According to World Health Organization, 25% of the world population is suffering from
Mental illnesses But
only 40% of these cases are diagnosed and treated. One million annual suicides are the result of these undiagnosed or missed
cases. Most common causes for these suicides are depression, dementia, anxiety and Schizophrenia.
Senior Citizens are susceptible to a variety of mental illnesses. Depression is the most common
of these. Symptoms of depression include- Lack of interest in activities you enjoyed doing. Sadness or unexplained crying spells, jumpiness or irritability,
Loss of memory, inability to concentrate, confusion or disorientation, Thoughts of death or suicide,
Change in appetite and sleep patterns. Persistent fatigue, lethargy, aches and other unexplainable physical problems, Dementias and Pseudo/dementias.
Vitamin B-12 has been extensively researched for its importance in preventing dementia. Studies supporting a beneficial role of vitamin D
in reducing the risk of diseases linked to dementia such as vascular and metabolic diseases. Except for the three vitamins - D, K, and Biotin,
the other vitamins can be found in fruits, vegetables and lean meats, and must be a part of your regular diet.
Memory loss: A new study found that elderly people who ate more calories a day had a higher risk of a type of memory loss called mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
MCI is a stage of cognitive decline between normal age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s dementia. People with MCI have problems with memory
and thinking that are noticeable to others, but that don’t interfere with everyday life.
Walking ward off mental decline: Walking could ward off dementia and mental decline. Elderly people who get about by walking are less likely to suffer mental
decline or even dementia, a study says. Brain scans revealed that older people walking between six and nine
miles a week appeared to have more brain tissue in key areas. The Pittsburgh University study of 299 people suggested they had less "brain shrinkage", which is linked to memory
problems. The research was reported in the journal Neurology. Exercise improves blood flow to the brain and may help build new brain
cells, recent studies show. Mild exercise such as walking can boost brain volume and improve memory in older adults, researchers have found.
Protect Your Brain in Old Age: New research suggests to protect your brain are:
* Boosting Your B-Vitamin Intake- Researchers at the British Science Festival this week reported findings that high doses of B vitamins and folic acid could reduce memory decline and brain shrinkage
* Cutting Fat, Carbs - A diet low in saturated fat and refined sugars may reduce your risk of developing dementia, according to research published earlier this summer
* Exercising - Aerobic exercise may reduce your chances of developing dementia , and slow the progression of the disease once it starts.
Arthritis simply means ‘inflammation of the joints . The word rheumatism is even more general, and is used to
describe aches and pains in joints, bones and muscles. There are more than 200 types of arthritis and rheumatic disease. The
symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness in Knee Arthritis with limitation of joint movement.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused by inflammation of the joint lining in
synovial (free moving) joints. It can affect any joint, but is more common in peripheral joints, such as the hands, fingers and toes RA
can cause functional disability, significant pain and joint destruction, leading to deformity and premature mortality.
Prevention: Musculo-skeletal diseases are among the most common diseases in old age
Approximately 70% of these conditions are minor, self-limiting conditions related to trauma, injuries, sprains, wrong use or
over-use of the musculo-skeletal system including sudden unaccustomed physical work and habitual bad posture. Another common
cause of ‘rheumatism’ is the aging of the joints called osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis : Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It is a chronic,
irreversible and degenerative condition ranging from very mild to very severe. It is characterised by the breakdown of cartilage in
joints, which causes affected bones to rub against each other leading to permanent damage.
Gout: Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body, which then accumulates in certain joints. It
causes sudden attacks of severe pain and tenderness, usually in a single joint and most often in the big toe. The extreme pain of gout is usually accompanied by warmth, redness, and swelling.
Prevention Steps: Regular physical exercise and walking, a balanced diet, a healthy life style
can prevent this disease. Take your recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D daily. Participate in regular weight-bearing
exercise. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. Take a bone density test to check the condition of your bones
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Feeling Younger May Help Memory as We Age
Feeling younger than one’s real age could help to preserve memory and
cognitive function as people get older, says a study in the November 2014 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
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