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Major Health Issues Faced by Senior Citizens

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/2/2006 | Health

You have worked all your life and now that you have retired from the full time job, you deserve a peaceful and happy retired life. There are many people for whom even this basic expectation remains an unfulfilled dream due to the steady deterioration of health after retirement. Most of the old age health problems are manageable or can at least be kept within a manageable limit if you are aware of them beforehand.

Here are some points that you can start considering as you approach your sixties.

The need for weight control

It is only natural that we put more weight than we shed as we grow old. It is important to keep a watch on your weight and to keep it under control by resorting to a sensible diet and regular exercise. Obesity in old age increases your chances of developing such chronic conditions as hypertension, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems. The obesity also increases the risk of endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

Physical activity

The key to keeping in good health is physical activity, as advanced researches have established. Regular physical exercise can help prevent or delay certain diseases. The most important among them are certain types of cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Physical activity also helps maintain your mental health by helping to relieve depression and improve mood.

Balanced diet

As you advance in age, the organ function of the body slows down. In this age, your system requires an adequate supply of nutrients. You have to eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants. At the same time, the diet should contain more fibers and fewer calories. The processed and refined foods and animal protein intake should be restricted to a minimum.

Smoking and substance abuse

Thousands of premature deaths each year are attributed to the habit of smoking. It is the man and women in their mid to late fifties that are at the highest health risk from "Tobacco dependence disease."

Another killer is substance abuse, which usually relates to drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse occurs in cases when seniors tend to try self-treatment, using illegal drugs and alcohol or over dosage of legal drugs. Such substance abuse is also sometimes done deliberately.

Mental health

Taking care of mental health is as important as it is important to keep physically fit and active. The incidences of suicide among the aged are going through an all time high, and the major cause behind this is loneliness and depression. Depression in the elderly often goes undetected and, in some cases, culminates into suicide. As far as the various types of dementia are concerned, they can be managed and helped thorough proper detection and treatment.

Immunization

It is important to go for proper immunization to fight against such diseases as influenza and pneumonia, which are among the topmost causes of death for seniors. Influenza vaccination has helped thousands of seniors fight against this disease. Pneumonia remains one of the most dreaded infections, especially among elderly women.

Regular Check ups

The seniors should seriously monitor their health on a regular basis. Regular checkups and necessary tests will help you avoid the emergency situations and admission in nursing homes later on.