Changes affecting the elderly people
As a person ages, he becomes more susceptible to some diseases called common ageing diseases, and this makes him / her need a special type of care and diet that helps strengthen the immune system, and the psychological and physical strength in addition to some important foods that the elderly should be given.
First: Changes in the elderly at this age
1- Physical changes: The body of the elderly person shows some physiological changes that lead to general weakness in the body, such as muscle relaxation and weak nerves, and this is what makes the elderly fail to do his daily tasks without independently.
2- Psychological changes: The elderly person is usually exposed to some pressures and psychological problems that occur as a result of his feeling that he has become a weak person and unable to do his/ her work without the help of others, and that he has become a heavy burden on the family and all the people around.
3- Dietary changes: With age, the elderly becomes unable to eat all kinds of foods, especially foods that cause intestinal confusion and indigestion, so he needs special types of light foods rich in minerals and vitamins.
4- Health changes: The elderly are exposed to many health diseases resulting from the weakness of his immune system, and his failure to deal with bacteria and germs, especially in the winter and transitional seasons.
5- Social changes: the elderly people often experience at this stage of their life a feeling of loneliness and social isolation, and this negatively affects their psyche and pushes them permanently to talk about their young friends, and recall the stages of their strengths.
Second: the most common diseases that affect the elderly
1- Parkinson’s disease: This is one of the most common diseases that affect the elderly, and it results from a weakness and a decrease in the number of producing cells of dopamine in the brain, the substance responsible for movement, especially the facial muscles. The symptoms of this disease can be highlighted in: the slowness of the movements of the older people and their inability to walk, stand or move, so that their steps become short, and they mostly a have severe pain while standing up and sitting down, in addition to stiffness in muscles and body parts. The patient’s curvature and weakness in balance ability. Add to this, loss of certain involuntary automatic movements, blinking, smiling and swinging of the arms. The elderly person with this disease suffers from a decline in their verbal and oratorical abilities, and their voice becomes heavy and unclear. There is also inability to write, difficulty in thinking, inability to swallow, depression and psychological problems.
Ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease in the elderly: Sit in a healthy, unpolluted environment. Give the body a daily amount of rest and relaxation. Eat healthy foods rich in minerals and vitamins.
2- Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disease that affects brain cells, causing them to weaken and the brain to shrink. This problem usually occurs in the part responsible for language and memory. Alzheimer’s disease: weakness of memory, and its complete loss with days. The patient repeats the same words and phrases. The patient has severe mood swings, such as becoming very irritable and nervous. Seniors with this illness experience certain language problems such as pronouncing wrong words and sparse sentences. The patient feels confused. Neglecting personal hygiene and not paying attention to it.
Ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly: surround the elderly person with friends and family and not leave them alone all the time. Avoid exposing the elderly to all cases of anxiety and psychological strain. Give the elderly hours of comfortable sleep and prevent them from going to bed late. Help the elderly to engage in light sports, such as daily slow walking. Give the elderly a cup of coffee a day. Take folic acid supplements under the supervision of a specialist. Encourage seniors to play intelligence games and solve crosswords.
3- Osteoporosis: is a weakness and lack of bone density in the body of the elderly, which leads to easy bone fracture, and the elderly usually suffer from this disease due to a lack of calcium resulting from age. The symptoms of osteoporosis can be summarized as follows: Pain during movement Sensation of stiffness in the joints, pain when pressing on the bone, loss of body flexibility, especially on waking, Sensation of entanglement in the joints and the appearance of some lumps on the bones.
Ways to prevent osteoporosis in the elderly: Elderly people should receive calcium-rich foods daily. Expose seniors to the sun daily in the morning to obtain vitamin D. Avoid smoking in all its forms, including passive smoking. Encourage seniors to move and not sit for hours. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. Maintain a moderate weight away from obesity or excessive thinness.
4- Weakness of the prostate and the bladder: The elderly person suffers from certain problems related to the weakness of the bladder, which exposes him to urinary incontinence, in addition to an hypertrophy of the prostate and this is for men. This problem arises as a result of weakness of the bladder, the surrounding nerves, tissues and muscles. It’s symptoms are summarized in: The inability of old people to retain urine, even for a few minutes, Involuntary urination, especially during sleep. Pain around the bladder.
Ways to prevent the elderly from prostate and bladder weakness: weekly light exercise, reduce drinking stimulants, avoid eating hot and spicy foods. Do not drink fluids during the night, especially coffee and soft drinks. Maintain a stable weight, and avoid obesity
5- Heart diseases and high blood pressure: The elderly are exposed to high or low blood pressure diseases, in addition to ischemic heart diseases, as a result of age, poor blood circulation, and erosion of the arteries throughout the body. The symptoms of these heart problems are feeling of strong heartbeats, headache and dizziness, pain in chest, Shortness of breath, exhaustion and extreme fatigue.
Ways to prevent the elderly from heart disease and blood pressure: Eating healthy, fat-free food. Maintain a healthy weight, movement and not sitting for long hours. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, comfortable sleep, and avoid staying up late.
6- Eye diseases: With age, a person is affected by many eye diseases resulting from weak nerves that affect seniors’ vision, in addition to infection with cataracts and glaucoma. Among the symptoms of eye diseases: weak and blurred vision, mild to moderate eye aches, difficulty in focusing or distinguishing small or distant objects.
Ways to prevent the elderly from eye diseases: Giving the elderly healthy food that strengthens the eye and vision. Give the elderly hours of comfortable sleep and avoid staying up late. Always wear the eyeglasses prescribed by the doctor. Undergo regular eye exams.