Check out tips on how to take care of the health of the elderly and promote their physical and mental well-being!
With the increase in life expectancy, the relationship between health and longevity becomes more and more explicit. Paying attention to the various aspects that impact individuals’ physical and mental well-being becomes significant with advancing age.
To help you better understand how to take care of the health of the elderly, we prepared this content with nine tips to contribute to their quality of life. Good reading!
1. Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is important throughout life and fundamental for the elderly. That’s because balanced nutrition helps strengthen the immune system and contributes to the proper functioning of the body.
For this, it is necessary to include foods with good nutritional value in meals containing vitamins and minerals that help keep the body protected and control some diseases, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Fruits and vegetables are great examples of foods that need to be part of the diet of older people. The ultra-processed ones, which have industrial additives in their composition, should be consumed in moderation.
Healthy foods provide the nutrients needed for the body to perform its functions.
In addition, balancing the amounts of each type of food in meals, based on the food pyramid, and avoiding long periods without eating are also essential aspects.
2. Social Ties
Social and affective bonds are also essential for the health of individuals at this stage of life. It is common for many elderly people to want to isolate themselves and “not give work,” but this can generate feelings of loneliness and even the development of diseases, such as depression.
The family must be supported at these times and stay close to show that the elderly person can trust and count on their help when necessary. In addition, family members, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and possible caregivers can be essential members for maintaining social relationships.
3. Mental Health
The mental health of the elderly is directly linked to the social bonds mentioned above, but it can also be affected by other factors.
At this stage, negative feelings about the past may arise due to memories that are not pleasant and provide feelings of anguish and sadness.
Some limitations imposed by aging may become a nuisance and generate feelings of incapacity, anxiety, discouragement, and irritability.
Therefore, it takes a lot of care and attention on family members and those who are part of the older adult’s routine to know how to deal with these emotions and maintain a posture of acceptance and understanding.
Hobbies are a great tool to exercise cognitive abilities, improve quality of life, provide pleasant moments, and contribute to older adults’ self-esteem.
It is necessary to engage them and encourage them to find a practice that they like to exercise, which can be the most varied. Examples include painting, music, crafts, reading, writing, crochet, cooking, and gardening.
5. Adaptations in The Environment
As already mentioned, advancing age can bring a series of limitations, many of them physical. To reduce the risk of complications, it is necessary to adapt to the environment.
Some measures that can be taken are adding handrails on stairs, installing safety bars in the bathroom, improving the lighting in the house, installing non-slip floors, placing protectors on the corners of furniture, and moving the bedroom switch closer to the bed.
Another essential point, if the older adult is a wheelchair user or uses a walker, is installing access ramps, expanding doors circulation spaces, and leveling the floor.
6. Physical Activities
An important issue for older people’s health and physical and mental well-being is physical activity. Exercises are an excellent way to keep the body active, improve immunity, and prevent pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases.
Activities can also help to improve the sleep of the elderly, increase their day-to-day mood and strengthen their bones and muscles. However, it is essential to emphasize that medical evaluation and guidance are necessary before starting any exercise.
There are several examples of sports or physical activities for the elderly: walking, swimming, water aerobics, dancing, stretching, weight training, and pilates.
7. Medical Appointments
In the elderly, if there are no health problems that require follow-up, a medical check-up should be done at least every six months. For this, geriatric consultations can be used, in which the doctor will monitor possible problems and promote the healthy aging of the patient.
When diagnosed diseases and conditions need treatment and supervision, a return to the doctor must be carried out according to the professional’s agreement. It is also worth remembering that visits to the geriatrician do not replace consultations with medical specialties.
8. Oral Health
Oral health should also be a point of attention in the care of the elderly. This is because it can directly impact other body functions, not necessarily linked to the region.
It is necessary to sanitize your mouth correctly, brush your teeth properly and floss at least twice a day. In addition, a regular trip to the dentist is essential to check that there is no problem.
Thus, it is possible to avoid problems such as bad breath and diseases such as caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis.