Thanks to advances in science and medicine, we can look forward to a higher life expectancy. However, this doesn’t mean that age-related illnesses and conditions are going away. But with greater knowledge and understanding, we can take steps early to reduce our risks.
As we age, our bones become more fragile and brittle. This is due to a loss of tissue and is known as Osteoporosis. This is typically caused by hormonal changes or a deficiency in calcium, or vitamin D. Weaker bones make us prone to breaking or fracturing bones. This leads to incapacity and, in some cases, chronic pain.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this:
- Enjoy a good diet rich in foods containing calcium and vitamin D
- Get plenty of exercise
- Make sensible lifestyle choices such as giving up smoking and limiting alcohol intake
If you feel you are at risk for this condition, visit your doctor who can provide further help and information. There are medications available that can help combat this illness.
- Hair Loss
Hair loss can occur at any age, and there are several factors that may contribute to it. Factors include medication, illness, stress, genes, and hormones. However, as we get older, we are more prone to hair thinning and hair loss. Common conditions include alopecia and male and female pattern baldness. If you notice your hair thinning or falling out, there are treatments available. For example, Finasteride tablets are used for hair loss in men, and there are other similar medications available.
Though the following may not prevent hair loss or baldness completely, they may help in some instances:
- Massage the scalp regularly to improve blood flow
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet and maintain a good exercise regime
- Drink plenty of water each day
- Find ways to reduce stress
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. There are many symptoms associated with this disease. The most common are memory loss, repetition, confusion, disorientation, delusions, etc. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by parts of the brain shrinking. It is still not understood exactly how this is caused. The likelihood of developing the diseases increases dramatically with age. If this illness runs in your family, you also have a greater chance of developing it.
You can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by the following:
- Maintaining a healthy BMI through a good diet and regular exercise
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Keeping your mind active
- Undergoing regular health checks as you get older
- Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. It is usually caused by a buildup of fatty deposits inside the arteries. It is also associated with damage to the main organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys and eyes. Fortunately, Cardiovascular disease or CVD is largely preventable by making good lifestyle choices.
- Quitting smoking
- Increasing your activity
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy BMI
- Reducing fat, salt, and sugar intake
- Reducing your alcohol intake
Depression can affect anyone at any stage of their life. Though it is not limited to the elderly, they are often at greater risk. There are many reasons of this. Depression can be associated with loss. This could be the loss of a loved one or loss of health or a job. It can also be caused by isolation or loneliness. There are many symptoms of depression, and they vary from person to person. The most common tend to be low mood, fatigue, insomnia, and loss of interest in life. In severe cases, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide.
If you feel you are suffering from depression, it is important to seek help straight away. Therapy, medication, or a combination of the two can help.
To minimise your risk of depression, practice the following:
- Ensure you get enough sleep each night
- Wherever possible, try to leave the house each day
- Maintain contact with family and friends and communicate with them regularly
- Keep your mind active by finding hobbies and interests
- Consider trying activities such as meditation or yoga
- Get to know the triggers that cause low mood or sadness
- Eat a healthy diet and undertake regular exercise
For many people, getting older is a happy time. They no longer have to work, and their mortgages have been paid. They can finally turn their attention to things that are important to them. They spend more time with family, travel and pursue hobbies and interests.
Unfortunately, we can’t control every aspect of our lives. Some medical conditions and illnesses are beyond our control. However, we can take steps to improve our lifestyle. This will provide us with the best chance to enjoy a long and happy life.