an aged body. Taking medications at the same time could also have severe side effects due to poor interactions. We’re not always aware of these issues and it comes harder to manage each time a new medication is added. This results in a potentially detrimental impact on overall health and well-being.
There are a number of ways to prevent adverse drug interactions. Keep a file of all the medications that you’re prescribed, and always carry it with you during appointments. Ask the doctor, nurses or pharmacist any questions you may have about certain medications interacting. Keeping a journal to record any noticeable side effects may be helpful to remember any issues and bring them up with the doctor later on.
Falls are a significant risk for older adults, both for initial injuries and additional complications down the road. They can lead to a devastating chain of events such as fractures, orthopedic injuries that cause immobility, disability and may hasten death. Every year, 2.2 million people of ages 65 and above are treated in emergency rooms because of falls. Another one-third of these people might find themselves there again in less than a year.
The typical side effects of the aging process, such as poor vision and muscle weakness, may make a person vulnerable to slips and falls. Falls occur most often in the home where people feel safe and comfortable, but dangerous tripping hazards exist. Something as simple as a slippery bathroom floor can lead to a fall.
If you are worried about the dangers of falling, consider purchasing a medical alert system for your loved one. These wearable devices include an emergency help button or an automatic fall sensor to connect the user with help during emergencies. Your loved one can maintain some level of independence and receive the assistance they need when it counts. Immediate treatment after a fall can provide a senior an extended period of mobility and a better quality of life.
Gaining awareness of possible senior health risks is one of the most important ways of minimizing those risks and improving one’s health. Taking steps to address risks can help deal with them before they become a problem, and ultimately determine the quality of life one lives. Positive thinking can also be beneficial when dealing with any health issues. Planning and positivity together can go a long way in making our golden years truly golden.