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Five most common chronic diseases troubling senior citizens are hypertension, cataracts, heart disease, ulcers or gastric diseases, and arthritis or rheumatism.

Normally all these seniors are advised to take preventive measures, which include multivitamins and antioxidants.

As homeopaths, what we can offer to senior citizens to prevent these ailments?


China Post | A survey of Taiwan's senior citizens reveals that 50% suffer from three conditions with hypertension at the top, and cataracts, heart disease, ulcers or gastric disease and arthritis or rheumatism, in that order.

 

I wonder if a survey in other countries would show a different set of chronic diseases in a different order of magnitude?

 

NInety percent of survey participants had one disease, while 70% had two or more and 51% had three chronic diseases. How can these issues be addressed? What causes these types of chronic diseases? If high blood pressure rates number one, the government should address stress reduction, life style, nutrition and diet. 

 

Interestingly, cataracts were listed as most common along with hypertension. Not surprisingly, cataracts are related to high blood pressure. If the blood pressure was normalized, the cataracts would also be reduced. Does the survey tell us the medications people take to indicate a relational cause?


Types of cataracts include:

  • A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes, high farsightedness or retinitis pigmentosa, or those taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.
  • A nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. Nuclear cataracts usually are associated with aging.
  • A cortical cataract is characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the center in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.
  • Cataracts are very common, affecting roughly 60% of people over the age of 60, and over 1.5 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States each year. 
  • Other factors that may lead to development of cataracts at an earlier age include excessive ultraviolet-light exposure, diabetes, smoking, or the use of certain medications, such as oral, topical, or inhaled steroids. 
  • Other medications that are more weakly associated with cataracts include the long-term use of statins and phenothiazines

Did you know that women were more vulnerable to chronic diseases than males in Taiwan?

Among women, osteoporosis, arthritis or rheumatism, and heart diseases top the list.

Life style habits that may contribute to chronic disease:

  • Among the respondents, 16 percent smoke
  • 24 percent consumed alcohol
  • 34 percent did not exercise regularly

The sponsors of the survey said monitoring blood pressure and sugar levels with regular check ups can help.


LINKS:
Diabetes Mellitus 

Graphites In Complications of Diabetes

Acetic Acid and Diabetes
Antioxidants May Increase Diabetes Risk
Homeopathic Approach in The Treatment of Diabetes

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Common Homoeopathic remedies indicated 4:

O - Old age, senility
ambr. ant-c. arn. ars. AUR. BAR-C. caps. carb-an. carb-v. chin. Con. fl-ac. hydr. KALI-C. LACH. LYC. nit-ac. OP. phos. sanic. sars. Sec. sel. seneg. sil. squil. sul-ac. sulph. sumb. syph. tub. verat.
Phatak S R Repertory

GENERALS - OLD AGE - old people
Abies-n. acet-ac. Acon. Agar. Agn. All-s. Aloe Alum. alumn. Am-c. am-m. AMBR. Ammc. Anac. Ant-c. ant-t. apis Arg-n. Arn. Ars. ars-s-f. AUR. bapt. BAR-C. Bar-m. Bry. calc. Calc-p. camph. cann-i. caps. Carb-an. Carb-v. carc. Caust. Cham. chin. chinin-s. cic. cit-v. COCA cocc. Colch. Con. crot-h. cupr. dig. Fl-ac. gali. gamb. gins. Graph. ham. Hydr. hydrog. hyos. Iod. Irid-met. Iris kali-ar. kali-bi. KALI-C. kreos. LACH. LYC. mag-f. merc. Mill. nat-c. Nat-m. nat-s. Nit-ac. nux-m. nux-v. OP. orch. Ov. perh. ph-ac. Phos. puls. rhus-t. ruta sabad. sabal sanic. sarcol-ac. sars. SEC. SEL. Seneg. sep. Sil. sul-ac. Sulph. sumb. Syph. ter. TEUCR. thiosin. thuj. tub. Verat. zinc.
Synthesis 8.1 V (Radar 10.0)
The following are 1ST and 2nd graded remedies for Dementia (Boericke) 3 Agar ,3 Anac ,3 Bell ,3 Hyos ,3 Lil-t 3 Nat-sal ,3 Ph-ac ,3 Phos ,3 Pic-ac ,3 Verat ,2 Apisin ,2 Calc, 2 Calc-p ,2 Cann-i ,2 Con ,2 Ign ,2 Merc ,2 Op,2 Sulph ,2 Hell
MIND - DEMENTIA - senilis
agn. alum. Ambr. anac. ant-c. arg-met. aur. Aur-i. aza. bapt. bar-act. Bar-c. bell. bry. calc-p. carc. Con. Crot-h. Cupr. gaert. ign. lach. lil-t. nat-i. nat-m. nux-v. phos. plb. puls. sec. sep. sulph.

