Healthy Living: How Older Adults Are Managing Their Emotional and Mental Well-Being


Seniors face many challenges to emotional and mental well-being, including living in an unfamiliar environment, navigating a new healthcare system, or dealing with a loss.

At the same time, most older adults say they are resilient and expect to be able to bounce back from these challenges. Yet we should take on this matter and do our best to assist older adults with managing their emotional and mental well-being.

The 2022 survey by AARP showed that 45% of senior respondents had been bothered by anxiety. Unfortunately, we often have little impact on external factors that lead the elderly to such mental states. But the good thing is that we have an extensive toolkit of digital solutions to provide seniors with accessible timely support, whether it's used as an add-on to in-person care or a substitute for it.

If you're interested to find out more survey insights, check out the article below.

https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/health/info-2022/healthy-living-emotional-mental-well-being.html

Falls are a leading cause of unintentional injury and death among older Canadians.


As the population ages, this issue is becoming more significant.

Public Health Agency of Canada shared report data earlier this year stating that the absolute number of fall-related hospitalizations rose by 47% between 2008-2009 and 2019-2020.

Falls can range from a simple slip to a serious injury. Many falls result in moderate to severe injuries, and some can even be fatal.

If you're taking care of an older adult and fall prevention is important to them, there are some things you can engage them to do to reduce the risk:

Regular exercise. Exercise can help improve strength, balance and flexibility.

Reducing stress by practising relaxation techniques. Stress can make it harder for the body to respond quickly when you trip or slip on something, which increases the risk of falling.

Eating a healthy diet low in fat and salt and high in vitamins C and E (found in fruits and vegetables).

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/975780?reg=1

What are the risk factors we should consider when trying to prevent injuries among seniors?

When we talk about major injuries caused by falls, the need for surgery is often the most severe outcome for non-fatal cases in our minds.

While it is true, the post-surgery period is just as essential since it will define whether seniors will be able to adapt to their old ways of living or new habits. Now, what do we do to prevent the elderly from facing those challenging outcomes?

Of course, the most optimistic scenario we should aim to achieve is helping the elderly eliminate fall risks. Safe home renovation is the first step in that journey, as we need to minimize dangerous external factors surrounding seniors in their daily life. Simultaneously, we must take care of internal factors such as body frailty caused by limited physical activity or chronic health conditions.

Last but not least, the job of caregivers is to provide additional monitoring and emergency response tools to help seniors feel safe while not being supervised 24/7.

I highly recommend reading the material below to evaluate the consequences our older relatives may experience when ignoring any of the above factors.

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2022-10-21/surgery-holds-danger-for-seniors-whos-most-at-risk

Why should we develop a continuum of care for seniors?

From monitoring for early signs of disease, through treatment and recovery, to managing long-term consequences, the continuum reduces the need for costly emergency department visits, inpatient hospitalizations and nursing home stays. As a result, this preventive approach can help seniors remain independent for a longer period of time.

So what key elements of the continuum of care can benefit older adults?:

1. Assessments. They are used to identify potential issues that could lead to a decline in health or function. The assessments may include medical, psychological and social factors such as diet, exercise, sleep and medication compliance.

2. Monitoring. Monitoring for early signs of disease can help identify issues before they become serious problems that require an emergency department visit or hospitalization.

3. Treatment and Recovery. Treatment may include medications and physical therapy, while recovery might include implementing strategies to prevent future episodes.

4. And last but not least, management of long-term consequences/chronic conditions.

Do you think such a preventive approach could prolong seniors’ independent living?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.