One day, our parents may not be able to drive, to climb stairs, or maybe not even change their own clothes or feed themselves. Our parents could one day be fine and then suddenly the next day need a great amount of care, so the more prepared  we are in advance, the less stressful this might be for our whole family.

 

Physical Activity in old age:

Regular exercise and physical activity can have a direct impact on your parent’s everyday life. The benefits they provide can help them to stay strong and fit enough to perform their daily activities, so promote them to get around and maintain their independence.

 

Some exercises and their benefits:

1. To enhance their endurance they may go for aerobic, activities like brisk walking or swimming, increase their breathing, heart rate and improve the health of their heart, lungs and circulatory system. Some easy house hold tasks can also help them in this regard:

  • push your grandchildren on the swings
  • work in the garden
  • rake leaves
  • play a sport

2. Strength exercises like lifting weights and using resistance bands can increase muscle strength. Lower-body strength exercises also will improve their balance. Increased muscle strength can maintain their ability to:

  •  Climb Stairs
  • Carry Groceries
  • Open Jars
  • Carry A Full Laundry Basket From The Basement To The Second Floor
  • Carry Your Smaller Grandchildren
  • Lift Bags Of Mulch In The Garden

3. Balance exercises like tai chi can improve their ability to control and maintain their body’s position, whether they are moving or  still. Good balance is important to help them to prevent falls and avoid the disability that may result from falling. Improving their  balance can help them to:

  • Prevent falls
  • Stand on tiptoe to reach something on the top shelf
  • Walk up and down the stairs
  • Walk on an uneven sidewalk without falling

4. Flexibility or stretching exercises can help them to stay flexible and limber, which gives your parents more freedom of movement for their  regular physical activity as well as for   everyday activities. Stretching exercises can improve their flexibility but will not improve their endurance or strength. Improving their flexibility makes it easier for them to:

  • Look over your? shoulder to see what’s behind you as you back the car out of the driveway
  • Make the bed
  • Bend over to tie your shoes
  • Reach for a food item on a kitchen shelf
  • Pull a sweater on over your head
  • Swing a golf club

 

 

General health related problems in Old age:

 

1. Balance Disorders 

So many times you find out that your parents may not able to walk properly not able to listen what are you saying or they may feel unsteady or dizzy, as if they are moving, spinning, or floating, even though you are standing still or lying down. Balance disorders can be caused by certain health conditions, medications, or a problem in the inner ear or the brain.

 

2. Problem with taste

Taste disorders can weaken or remove an early warning system that most of us take for granted. Taste helps us to detect spoiled food or liquids and for some people, the presence of ingredients to which they are allergic

Many of us take our sense of taste for granted, but a taste disorder can have a negative effect on our   health and quality of life. If your parents are having a problem with their sense of taste they need a doctor as soon as possible.

 

3. Sleep and ageing 

Sleep pattern changes according to our age. Children and adolescents need more sleep than adults. Interestingly, older adults  need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults — seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, many older adults often get less sleep than they need. One reason is that they often have more trouble falling asleep. A study of adults over 65 found that 13 percent of men and 36 percent of women take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. This disorder is known as Insomnia.

 

 Health check up, Screening and Immunization:

  •  Periodical health check up for management of chronic diseases and screening for early detection of disease includes:
  •  Care of the problems due to ageing process as senile cataract, glaucoma, nerve deafness, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis affecting mobility, failure of special senses, and change in mental outlook.
  • Care of the problems associated with long term illness-certain chronic diseases are more frequent among the older people such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, accidents, disease of locomotors system, respiratory illnesses as chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, diseases of genitourinary system.
  • Care for psychological problems

 

Recommended Immunisations:

  • Immunisation recommendations are based on age, health status, location, risk factors and other factors therefore talk to healthcare professional to see which vaccine is needed.
  • Flu vaccine every year.
  • Vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough and a tetanus booster if it has been more than 10 years since their last vaccine.
  • If your parents are 60 or older, get a vaccine to prevent shingles. Even if they had shingles, you can still get the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.
  • If your parents are 65 or older, get a pneumonia vaccine (also known as a pneumococcal vaccine).

 

Aging is a natural process. Sir James Sterling Ross commented: You do not heal old age. You protect it, you promote it and you extend it”.

 

References 

 

  • http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2007/11/02/taking-care-of-your-parents-keeping-them-socially-connected
  • http://lifehacker.com/how-to-care-for-your-aging-parents-1688333666
  • http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/options-want-stay-home-age/
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/aging-parents/art-20044126?pg=2

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