Category Archives: Senior Health

The Most Common Surgeries Needed by Older Patients

Though elderly people are only about 13 percent of the population, they undergo 20 percent of all surgical procedures. Generally, the older a person gets, the more likely he or she is to face surgery. Here are some surgeries that are especially common in elderly people:

Cancer Surgeries

Cancer is common in all ages, but still largely a disease of old age and so old people are over-represented when it comes to cancer surgeries. These surgeries are done to remove or stop the spread of tumors from the prostate, the colon, the breast and other organs.

Cataract Surgery

A cataract is a gradual and painless clouding of the lens of the eye and elderly people are also more likely to suffer from cataracts than younger people. In cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed by an eye surgeon like this ophthalmologist in Cary NC, and an intraocular lens is put in its place. Nowadays, cataract surgery is often outpatient surgery.

Joint Replacement Surgery

Nearly everyone over 65 has a touch of arthritis, which happens when the cushioning cartilage between the joints starts to beak down. Sometimes, the joints can actually rub against each other, leading to pain and inflammation. Sometimes, the condition is so debilitating that the ball of the hip, the knee, elbow or wrist needs to be replaced with prosthesis. These prostheses are often made out of plastic and titanium, a metal which is well tolerated by the body.

CholecystecomyThe Most Common Surgeries Needed by Older Patients

This is also known as gallbladder surgery. Now, gallbladder surgery can be laparoscopic. The patient’s abdominal area is filled with gas to inflate it. Then, tiny incisions are made and a tiny camera is inserted into the surgical site. The doctor operates by looking at a monitor and removes the affected organ one bit at a time with miniaturized instruments. Laparoscopic surgery also cuts down on recovery time and the risk of complications. Elderly people tend to respond well to it. Laparoscopic gall bladder surgery can even be done on an outpatient basis.

Ulcer Surgery

Now that people know that many ulcers are caused by a bacteria, the patient can be given antibiotics to clear it up or a medication that stops the stomach from making acid. But if that doesn’t work and the ulcer is interfering with the patient’s ability to digest their food or if it’s at the point where it’s eating a hole right through the stomach, ulcer surgery might be necessary. The surgeon might simply suture the hole or use lasers to stop bleeding. In truly severe cases, the patient might have to undergo a surgery that removes part of his or her stomach. This is called a partial gastrectomy.

How the Elderly Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

How the Elderly Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

As people get older, a good night’s sleep becomes much harder to achieve. Sleep among the elderly tends to be much choppier and less deep than their younger counterparts meaning they may wake up several times during the night and it takes less for them to wake up. They also spend much less time in dream sleep than younger people. Just because the elderly tend to get less sleep than younger people, it is still equally important for restorative health benefits. There are several reasons why the elderly get less sleep and several ways for them to the sleep that they need.

Bad sleep habits

One of the most common of sleep problems among older people is that they choose or are often forced to have poor sleeping habits. It is important for all people to maintain a regular sleep pattern and when there is no regular sleep pattern it is much more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Family restraints, work are two of the possible options that may cause the elderly to get off a regular sleeping pattern. The elderly are also more likely to take naps during the day which often throws off a regular sleep pattern. Often alcohol, a depressant, can actually keep you awake when you want to go to bed throwing off your sleeping pattern, especially in the elderly. Retirement is also something that takes some getting used to for elderly individuals. Suddenly, the elderly have a lot of time on their hands which can create some odd sleep patterns.

How the Elderly Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

There are several solutions to alleviate poor sleep habits. Finding a way to get your work done during the day and communicating with family about your sleeping trouble is a good start to at least set up a more normal sleep pattern. If you are going to take a nap during the day to attempt to recover some lost sleep, try do so well before you attempt to go to bed for the night. Avoiding alcohol before you go to bed is also a wise decision and will help with sleep patterns. Physical activity during the day is also a good, healthy option to burn some unused energy so that your muscles and body will crave the restorative effects of sleep. Even though, the elderly have more time on their hands, it is still important to keep a regular sleep schedule so they have their normal amount of energy.

Medication

The elderly are more likely to take medications than younger people and often these substances will alter sleep patterns. In some cases, medication can create wakefulness at night. Consulting with your doctor when taking medications is wise to see how they will affect your sleep. If a medication alters your sleep pattern it is wise to tell your doctor and you may be able to move to a different medication. Doctors can also presrive medications to help alleviate sleep issues.

Psychological issues

Being an elderly individual also means that you have experienced a lot of in your life both positive and negative. Traumatic events such as death often messes with sleep as an individual will focus so much on these events that their mind cannot go to sleep. Stress from family or work can also cause the loss of sleep. Communication with individuals close to you such as family and friends is a good way to alleviate some of the burden that you are carrying and often works to achieve a better sleep pattern. There are plenty of financial professionals that handle financial problems of the elderly and speaking with them and setting up a plan can also alleviate the stress the elderly.