Management:

In the treatment of Geriatrics, Homoeopathic system has an edge over the conventional medicinal system. According to Dr Hahnemann, physician should clearly perceive what is to be cured in diseases; and to achieve this in Geriatrics, history and physical examination sometimes needs to be modified. Because a complete history may not be obtainable, elderly patients may present with many nonspecific symptoms making it difficult to undertake the case taking. Hearing or vision loss, common in the elderly, can also interfere with the case taking. Elderly patients may under-report symptoms (E.g.: dyspnea, hearing or vision loss, problems with memory, incontinence, gait disturbance, constipation, dizziness, falls), which they consider a part of normal aging. As a physician we may need to focus more on the physical examination to elicit objective symptoms. Elderly patients may have difficulty recalling all past illnesses, hospitalizations, operations, and drug use, have to obtain these data from family member, aide or medical records. Past medical history when reviewing the physician should ask the patient about diseases that used to be more common, past psychiatric care, including psychotherapy, institutionalization, and electroconvulsive therapy and the use of psychoactive drugs or antidepressants. Drug history & Nutrition history are also important.

Respected Dr. Bahl
It is a very-very important post on Senior Citizens. Most important now a days is Dementia/senility. Kindly share some of your own experiences please. Thanks Dr. Sarswat for your contributions.
Regards
Thanks Dr. Dasgupta for your valuable comments. You have rightly added, Dementia/senility are on the increase, among Sr. citizens.
It is difficult to take care of Demnetia, as the suffer can't respond. What so ever information is available , it is through the relative/ persons, who are accompanying the patient.The various rubrics had already been provided by Dr Sarswat.( Thanks you).
Also there are other conditions that can cause dementia-like symptoms. These dementia-like symptoms can be reversed if they are caused by treatable conditions, such as depression, drug interaction, thyroid problems, excess use of alcohol or certain vitamin deficiencies.
Beside medicine, such patients require highly specialized treatment in terms of, time, space they live in.A slight change in circumstances , place can creat a big trouble for such patients.
"A slight change in circumstances or place can creat a big trouble for such patients."
Also a very-very important factor and keeping them in a maximum comfort zone is the best part of treatment In India where care of elderly parents is concern this is the only way.
Thanks..

Chronic illness impacts some seniors’ ability to live at home, which means they must be cared for in a nursing facility or long-term care. How many years can they be sustained adequately in such an institution? 

This longer list of chronic illness comes from  American Society of Consultant Pharmacists:

  • Adult onset diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney and bladder problems
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Lung disease
  • Cataracts
  • Osteoporosis
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular disease

How does this compare to the top five chronic illnesses? Naturally, if you have lost your ability to function, can't see, have difficulty breathing, are unable to communicate with friends and family, and have lost mobility, any normal human being will become "depressed" which falls on the list near the bottom. 

Thank you Debby, for your valuable inputs.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY AGING 

The following points should be borne in mind: 

1. Ensure a balanced diet, including five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. 
2. Exercise regularly. However, check with your doctor before starting an exercise programme. 
3. Go in for regular health check-ups. 
4. Don't ever smoke. If you have picked up the habit, it's never too late to stop. 
5. Practice safety habits at home to prevent falls and fractures. Always wear your seatbelt while driving a vehicle. 
6. Stay in touch with family and friends. Remain active through work and play and interact regularly with other members of the community. 
7. If you drink alcohol, moderation is the keyword. Let someone else drive the vehicle after each of your drinking bouts! 
8. Adopt and maintain a positive attitude towards life. Do things that make you happy. 

Aging is not a disease. It is, actually, a series of processes that begin with life and continue throughout the life cycle. As individuals move through the processes, they become more and more different from everyone else. Thus, it is noted that the aging population is a very heterogeneous population. 

Some social gerontologists make a distinction between the "young-old" (ages fifty-five to seventy-four) and the "old-old" (ages seventy-five and older). Still other gerontologists add a "middle-old" category between the young-old and the old-old categories.

However the aged is categorized, aging is a highly individual experience. Chronological age may differ considerably from a person's functional age, and age-related changes occur at different rates for different persons. Age-related changes don't begin at the same time nor do they all occur simultaneously. Changes as we age are normal and occur in all five senses.

Typically, the beginnings of change in the five senses are as follows.

* Hearing-the mid 40's 
* Vision-the mid 50's 
* Touch-the mid 50's 
* Taste-the late 50's 
* Smell-the mid 70's 

This is not to suggest, however, that a person experience change in any particular order. People may, for example, experience vision problems with no noticeable loss of hearing. Furthermore, some people advance into their later years with little or no perceptible losses in their five senses. Also, because individuals cope differently, the effect of those aging losses differs with individuals.
Thank you Dr.Sarswat, for your in-depth understanding on aging.

Well timed blog; in my opinion its part of Geriatrics; Yes all the points raised is so true. Articles of this level is required so that we all can  learn spread its knowledge.

With my best wishes

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