Tag Archives: Elderly

Relaxing and Recovery: The Health Benefits of Spas for Seniors

Elderly people often suffer from aches, pains and tension that make getting through simple tasks of everyday life a challenge.  Though there are medical treatments that may help with these obstacles facing seniors, they sometimes are unnecessary as other more natural options can work wonders to alleviate these struggles.  There are many health benefits for seniors for using thermal baths to improve their physical health, and they also work wonders on bringing happiness and relaxation to life as well.

Spas for Seniors:  Hot Tubs, Thermal Waters, and Spas

If you have never experienced the benefits of a spa before for your mental and physical health, it is worth understanding how these warm waters can truly cure many of your medical issues.  These spas have been around since the time of the Ancient Romans, who used the natural hot springs to shape public baths that were found to cure many illnesses of the body, from breathing issues to what we know as high blood pressure today.  Around the world, people still depend on spas for maintaining balance throughout their system, and use trips to the spa to relax.  Senior citizens can especially notice improvement in their health by attending the spa.  With warm jets of water massaging out the pressure that has built up within your body, nearly instant improvement can be felt within the entire body.

Health Issues that Affect the Elderly

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Some of the best health benefits for older people is that the warm waters can be incredibly relieving for the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that penetrate through the layers of the skin.  These waters may be physically pleasing, but can be helpful for health issues that particularly affect older people.  Circulatory problems often need medicinal treatment, but studies have shown that circulation within the body can be improved through exposure to these warm baths.  The minerals within the water help with improving the rashes and skin dryness that can affect older skin, and they also penetrate the system to work wonders for issues including draining your lymph nodes and stimulating the lymbic system.  With the technology that has been developed by companies like Rapid River pools and spas, it is easy to adjust your at-home or in-spa thermal bath experience to the temperature, jet pressure, and mineral levels that your body needs, and health professionals can also guide you to what thermal spas would be suited best for your safe recovery from an illness or surgery.

Relieving Stress and Strain:  A Natural Alternative

As flexibility becomes more difficult to maintain over the years, spas are a great way to loosen up parts of the body that are particularly troublesome for elderly people – including the tightness in hamstrings and the upper and lower back muscles that make mobility very difficult and even painful.  Stress can be linked to bronchitis, asthma, and other breathing issues.  Spas are also known to treat rheumatoid arthritis and insomnia, and spas are great for combating both while also reducing symptoms immediately after treatment. Strained muscles are easily relaxed in the spa, as they stimulate the nerve endings that keep your body tense as a result of daily stressors.  Spas can help to correct poor posture as well, helping everything in the body to release the pockets of fluid and air that keep the muscles from adjusting to their proper positions.

The health benefits of spas for seniors are incredible, but be sure to only use products, spas, and other thermal baths that you trust and that have safety certifications.  Since thermal waters can serve as a breeding ground for dangerous microbes and bacteria – including meningitis, for example – it is critical that you ensure that the spas you use will not further complicate any of your health problems with new illnesses.  Before using a new plan for introducing thermal spas into your current health regimen, speak to your doctor, and be sure to look for documentation of inspection before using a new spa.

Preventing Eye Problems as You Age

As you reach your 40s, 50s, and 60s, your eyesight naturally starts to fail. This is a natural part of aging, but it does not have to mean the end of your good vision. There are plenty of things you can do that will help reduce your chances of seeing harmful eye problems as you age.

Of course, you will always have some eye failure as your eyes age, just as you will have other muscle failure and breakdown. But there are certain eye problems you can avoid. Here is a handy list of normal symptoms, and some problems that are not so normal that you can avoid:

 

Normal signs of aging eyes:

Trouble with reading small print: Reading small print is one of the harder tasks you can put your eyes through. As you age, it becomes harder to focus on small things. There isn’t much you can do about it, but if you want to try, there are a wide variety of eye exercises available that might help.

Losing nearsighted vision: For some reason, when you get older, it is harder to read things when they are near your face. Many people become farsighted as they age. This is normal, and there is not much you can do about it.

Trouble focusing on screens: Screens can wreak havoc on the eyes, and as you age, the problems become worse. The reason that looking at a screen is so difficult is because the image is actually refreshing all the time. This makes it harder to focus and tires the eyes quickly. As you age, you will have to take more breaks from staring at a screen all day.

