Muscle weakness, lack balance, decreased reflexes, blurred vision, decreased hearing, and joint stiffness. These are some of the characteristics of the natural aging process. For this reason, caring for the elderly requires attention, responsibility, and health tips. In many cases, physical problems and chronic diseases, and others that require more attention in the elderly are added.
” You age as you live, “says gerontologist Nelson Mostajo. “The changes due to aging correspond to the wear of all our systems. But these changes will occur to a greater or lesser extent. Depending on how we have lived our adulthood in relation to our healthy or harmful habits (alcohol, tobacco, poor diet, little exercise) ”, explains the expert.
Specialists Give Some health tips to Better Take Care of Older Adults and thus, give them a better quality of life. They all coincide in pointing out that affection, care, support. And respect towards them will contribute to the better development of their health. Likewise, they emphasize that not everyone ages the same. So care varies in each case depending on physical and mental health:
Safety conditions at home
“Most of the accidents suffered by older people occur at home,” Says Mostajo. “Generally due to a lack of adequacy of the facilities to their physical conditions derived from aging: lower visual acuity, deterioration of physical capacities (gait, coordination, etc.), cognitive deterioration and others ”, he says.
One of the dangers older adults continually face is falling. “They are more prone to falls because due to age and the loss of muscular functions and elasticity there is a decrease in defense and balance reflexes. They also have a decrease in the base of support, thus leaving the center of gravity more unstable ”, explains Jennifer Rojas, physiotherapist, and kinesiologist. It is essential to guarantee them the greatest autonomy and security.
“A suitable physical environment is necessary for its development. Adapt the homes to their reality and limitations with correct lighting, ramps, wall brackets in the shower and bathrooms, so that there are no obstacles or dangers for their wandering, ”says the gerontologist.
Reviewing the usual space in which the older adult operates and removing obstacles (rugs, fragile tables) where they can trip is essential. Modifications must also be made in certain critical areas such as the bathroom and shower, where you must install bars or handles to support yourself and place non-slip mats. When bathing you should always be seated on a static piece of furniture that does not have wheels. It is essential to have good lighting and free spaces to be able to circulate easily.
Depending on their health status, older adults consume various medications. Therefore, they can become confused, double the dose, or self-medicate, which is very dangerous. They advise that a family member or their caregiver regulate the intake of medications and keep a daily control book.
hygiene Adequate personal hygiene is essential for maintaining a healthy old age. and the prevention of the appearance of diseases such as infections. Likewise, it is important to take care of your skin by applying moisturizer and, in case of prolonged exposure to the sun, sunscreen.
The nutritionist Fabiola Maldonado points out that the diet of the elderly must be varied so that they have all the nutrients. It advises to reduce saturated fats (sausages and cold cuts), increase the consumption of vegetable fats (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds), fruits and vegetables, limit the consumption of sugar and salt, control that throughout the day you drink water to be hydrated. He recommends consulting a nutritionist to develop a diet plan according to the diseases that the older adult has.
“ Exercise is important because it produces positive changes not only on a physical level but also on a mental level. It helps the elderly to have a more active life, thus improving their state of health and even preventing them from falling into a state of loneliness ”, explains the physiotherapist.
Older adults can perform four types of exercises:
- Strength to strengthen muscles
- A balance that helps prevent falls
- Improve reflexes; flexibility
- Resistance to improve breathing and heart rate
Exercise is the new drug and must be dosed with a prior evaluation by a specialist: a kinesiologist,” emphasizes Rojas.
Make him participate in social activities
It is important to promote the socialization of the elderly with his family and close friends. Whether on walks, birthdays, parties, or more. In this way, you can strengthen ties that the older adult maintains with society and with his relatives. Which will help him to socialize with other people. The environment, maintain a good mood, feel part of a group and fulfill himself.
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