Even though it is today rather common for people to live well into their 80s and even 90s, there are common health conditions that may affect most older people at one time or another. When afflicted with one or more condition, the first course of action is to head to the doctor and receive medication to treat the condition. However, there are natural ways to treat many common health conditions as well, and some can be especially effective. So here are six (6) conditions in particular, and the natural treatments and remedies that could be of interest to seniors who develop them.
Probably one of the most common health conditions facing seniors is malnutrition, which ultimately is the facilitator for many other conditions affecting this age group. No matter our age, what we eat is the most important factor for achieving and maintaining good health. But as people age, extraneous factors like financial hardship, restriction of certain foods and flavorings like salt, or even depression and loneliness can get in the way of getting proper nutrition. This leads to a lack of desire or means to prepare nutritious meals. Senior living communities help the elderly avoid malnutrition as they work hard to provide the nutrients in the meals they prepare and serve to their residents.
Flu and Other Viruses
The flu is always a serious matter when it comes to seniors. Even with flu shots, many elderly people still end up hospitalized because of the flu. There are very easy ways to help stave off getting the flu, with washing hands properly and consistently being the easiest. After you shake hands, touch a door knob, or return home, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. There are also essential oils and herbal teas that do a good job in preventing the flu when used at the first sign of flu symptoms. Plus, as we alluded to before, eating right (and getting adequate sleep) can do wonders in preventing the flu from taking over.
Even though all adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep a night to function during the day, many older people do not get restful sleep simply because they wake several times during the night. To help them get quality sleep, lavender and essential oil blends do wonders to help people get and stay asleep, as do herbal teas containing lavender or chamomile. Many elderly people say that maintaining a bedtime routine helps them get to sleep as well.
While they probably will not cure arthritis, there are natural remedies that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of arthritis. The most probable remedy is losing weight (i.e. eating a healthy diet) to alleviate pain. Doctors estimate that for every pound someone with arthritis loses, they place four pounds less pressure on joints. Establishing an active lifestyle through exercise helps with weight loss and keeping joints mobile.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) says that heart disease is the number one killer of adults over 65. With high blood pressure and high cholesterol so prevalent with the elderly, exercise and the proper diet are the most important and easiest ways to stave off heart disease. Residents living in senior living communities have both at their disposal. From daily exercise classes and heart-healthy meals, the community is doing its part to empower residents. So while taking prescription medication is typically the first route taken by doctors, who will also suggest healthy lifestyle choices, it’s helpful to be proactive about the healthy lifestyle factors to potentially get out ahead of the problem.
Depression and mental illness are serious concerns for the senior population, and they all too often go undiagnosed. From the loss of friends and loved ones, to the ensuing isolation and loneliness, depression can set in quickly, and if left untreated, can stick around for the long haul. This is why many elderly people decide to move to senior living communities, where there are always exercise classes and other activities that involve social interaction. Also knowing the first signs of depression (appearance and withdrawal) can help adult children get their parents the help they need before it gets even more serious.
Treat Conditions Before They Worsen
A premise of treating health conditions naturally is to treat them before they worsen. With most of them, the conditions are very treatable with changes in diet and exercise as well as adding herbal teas and supplements to the daily routine (consult a physician first). Natural treatments are becoming more and more acceptable when treating chronic health conditions; however, it is important to consult with a physician to ensure the condition is treated accurately and effectively.