 

Abnormal signs of aging eyes:

Cataracts: Cataracts are simply the build up of proteins around the iris. Too much build up will cause gradual vision loss until the point of blindness. A healthy diet can prevent some cataracts, but most people see some cataract clouding eventually. Surgery can help clear the eyes and restore vision.

 

Glaucoma: Glaucoma is caused by increased fluid pressure inside the eye. This slowly damages the optic nerve and blocks vision. This will cut down on peripheral vision and can also lead to complete vision loss if left untreated. You can cut down on the risk of glaucoma by eating a healthy diet and maintaining normal blood pressure.


So, how can you prevent damaging your eyes as you age? Although there is nothing that will completely restore your vision to what it was when you were younger, there are certain steps you can take that will help you maintain clear vision. Other than wearing glasses and contact lenses to improve your vision, you can also eat a diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables, fish, and carrots. There are also several vitamins available that you can take that will help retain your vision. Your eye doctor may be able to recommend specific vitamins that you can take.


Aging causes problems in every part of the body, but you don’t have to give in and accept total defeat. There are several things you can try that will help slow the signs of aging in your eyes. The better you treat your eyes, the longer they will provide you with healthy vision.

Gadgets to Make Our Elderly Years Much More Pleasurable

The purpose of technology has always been to make the lives of humans easier. This means that if anything makes life harder, such as getting older, technology is what we can rely on to even the score. There are an increasingly large number of gadgets that seek to make the lives of the elderly easier in just about every category. This can stretch from moving up stairs, to reading the news. Here are a few examples.

Health Monitoring Devices

More and more of smartphone apps and individual portable or home devices are available that help you and your doctor to monitor your health and physical functions. These gadgets not only make life safer with chronic diseases but may also assist you in disease prevention. Blood pressure, blood sugar or simple heart-rate monitors are already available for home or portable use with smartphones and as these are always connected, they make it easier to log data, monitor and keep track of your health condition.

StairLifts

It’s a sad truth that something as simple as getting up the stairs can become a herculean task as you get older and your knees give out. Fortunately, modern innovations such as the stairlift has you covered. These devices can be a little confusing to figure out, but you can use a stairlift guide by Thyssen to make sure that you don’t injure yourself while maneuvering up and down the stairs. This way, you can simply sit in the chair, strap yourself in, and give your knees a rest. The lift will do the well, heavy lifting, while it powers you to the top of the stairs.

Even in situations where you could probably get up the stairs yourself, a lift is often a good choice anyway for the following reasons.

  • Takes pressure off your body. Putting less pressure on your knees will mean that they will work for potentially much longer, so you can keep walking around normally without pain.
  • Taking a lift will remove all the risk. Many people fall down the stairs every year and cause themselves serious injuries even when they aren’t elderly.
  • Keep your autonomy. While relying on a gadget to get you up the stairs can be off-putting, it’s often much less so than having to rely on other people. This usually means either having someone come over, which can be expensive, or having to go to a nursing home, which can be expensive and depressing.

Tablets

Another unfortunate effect of aging is that it can make it more difficult to see. Additionally, typing on a traditional keyboard can be hard on elderly fingers. This is where gadgets like iPads come in. Tablet computers like the iPad often have vibrant colors and big, easy to see touch screens with more intuitive interfaces than traditional computers. Additionally, many of them come with games that you can download for free that can help with keeping memory and critical thinking skills sharp. Some studies have shown that conditions like Alzheimer’s can be delayed through such exercises.

Exoskeletons

It’s probably the case that when you think gadgets for the elderly, the phrase robot exoskeleton isn’t the first thing that you think about. But no matter how farfetched this might seem, exokseleons for the elderly are quickly becoming a reality. These are metal braces that go on over the outside of the clothing that help reduce stress on joints. As a result, persons who have trouble walking for whatever reason will be able to continue their workout as normal due to the aid. After all, exercise can keep you healthy in other ways,and it’s rather unfortunate that joint problems force many elderly persons to miss out on the many cardio and other types of benefits of exercise due to unrelated aging problems. But this gadget will give the elderly the option of continuing their jogging and walking routines well into the future.

Technological innovations such as these will hopefully continue to steal back years for the elderly, allowing them to enjoy their lives for longer and longer as scientific understanding improves.

Not too old for Clinical Trials?

