For most people, the flu is a temporary annoyance that plunges their house into disarray and loses them a week of work. But for some — especially seniors and those with weak immune systems — the flu can be lethal. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and up to 70 percent of flu hospitalizations occur in seniors. In the 2016-2017 flu season, more than 12,000 seniors died. The great tragedy here is that the flu is almost completely preventable. Here’s how you can keep your senior loved one healthy this flu season.
Senior adults are often at a higher risk for certain medical diseases or conditions as they age. Unfortunately, older adults living with complex medical conditions can also be diagnosed with more than one serious and complicating disease as well. Breast cancer is an example of a disease that can be discovered at any age, but the risk does increase as women age past 60.
Want to live longer? Age really might be just a number if you have a positive attitude toward aging. A new study suggests that people who have a positive attitude toward aging may be healthier and happier. Other research supports this conclusion, pointing to the benefits of feeling young at heart. So go ahead and embrace your inner youthfulness. Age is what you make it.
A popular myth suggests that depression is a normal part of aging. This is untrue. Depression is a serious illness, much like diabetes or heart disease. It’s not a normal part of aging, and with the right support, seniors can lead engaging, joyful, meaningful lives. Yet depression is common in seniors. An estimated 1-5 percent of the general senior population is affected by depression. In seniors with health conditions, the figure is much higher. As many as 13.5 percent of seniors requiring home health assistance and 11.5 percent of hospitalized seniors are depressed.
Senior nutrition is more than just a source of comfort. The foods we eat directly affect our health. Food is fuel for the body, and to get good results, you have to use high-quality fuel. Healthy eating can help you feel healthier, and may even help you live longer. The right diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, or if you already have heart health issues, lower your risk of heart complications. A healthy diet may even prevent dementia. Here’s what you need to know in order to eat food that’s both tasty and nutritious.
Most older adults benefit from having a family member accompany them to doctor appointments. Family members can keep track of information or recommended follow-up steps, as well as advocate for the senior during the visit. Family members can share specific concerns in regards to memory or pain management with the doctor, as well as give realistic accounts of symptoms the senior could be experiencing.
Everyone knows the saying, “you are what you eat,” and current research only continues to demonstrate the importance of nutrition choices. Eating the proper foods can do more than decrease weight gain. Now we know that foods can decrease inflammation, diminish the effects of chronic skin disorders and even aid in decreasing gastrointestinal complications. For older adults, nutrition is even more vital because the body requires a different mix of vitamins and protein to maintain wellness.
The summer season is on its way, bringing warmer temperatures and more sunshine. Before you participate in your favorite seasonal activities with your aging loved one, be sure you are caring for elderly parents by taking a few precautions. Seniors are especially prone to health risks in the summer months, including complications from dehydration or overheating. However, a few easy precautions can keep your summer activities safe for everyone involved.