Disruptions of normal sleeping behavior are common among the elderly due to the changing of their bodies as well as outside influences. Luckily, by keeping a regular sleep schedule and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the elderly can help themselves get the good night’s sleep they need.

Three Doctors You Are More Likely To Need As in Old Age

As you get older, you become more vulnerable to illness. The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself from illnesses. Seeing a doctor regularly will help keep you healthy. Below are three doctors that you will need to see as you get older:Three Doctors You Are More Likely to Need in Old Age

Optometrist

An optometrist is a doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating eye problems. Older people are at a greater risk for developing vision problems, such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and presbyopia. Experts recommend that people start seeing the optometrist annually starting at the age of 60. More frequent examinations may be recommended if you have a preexisting condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Your medical and vision history will be taken prior to your examination. Cover test, eye movement test, retinoscopy and visual acuity test are examples of some of the tests that may be ordered. Optometrists can also check for high blood pressure and diabetes by looking at your eyes. Your examination will last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour.

Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in treating foot problems. Heel pain, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, open sores, bone spurs, hammer toes and bunions are examples of some of the problems that can be treated with experts such as Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic which is a Calgary foot clinic. You are more likely to develop those problems as you get older, which is why podiatry visits are important. You may need to see a podiatrist more often if you have diabetes.

During your appointment, your health history and symptoms will be discussed. An examination will also be performed.

Cardiologist

A cardiologist is a medical doctor who diagnoses and treats heart problems. Heart disease is America’s top killer, and older age is one of the risk factors for this condition. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and family history are some of the other problems that can increase your risk of heart disease.

Your health and family history will be discussed in detail during your visit. You will also be given a thorough examination. Cardiologist can perform a variety of tests to check for health problems, including EKG, echocardiograms and nuclear stress tests. Early detection helps save lives.

Health problems are common in older people, which is why they need to go to the doctor more often. A podiatrist, optometrist and cardiologist are some of the doctors that can help you maintain optimal health.

Dealing With Disabilities in Your Senior Years

Dealing with a disability at any age is difficult, but this especially true for elderly members of the population. Individuals who are 60 and older may find it exceptionally difficult to transfer from workplace to the other, learn new skills or even cope with working at all. Unfortunately, with age comes a variety of possibilities with regards to the development of a disability. It’s common for the elderly to develop a disability like chronic diseases, physical injuries, mental impairment and many others.

While the advent of a disability can be disheartening, and affect the ability to work and interact with others on a personal and social level, it’s important to remember that having a disability doesn’t signal the end of all happy experiences. There are many ways for coping with disabilities in your senior years, and how you do that directly affects the amount of optimism you have for recovery or living your life. Getting this aid will help you to overcome or cope with what’s holding you back and enable you to enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.

Coping

There are many affects which a disability has on you, and this includes your mental health. It’s easy to fall into the trap of depression and anxiety when faced with what seems to be an overwhelming obstacle in your elderly years. In many cases, individuals find themselves afflicted with chronic pain which they’re unable to overcome on their own, and this affects their quality of life. That, in turn, takes a toll on your self-perception and self-confidence, and it’s important to build that back up in order to cope with this tough time.

Dealing With Disabilities in Your Senior Years

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you realign negative thinking and become a more positive person, by training you to mentally cope with your disability. Help from a psychologist, doctor and physiotherapist is essential for a speedy recovery or a long-term solution for coping with pain or disability. Meditation is another great way to cope with negative thoughts or pain, and can help you establish a new thought process.

Help from Home

It takes many hands to make light work. That’s a mantra you should practice when coping with a disability. It’s not easy to bury pride and ask for help from loved ones or even medical practitioners, but it’s essential that you do. As you get older, your body deteriorates and the need for special care increases. Investing in a full-time nurse may be necessary if you have an injury or chronic illness which prevents you from performing day-to-day tasks with ease.

Having your family around can also be a source of great comfort and stability in both an emotional and physical way. Surround yourself with people that care about you and that you trust enough to lean on without the fear of being judged or treated as an invalid. Try to invest in a solid state of mind with the belief that you are not a burden and are doing the best you can. People who care about you won’t see you in a negative light.

Monetary Support

If you’re unable to work at all, it might be possible to claim for disability benefits. Depending on which state you’re in, you’ll be able to claim benefits for your disability based on a specific grid which measures your education, past work experience and the severity of your injury. Though it may sound complicated, there are plenty of facilities which can help you figure out this process. In Louisiana, for instance, you would be able to enlist the help of a Louisiana Disability Lawyer to guide you through the application process. If you’re deemed unable to perform work (sedentary or otherwise) and your claim is approved, you’ll be able to focus on coping rather than worrying about money.

Always get help from professionals, care from your family and enlist the help of a professional to ensure your monetary affairs are in order.