Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to eat nutritious meals, avoid cigarettes, drink plenty of water, exercise and get enough sleep.
Deal with stress-Stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills and try to manage stress. Experts suggest including yoga, meditation and exercise in daily routine. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
Exercising everyday-Physical activity can have a positive impact on our mood. Even as little as a brisk 10-minute walk can increase our positive mood. Exercise releases certain hormones which are stress busters and relaxes our body and mind to a great extent.
Bask in Sun-Research has proved that sunlight helps promote the production of vitamin D which increases your level of serotonin (which helps regulate your mood) in the brain. Plus, time in nature is a proven stress reducer. It is advisable to daily sit in a good sunlight for atleast 10-15 mins for a good mental health.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs-Experts recommend alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems. They are addictive and can only complicate stress levels.
SILVER YEARS – PHYSICAL/MENTAL/EMOTIONAL WELL BEING
Some Diseases Associated With Old Age
Old age is also known as senescence. Normally silver years or old age is defined as period of the life from 60-65 years. A regular exercise and eating a well balanced diet can help to fight against many infections and diseases associated with the old age.
Silver Years- Physical/Mental/Emotional Well Being
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if proper health care measures are taken after 65 years of age ,one can live for an another 19.3 years.
According to Jeanne Wei, MD, PhD, executive director of the Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, people who adopt healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting smoking and losing weight, can help you avoid age related health risks.
Here is a list of some diseases associated with old age:
According to CDC 49.7 percent of elderly suffer from arthritis. Elderly mostly suffer from painful condition called osteoarthritis, which is painful and limits mobility in elderly.
2. Heart Disease
Elderly with risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, that increase the chances of have a high tendency of developing cardiovascular diseases like stroke. Eating well balanced and frequent meals along with exercise can prevent elderly from the heart related disorders.
As per the CDC reports, 28 percent of men and 21 percent of women over age 65 are living with cancer. Hence regular checkups like mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin checks can prevent different type of cancers.
4. Respiratory Diseases
CDC has reported that chronic lower respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are the third most common cause of death among people 65 and older. Elderly suffer from chronic respiratory infections such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema. These problems can make elderly to easily fall for conditions like pneumonia. Early checks can prevent the pneumonia in elderly.
5. Alzheimer’s Disease
As per the Alzheimer’s Association, one in nine people age 65 and older, which is about 11 percent, have Alzheimer’s disease, but because diagnosis is challenging, it’s difficult to know exactly how many people are living with this chronic condition. Diagnosing this disease at an early stage can help to deal with it an early stage.
Osteoporosis is also an age-related problem in elderly, especially in women. Osteoporosis can contribute towards less mobility and a deranged stature in elderly.
According to CDC 25 percent of people ages 65 and older are living with diabetes. It is necessary to check for pre diabetes conditions and monitoring blood sugar levels can help to control the disease.
8. Influenza and Pneumonia
According to the CDC ,flu and pneumonia infections are among the top eight causes of death in people over age 65. Seniors are more vulnerable to these diseases and less able to fight them off. Vaccination can prevent elderly to fall for these infections .
As per the CDC repots, 2.5 million people ages 65 and older are treated in emergency departments because of falls. Elderly should walk carefully and should refrain from using slippery bath rooms.
Obesity is an important senior health risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It also decreases the motility in elderly leading to various complications such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
According to CDC many elderly suffer from depression. Support from friends and family and increased social interaction can prevent depression in elderly.
12. Oral Health
Oral health becomes compromised in elderly due to functional and physiological changes. Elderly are advised to visit dentist after every 6 months for a regular assessment. Dentures and oral rehabilitation measures are taken by the dentists to restore the dental health in elderly.
According to the National Institutes of Health, one out of three people over 60 will get shingles. People who suffer from chicken pox in childhood uaually encounter shingles as they grow with age. A good immune system and good health status helps elderly to recover from shingles at a faster pace.
The Risk Factors, Effects And Treatment Of Alcohol Addiction
Having an occasional drink is considered normal social behaviour. But, some people can get addicted to the use of alcohol. This problem can happen in men as well as women.
Anyone whose life is negatively affected by alcohol on a consistent basis is considered to have an alcohol use disorder.
What happens when we drink alcohol?
Alcohol acts as a depressant of our central nervous system (CNS) and it slows down the body, both mentally as well as physically. It tends to cause a decrease in feelings of anxiety and stress and this is one of the main reasons why people tend to get addicted to the use of alcohol.
Certain people are more prone to alcohol addiction
Alcohol addiction might run in families due to a genetic problem.
People with depression or other mental health issues are more prone to alcohol addiction.
Having a parent with alcohol addiction problems can make a person more likely to emulate that behavior.
What are the risk factors for alcohol addiction?
Regular drinking over time
One is prone to alcohol addiction mostly in the 20s and 30s
Family history and genetic predisposition
Psychological problems like depression
Company of friends and family who are addicts themselves
Are there any warning signs about alcohol addiction?
There are some warning signs that might point towards alcohol addiction.
Having an increasing number of drinks to feel the same effect.
Feeling the desire to have a drink in the morning.
Lying to people about the reason you drink or how much you drink.
Losing interest in the things you once enjoyed.
What are the effects of alcohol addiction?
Alcohol addiction can have a negative impact on a person, not just mentally and emotionally, but physically too.
Excess alcohol is linked to several medical conditions. The common ones are
Infection of the pancreas
Cancers of the breast, ovaries, and prostate
Cirrhosis of the liver
Drinking during pregnancy can harm the fetus and cause permanent brain damage.
Alcohol can cloud one’s judgment and make a person more prone to risky behavior, including road accidents and violence.
