With the UK facing a rapidly aging population, as well as an increasingly stretched National Health Service, it’s important now more than ever that we as a society focus on driving the older generation towards healthy habits.

This doesn’t just include eating well and trying to get them active, but also leading them towards taking greater control over their overall health and wellbeing. Here are just some of the reasons why the UK’s aging population needs to be supported in taking greater control of their health and how carers, GPs, social workers and others can help them in this endeavour.

Health Deteriorates As People Age

As our bodies age, they become weaker and more susceptible to healthcare issues and diseases. There are many common health problems that affect older people, and as such it’s vital that individuals have a greater focus on their wellbeing as they age.

Supporting people in becoming more aware of their health can be tough, but it’s important that you communicate and take the time to educate older individuals in your care of the dangers of ignoring minor aches, pains and other issues. Explain to them that as they get older and frailer, they need to be more aware of their health problems so that they can treated quickly. This approach will help them to live long and prosperous lives without being a slave to health problems that could’ve had less of an impact if they’d been treated promptly.

Mental Health Is The Unseen Issue

It’s not just physical wellbeing that’s important: mental health can play a big role in the overall wellbeing of an individual. Older people who are struggling with stress or other issues are less likely to take care of other areas of their health, so it’s important that carers and other interested parties work to reduce loneliness and other mental issues in those they look after.

One great way to boost mental health among the older generation is to encourage them to keep busy. After retirement it can be hard for individuals to keep their minds occupied, so try to encourage them to join clubs or societies to help them socialise and keep their minds active. For house bond older people, or those with limited mobility, try to encourage them to take up a new skill or hobby, such as learning a language. You could also encourage them to work with a tutor from an online platform like Superprof so that they can learn, socialise and improve their mental health, all without leaving the comfort of their own home.

Many Senior Citizens Struggle To Stay Active, Which Impacts On Their Health

Older people with mobility problems, lack of motivation and general lethargy, can become less inclined to be active and, in some cases, stop exercising altogether. A lack of exercise can have many negative effects on the body, and as such everyone should do small amounts of physical activity every day.

The important thing to remember when encouraging older people to do exercise is that they need to set their own limits. They’ll know how much they can do, and it’s equally important that they don’t overexert themselves. Encourage them to do simple activities that are gentler on the body such as yoga, walking or Pilates. Light exercise will help elderly people to work up an appetite and keep themselves in better general health.

Nutritional Needs Change As People Age

For older adults, general nutritional guidelines still apply, but changes in lifestyle and general health mean that many older people need to eat differently to the way they’ve been eating over the course of their earlier lives.

To help the older people in your care to get everything they need, push them to understand the nutritional needs of their bodies as they age, so that they can create their own menus and meals that will give them everything they need. If they are living in supporting housing and have their meals made for them, then work with their accommodation provider to curate a menu that better suits the individual you are responsible for.

Medication Needs To Be Taken Properly To Be Effective

Older people often have a lot of medication to take in order to keep their health conditions under control and improve their general wellbeing, but medication needs to be taken as prescribed in order for it to work properly.

As such, it’s crucial that anyone working with or connected to an older person impresses upon them the importance of taking their medicine properly. Talk to them about the importance of their health and give them as much assistance as possible. Organise their medicines so that it’s easier for them to see what they have to take and when. You can do this by giving them a dosette box, or by creating a medicine schedule.

It Can Be Harder For Older Adults To Sleep

Many older people find it hard to sleep, but getting enough rest is important for everyone, and a lack of sleep can exacerbate existing health conditions as well as causing tiredness, loss of appetite and other minor concerns that can lead to greater health problems.

It’s important that you try to support the older people in your life to get enough sleep. Try to give them a schedule so that they are more likely to be able to rest. However, if they are really struggling to sleep at night then encourage them to take naps during the day so that they can feel refreshed. Some medicines can cause a loss of sleep, so see if you can reduce the amount of these pills they take or have them take them in the morning so that they are more alert during the day. It might take time to get them to get enough sleep, but by being supportive and working with the individual and their healthcare providers you can make a real difference to their wellbeing.

Eyesight And Hearing Can Worsen As People Age

Senses like eyesight and hearing can deteriorate as we age, and dual loss of senses is a common phenomenon among older people. This can cause even more health problems for individuals, as a loss of these senses can lead to mental health issues, a lack of appetite, an inability to take medicines properly and other issues.

Supporting people who are losing their senses can be a challenge, but it’s important that you work closely with them and make sure that they have regular assistance as they learn to live without their hearing and sight. Every aspect of their life will need to change, and this can be incredibly daunting, so remember to give them comfort and support as well as organising their physical circumstances on their behalf.

Self-care becomes increasingly important as people get older, but it also becomes less of a focus, with many older people struggling to keep track of everything and take proper care of themselves as they age. It’s important that those around them are proactive to ensure that they get the support they need, so try using these tips to help guide the older people in your life towards healthier habits and a greater focus on their own wellbeing.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 830 other subscribers.

Follow us on Twitter