Blog by Mark Wolfe, Customer Account Representative, GrandView Pharmacy
Here’s a perplexing question. How does an elderly person stay healthy when the aging process and natural health decline occur simply because you are getting older?
Aging can be intimidating. But there are some things that everyone can do to try and age successfully if that makes sense. Let’s look at some common areas that affect most seniors and then you can work on a success plan for yourself.
The National Council on Aging states that approximately 92% of seniors will have at least one chronic disease, and that 77% will have two. (NOCA Feb 2016, Healthy Aging Facts). The most common of these conditions will be heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. GrandView Pharmacy has protocols in place to address many of these medical conditions. You can ask your GrandView representative about these programs and how these can be better managed. But for now, let’s focus on one area of concern for elderly that you, the patient, can impact immediately. This is especially important for the elderly that live in assisted living or independent living facilities.
It is important no matter what your health concern is to be sure you meet with your physician for a yearly checkup, maintain a healthy diet, and keep an exercise routine. But beyond that there is one area of health and aging that is alarming and can be improved if you only take the steps to do so. I am talking about fall prevention. Aging causes our bones to shrink and to become brittle, and for muscle to lose strength and flexibility. Two diseases that make seniors more susceptible to this are osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Strength and flexibility are needed to maintain balance and a steady gait to prevent falling. Falls present a significant public health problem in people 60 years of age and older. One study states that among elderly that there is a one-year mortality due to fall-related fractures requiring hospitalization (Coutinho, ES et al. Cad Saude Publica. 2012). Falls are the leading cause of injury among elderly. In the USA alone, every 15 seconds an older adult is admitted to the emergency room for a fall (NOCA Feb 2016, Healthy Aging facts).
So how do you avoid these situations? Ask you physician to test you for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation you should…
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well-balanced diet
- Engage in regular exercise
- Eat foods that are good for bone health, i.e. fruits and vegetables
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day
Finally, most falls can be prevented. Therefore, to reduce the risk of falls, you should…
- Find a good balance and exercise program
- Talk with your doctor (osteoporosis and osteoarthritis)
- Regular periodic reviews of your medication regimens (your GrandView Pharmacist can help)
- Have your hearing and vision tested regularly
- Keep your home safe… remove tripping hazards (area rugs, loose items on floors); increase lighting; install hand rails and grab bars in key areas, i.e. bathroom, stairways, etc.
Reach out to your GrandView Pharmacy representatives. They can help with programs for healthy living, but our consultant pharmacists can recommend proper supplements that would be compatible with your existing drug regimens. When combined these measures can help you along the path to healthy aging.
About the Author
Click here to learn more about Mark and the rest of the GrandView team.