Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans of Home Instead in Sheffield.
In this instalment, I will be providing you with some self-help tips that will help you to combat some of the most common ailments experienced by older people in a bid to keep the doctor away.
Of course, I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t visit the doctor whenever you feel unwell or need advice, or that you should ever change or reduce any medication you are taking without first consulting your doctor. Still, here are some common medical conditions and some steps that you can take which you will hopefully feel some benefit from:
- Arthritis: weight loss and exercise will certainly help reduce the pain of arthritis whilst improving your mobility. It might feel like the last thing you want to do but keep active and watch your diet to help reduce joint pain from arthritis.
- Cholesterol: Look out for saturated fats, they are the enemy that causes high cholesterol. Eliminating them from your diet could reduce your LDL by as much as 5%. Further benefit can be achieved by increasing your intake of soluble fibre and switching to margarines fortified with sterols.
- Osteoporosis: Extra vitamin D and calcium are on the menu to combat osteoporosis. Plus, regular weight bearing exercises help strengthen your bone tissue fending off the onset of the disease.
- High Blood Pressure: Reduce the amount of salt in your diet and (yet again) increasing your level of exercise will work wonders for your blood pressure.
- Cognitive decline: Sudoku, the crossword, reading a book, watching Countdown are all excellent ways of exercising the grey matter and keeping your mind sharp.
- Diabetes: We all know that Type 2 diabetes is diet-related so watch your sugar intake. Again, exercise helps encourage insulin to pull more sugar in from the blood stream.
- Depression: Regular exercise is the best self-help anti-depressant, closely followed by socialising, so try to meet up regularly with friends for a walk and a laugh, it is guaranteed to give you a tonic.
I’d love to hear from you! To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at [email protected] or by post to Home Instead, Haywood House, Hydra Business Park, Nether Lane, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, S35 9ZX. Alternatively, you can also call me on 01142 469666.