It is not news to anyone that we are all living longer. Life expectancy in the United States increased by 30 years during the 20th Century and 25 of those years were attributed to advances in medicines and the treatment of disease in older people. Life is now the survival of those who live in the better conditions, rather than those who are born fitter. But challenges remain, particularly in the fight against Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Differences between Young and Old

There are many differences between the bodies of an older person and a younger person, besides the obvious outward appearance. Older people often have more than one health condition at a time, making it difficult to successfully deal with those conditions. Nothing can be treated in isolation. The older body absorbs medication differently to the younger body and it is also weaker, making it more vulnerable to the potential side effects of medication.

A Discipline in Itself

So, there is no surprise that the study of disease in the elderly has its own discipline, called Gerontology. Just as the United States has seen an increase in life expectancy, so has Europe. The ageing population is expected to increase from 84 million to 141 million by 2050. Rather than waiting for a problem to arrive on the doorstep, the European Union has established an agency dedicated to the advancement of medical care for the older generation, implementing strategies that span the creation of new medicines and treatment protocols. The goal is greater understanding of how to successfully fight conditions that affect the elderly and ultimately better care.

What Part Can the Elderly Play?

This is not a problem that can be solved in isolation. Clinical testing at the pre-licensing stage needs to include more elderly volunteers.

How Clinical Trials Work

For those interested in participating, there are two types of medical trial open to human volunteers: trials with healthy volunteers that test the effects of a drug on an organ that it is not intended to treat and trials that test medications for specific conditions.

A good example of the first trial would be a medicine that is intended to treat the liver, but the sponsor wants to see if there is any effect on the heart but not necessarily a negative effect, or what might be classed as a side effect. An example of the second would be a trial that tests a new Alzheimer’s medication and requires volunteers who have the condition.

Another important distinction is that trials requiring healthy volunteers pay an honorarium, whereas condition specific trials don’t because it is perceived that the volunteer can derive benefits from exposure to the new drug. Companies like GSK deliver both types of trial and their honorariums for trials in the UK begin at £50 and can be up to £2000 depending on the trial and how many times you volunteer.

Medical testing for healthy volunteers is open to people up to the age of 80. It is a fascinating process to see science at work and to participate in the development of drugs that could help someone you will never meet.

Guest post contributed by Sally Shaws, who writes about volunteering for paid clinical trials. You can visit GlaxoSmithKline for more information on taking part in these trials or to register as a volunteer.

Home Automation Gives Self Sufficiency to Elderly

Getting older often means a reduction in mobility and increased difficulty with the performance of what were once routine chores. Traditionally options for ensuring the safety and comfort of ageing family members included placement in a residential facility, movement to an assisted-living community or contracting an in-home nurse. The choice was often limited by the family’s budget as well.

Home automation companies such as Vivint have been around for decades, but applications were sharply limited in comparison with what is available now. Advances in home entertainment, security and energy conservation are now being tailored for use by the disabled and elderly. It may seem far-fetched, but an initial investment in assistive technologies for the home can produce significant savings and allow your loved ones to stay in their residence for much longer.

Enhance Security and Safety

Concerns about home safety are a primary motivator for movement to a residential facility. Smart appliances are now outfitted with sensors and automatic timers to prevent accidents. Gas is turned off on a range with an unlit pilot light. The oven automatically turns off after sensors fail to detect activity after pre-set time periods. Microwave ovens even have sensors capable of detecting types of food and using pre-set heating instructions without manual input.

Security is another leading concern. Someone with joint problems may find unlocking doors a difficult task, and others have trouble remembering to lock the door or close blinds. Remote, keyless entry and recognition sensors can solve these problems. The same wireless security systems now used in homes can include a panic button and sensors that detect falls within the home and alert the relevant authorities. Look into a Vivint security system, or a DIY installation for piece of mind.  Also look into packaging with Portland OH Vivint home automation.

Basic Mechanics to Domotics

Some tools have been used by the disabled and elderly for years, such as grip bars, raised toilet seats, claw-grips and portable ramps for wheelchair access. These are still effective, low-cost solutions for common problems.

Domotics is a new term for domestic robots capable of performing a wide variety of functions. They include the well-known vacuum robots and meal preparation robots to robots capable of monitoring vital signs, alerting medical personnel to problems, providing medication reminders, and even administering medications and spoon-feeding.

Administration

Stand-alone devices for the Smart home are being replaced by networked devices on a central computer. These are designed for user-friendly access to settings, which may be locked for those with Alzheimer’s or other memory disorders. Networked systems provide a complete solution capable of adapting to the changing needs of the individual.