In this section of the site we have aimed to cover problems and illnesses we believe to be the most frequent in the older person.
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The majority of people in Great Britain are living longer, which of course is great news. But as the well-known saying goes it is ‘quality not quantity’ that makes the difference. I am sure we all agree, we don’t want to reach a good old age yet be unable to enjoy ourselves because of illness.
Exercise and diet
For some people getting old means lazing around on the sofa in front of the TV. However, after the age of 45 many people will begin to gain weight, so it is very important to stay physically active. Regular exercise helps reduce the effects of osteoporosis and arthritis. Exercise such as brisk walking, jogging and keep fit can help keep your bones strong. You should try and take exercise three times a week for approximately half an hour. Be careful not to over exercise as you may end up doing yourself more damage. If you haven’t exercised for a while you should speak to your doctor about ways to get started. You can also try the following to keep you active:
Try walking up stairs instead of using the lift or escalator.
Take up gardening, raking leaves etc.
Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the distance.
Wash the windows.
Walk the dog, if you haven’t got a pet consider getting one.
Take grandchildren to the park for a walk.
Take up a new activity like dancing, swimming or yoga.
It is also very important that if you smoke you now give up, it is never too late to stop. Click here to read our page about smoking. Ensure you maintain a healthy diet, to help reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. For more information on what a healthy balanced diet consists of click here.
By the age of 65, you should have your eyesight checked regularly, NHS sight tests are free to people over 60 every 2 years. You should also visit your doctor at least once a year to have your blood pressure and hearing checked, even if you are in good health.
Women should continue to practice breast awareness and check their breasts every month for lumps. A routine X-ray, known as a mammogram is available on the NHS for women aged between 50 and 64 by invitation, at three-yearly intervals. Women over 64 are not automatically invited for screening but screening is available on request.
Men should look out for possible symptoms of prostate problems such as, difficulty or pain when urinating or needing to urinate more frequently, especially at night. By the time men reach their 70’s, 40 per cent will have symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
If you are over 75 years old make sure you visit your doctor or local pharmacist once a year, for a flu jab. The best time to be immunized is late September. If you are under 75 but have any of the following, you should also have the flu jab : – chronic respiratory disease, including asthma and bronchitis, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, low immunity due to disease or cancer treatment. However, if you don’t fall into any of these categories and would like the flu jab you should speak to your doctor.
When you reach retirement age you may find you have a lot of free time so why not take up a new hobby such as learning an instrument or taking a further education course. Make time to pamper yourself and visit a beauty clinic or the hairdressers. It is important to keep your mind active as you get older and you can do this by playing cards, writing letters or by doing crosswords. Also why not get in touch with all those people you have lost touch with over the years.
We at Home Health UK believe everyone should take an active role in leading a healthy lifestyle.
It is not only the person who is suffering from illness that needs to know about the condition, but also those caring for them.