What is the treatment for alcohol addiction?
If you are a loved one are having any of these issues, then it’s best to get help at the earliest. It would be best to consult your doctor who would do an assessment to check if there have been any negative effects due to alcohol use.
This could include:
Liver function tests
Kidney function tests
Ultrasounds to check on the abdominal organs
Blood sugar test
Treating alcohol addiction
Treating alcohol addiction is a long process and, in most cases, lifelong monitoring might be needed, as relapses can happen.
In addition to a psychiatrist, there is generally the need for regular counseling sessions with a psychologist.
Family support is also important to ensure that the person feels emotionally supported.
There are some medicines that are available to control the symptoms due to alcohol withdrawal. These can include medicines to deal with anxiety, called benzodiazepines, and some drugs called Antabuse drugs, like disulfiram. These Antabuse drugs cause nausea and vomiting if alcohol is taken with it, so it acts as a deterrent to alcohol use.
Regular counseling sessions can help in dealing with underlying emotional issues, anger issues and also help in learning techniques to relax and deal with stress without taking recourse to alcohol.
What can the family members do to help?
Dealing with alcohol addiction can often be a lifelong commitment for the entire family. The following measures can help to keep a person on track and prevent any relapses.
Grief is a person’s emotional response to the experience of loss while bereavement is the state of having experienced a loss. Reactions to loss are called grief reactions. Common grief reactions include difficult feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, and behaviors. People who have experienced loss may have a range of feelings. This could include shock, numbness, sadness, denial, despair, anxiety, anger, guilt, loneliness, depression, helplessness, relief, and yearning.
Common thought patterns include disbelief, confusion, difficulty concentrating, preoccupation, and hallucinations. Grief can cause physical sensations. These include tightness or heaviness in the chest or throat, nausea or an upset stomach, dizziness, headaches, physical numbness, muscle weakness or tension, and fatigue. It may also make you vulnerable to illness. A person who is grieving may struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep and even lose energy for enjoyable activities.
The stages of mourning include acceptance of the reality of the loss, going through the pain of grief. Adjusting to life without the person being physically present and finding new ways to remain connected to the person who has died. The grieving process is often harder when the person has unresolved feelings towards or conflicts with the person who has died.
The year after the death of a loved one is very emotional. Mental health experts suggest waiting at least a year before making any major decisions, such as moving or changing jobs. Consider making a list of decisions and tasks, and figure out which ones must be completed immediately. Try to hold off on the important decisions that can wait. Anniversaries, birthdays and festive occasions can be very difficult, particularly during the first year. With time, these feelings will often get less intense. You may find it helpful to do something special to mark an anniversary,birthday or make time for a celebration to remember your relative or friend.
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect our ability to sleep on a regular basis. The human body is programmed to work in the day and sleep at night. Any imbalance in this fine balance can lead to a disturbed sleep pattern and a feeling of tiredness and irritation the next day.
The sleep cycle is governed by a hormone called melatonin.It’s levels go up at night and reduce in the day. This cycle can be disrupted by change of time zones due to travel or exposure to artificial light for prolonged periods.
While we all experience the occasional night of disturbed sleep, some people experience insomnia, which can be difficulty in falling asleep, waking up repeatedly at night or waking up early. Insomniacs feel unrefreshed the next day and they may feel sleepy, irritable or unable to concentrate.
What are the reasons for insomnia?
There can be many reasons for insomnia
Change of time zones
Prolonged exposure to artificial light
Some medicines can also disrupt the sleep cycle. These can commonly include some medicines for treating hypertension, asthma, anti-depressants and steroids.
Working night shifts
Too much tea, coffee and nicotine
Psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia
Common complications that can arise from sleep disorder
Fatigue in the day time
Raised blood pressure and heart problems
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Affected relationships because it leads to sleep-deprived partners
How do I know that I have a sleep disorder?
People with sleep disorders can have one or more of these symptoms-
Difficulty in falling asleep
Getting up frequently at night
Waking up feeling unrefreshed
Lack of concentration
Feeling sleepy in the daytime
Depression or anxiety
What are the measures that can help in promoting good sleep?
Some simple measure can help you I case you’re unable to fall asleep
Turn off all electronic devices at bedtime, even reading devices can be distracting due to the backlight. A simple book or soothing music might work better
Have dinner at least two hours prior to bedtime.
Avoid tea and coffee after the evening.
Meditation and breathing exercises can also be beneficial.
When to meet the doctor
If these measures don’t help or the lack of sleep is affecting your daytime activities, it might be a good idea to take your doctor’s opinion.
How is a sleep disorder managed?
To diagnose the cause of your sleep disorder, the doctor might as you about your lifestyle, check your blood pressure and advise some basic investigations to see your level of general health Do be sure to share any information regarding any medicines you might be taking, including herbal supplements.
Sometimes, a sleep study might be advised where the doctor might observe your sleep pattern and record your brain activity with electrodes. This involves a night’s stay at a sleep center.
To treat insomnia, generally a combination of lifestyle changes, cognitive behavior therapy and some medicines for sleep might be prescribed. These could include anti- anxiety medicines, anti- depressants and melatonin.
Cognitive behavior therapy involves working with a counselor to overcome the negative emotions that are triggering or being generated due to the insomnia. It can involve learning relaxation techniques, maintaining a sleep diary and other measures that help in positive re-programming the mind towards a restful night’s sleep.
Sleep disorders can be easily managed with counseling and medical measures. It’s important to realize that it is a medical condition and that treatment options are available.
We advocate getting medical advice and supervision before starting any treatment regime.