True Life of The Aged Population
Aging in the United States is not how I remember it as a child. I remember my Girl Scout troop singing holiday songs for older people in a nursing home. The appearance of the facility was cold, sparsely furnished, and smelled horrible. The elderly residents were scantily dressed in hospital gowns with looks on their faces were ones of sadness and disengagement. It’s not so desperate for the older adults of today.
The quality of medicine has improved. Research and development has increased the quality of life for medical conditions and medications. Therapies have improved the functional ability of older adults’ lives.
The facilities that adults have to choose from are a more competitive field now. This has improved the quality of the caregivers, facilities and social interactions opportunities.
The Center For Aging and Population Health at the University of Pittsburgh and the Consumer Reports health Ratings Center recommended 10 health issues to stay on top of when dealing with the aged:
1. Lower your blood pressure- The recommended numbers are the systolic pressure (top number) below 120, and diastolic should be less than 80mm Hg. Over 70% of people over 60 have hypertension. Embracing healthy lifestyle choices is critical.
2. Reduce your blood glucose number to below 100 milligrams per deciliter. Managing your weight, food choices and being physically active regularly is key.
3. Quit smoking.
4. Utilize flu, pneumonia, and shingles vaccines when available. Remember that tetanus and diphtheria shots need boosters at certain increments.
5. Keep current with dental visits. Issues that arise in your mouth can affect your ability to eat and enjoy food, and can often symptomize other health issues through smell and pain.
6. Lower LDL cholesterol. Your goal is to have an LDL cholesterol level below 100. This can be managed through healthy eating, regular fitness, maintaining a healthy weight and properly taking medications prescribed by your doctor.
7. Maintain bone health through consistent, healthy diet choices, and weight bearing exercises which boosts bone density.
8. Cultivate a trusting relationship with your doctor and pharmacist. Keep a list of all medications, dosages, and doctors name and number. Make sure any time a new medication is prescribed, that doctor knows what else you are taking and how they may interact with each other.
9. Stay social active. Depression can be a killer in more ways than one. Isolation leads to mental and physical repercussions.
10. Keep their cultural life alive. Keep them laughing, enjoying music, dancing and living!
In present times, many older adults look at their aging times as an opportunity for a new chapter, and not a prison sentence. It’s great for our younger generation to have access to their wise, grandparents for longer!