How Do People’s Health Needs Change as They Age?
It is a fact that people have different health needs at various stages of their life. For instance, in the early years of a person’s existence, health problems are often at a minimum. Children and teenagers tend to benefit from an existence that is largely free from any health problems, provided that they eat a balanced diet and get regular forms of exercise. The only exception to this general rule is if they are unfortunate to suffer from congenital health problems that they have experienced from birth.
As people move from adulthood into middle age, there tends to be a general reduction in fitness and endurance levels. Peak fitness is often experienced in the mid to late twenties, and after this time, there will be a gradual decline in athletic performance. However, provided that the person stays active, they will still be able to enjoy playing sports and should expect to be largely free of health problems during this stage of life. This article describes two key health needs that may become apparent in the senior stages of life with advice on how they can be managed.
In later life, many people find that their mobility levels gradually begin to decrease. This can be a result of taking part in exercise less or moving around less frequently throughout the day. It should be recognized that reduced mobility can cause some serious problems in the long term for a person’s health. Over time, low levels of mobility can lead to a reduction in bone density which can increase the likelihood of sustaining serious injuries, such as fractures from falls.
It is natural to experience lower bone density in later life, as this is an accepted part of the aging process. However, the effect is increased if an older person has a sedentary existence. The older person should be encouraged to take part in regular gentle exercises such as stretching, walking, and lifting light weights, as this can help to minimize the loss of bone density and keep mobility levels high.
If you have an elderly relative who suffers from poor mobility and is at risk of serious injury from slips, trips or falls, it is worth considering the purchase of a mobility aid such as a Zimmer frame to allow them to move around safely. If mobility problems are chronic and present an ongoing risk to the person, then it may be wise to consider moving them into an assisted living facility. Search for assisted living near me and find high-quality senior living establishments that will have on-site health staff to assist your loved ones with their mobility needs.
While mental health problems can affect a person at any age, they tend to be more prevalent in later life. Depression is a common form of mental illness, and it is estimated that six million senior citizens in America suffer from this condition. The reasons for the condition can vary from person to person, but a common factor in older people is being isolated from others. If a person’s lifelong partner has passed away and they live far from other friends or relatives, then feelings of isolation can build over time and can lead to an increased likelihood of depression.
Thankfully, there is a range of natural treatments that can be used to improve the day-to-day lives of older people who suffer from depression. A natural remedy is to take the herb St John’s wort, which some research has shown to be as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication in the treatment of mild and moderate forms of depression. Another helpful method is to ensure that the older person is able to socialize more frequently and that regular visits are paid to loved ones which will help them feel less isolated. Even a weekly phone call can help a person feel less isolated if they do not socialize regularly.
Reduced mobility and an increasing likelihood of experiencing depression are common health problems in later life. Mobility aids and gentle exercise routines can help to improve mobility and slow the loss of bone density. Mild to moderate depression can be treated naturally with St John's wort, and ensuring that the older person has regular social contact can help to minimize the effects of feelings of isolation in later life.