The Lonelier You Are, The Earlier You Die

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9953019/Toll-of-loneliness-isolation-increases-risk-of-death-study-finds.html

There is a study found in this article Toll of loneliness: isolation increases risk of death, study finds written by John Bingham, that proves elderly people who have very infrequent visits from friends and family and who are lonely are 50% more likely to die before the average life expectancy, and when they do, they still struggle.

Of course like many other illnesses, there is usually underlying issues and sicknesses that contribute to problems like these, however there is no denying that the happier and healthier one may be, especially an elderly person, the longer they will live as they would be helping themselves and have the support around them as well.

This link between isolation and death is a scary topic, especially for those that may have lost their family members for some reason. It is a topic and article that is relevant to all elderly because we become more and more delicate as years go on, and emotional factors can often be the most consequential. The article is very interesting and informative with its studies and sources like;

It is based on a study of the lifestyles of 6,500 people aged 52 and over, who were followed over a seven-year period up until March last year.

Those who took part were asked a series of questions about their background, marital status, race, income and social life as well as having their health recorded over that period.

During the period of the study, just over one in seven of them died.

There were two groups of people, one who were very isolated and one well integrated. The study discovered that almost twice as many people in the first group had died as in the second.

Altogether, this article has great facts, information, statistics and quotations from professionals demonstrating its reliability and is a great article to help the elderly become more active healthy and maybe even join some local clubs to become less isolated in their community to help them live longer

Thigh Fat May Slow Down Seniors

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Again, Robert Preidt has written a great article Thigh Fat May Slow Down Seniors for the elderly saying that increasing amounts of thigh fat contribute to slower walking speed in otherwise healthy seniors, according to a new study. (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_134287.html)

The article explains that adults with a slower walking speed has been shown to be a predictor of disability, admission to a nursing home and even death. When generally observing the average elderly person, the older they get, the harder it becomes for them to walk at a normal pace however through the research of this study, delaying the age-related decline in walking speed could help extend the number of years that seniors can live independently.

A quotation included is “As people age, they are more likely to gain fat in and around their muscles, and we speculated that gaining fat in the leg muscle itself would be related to slowed walking speed,” study author Kristen Beavers said in a Wake Forest news release. This study also found that participants who gained the most thigh fat and lost the most thigh muscle had the greatest risk of suffering a notable decline in walking speed.

This article is informative and helpful as it is not un-common for elderly people to struggle with their walking, but as there is some research that shows that thigh fat contributes to slower walking speed, this can help as a preventative measure for the elderly to help them fit, active and healthy for longer.

Worst Cancer Outcomes in Women Missing Mammograms

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Another article I found by Robert Preidt (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_135661.htmlFor Older Women, Misses Mammograms Tied to Worse Breast Cancer Outcomes says that a new study suggests “older women diagnosed with breast cancer years after their last mammogram, and those who never had a mammogram, have an increased risk of dying from their cancer.”

Another quotation I also found interesting is “The study also found that a longer interval between a mammogram and breast cancer diagnosis was associated with an increased risk of dying from breast cancer among women aged 75 and older.” This study suggests that prevention can only occur when women help themselves. If women, elderly especially, miss their mammograms, don’t get them, or simply wait a few months longer to get them, those women themselves are increasing their chances of getting breast cancer.

The article demonstrates that it is extremely important, especially for the elderly, to have regular check-ups because this is part of the prevention of disease and illnesses. Doctors urge their patients to help themselves by having mammograms because early detection is the key to being as healthy as you can be. If elderly women miss check-ups, it is possible that they may already be too late.

The Older You Get, The Higher Risk of Traffic Accident Death

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Another article by Robert Preidt called As Pedestrian’s Age Rises, So Does Odds of Dying in Traffic Accident provides evidence of U.S. data that showed traffic-related death rates for men and women aged 75 and older were over double those ages 34 or younger.

This figure is not only higher because there is an increased number of elderly people walking around on streets, but also because if they were hit by any vehicle, it is highly possible for them to die from their injuries as the older people get, the more fragile they become. If a 30 year old man was hit by a car, he may be in a serious condition but it is more likely for him to survive than an 80 year old man.

The article provides great statistics like “between 2001 and 2010, more than 47,000 Americans died in traffic-related pedestrian deaths, with males having more than double the risk of being hit and killed versus females.” And that researchers say 3/4 of pedestrian deaths happen in cities. These statistics provide the evidence that it is occurring as a problem. Even though the studies are from the U.S, Australia is also an ageing population and it applies in all countries.

This article is great to demonstrate some of the health issues countries have. This is because it not only applies to America but also Australia as it’s a growing and ageing population. This problem is just as significant in Australia as it is in America and it would be great to use these statistics to help prevent as many accidents as possible and help elderly realise how important it is to keep safe when walking on roads and in traffic as they are at a much higher risk.

Your Posture May Predict Your Future Abilities

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I found some great articles this week, including http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_136095.html Older Adults’ Posture May Predict Future Disability by Robert Preidt.

This article from ‘Medicine Plus’ explains that there was a study conducted which included over 800 people over the age of 65 in Japan. There were four types of spinal measurements that they went through. It was found that “those with the greatest angle of spinal inclination were about three and a half times more likely to become dependent on help for basic daily activities than those with the least spinal inclination”.

Robert Preidt also clarifies at the end of the article that despite the fact that studies found spinal angle and future disability in older adults are associated with each other, the study “did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship”

The news of posture affecting your abilities later in life is significant for adults and elderly, because if there were no studies to find these results and theories, hospitals, aged care facilities and doctors would find it more difficult to prevent disabilities which can sometimes become a burden on aged carers and hospitals. This study provides some background information and research to assist doctors in further preventing senior disabilities .

Male Menopause

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The article Male Hormone Deficiency by Dr Robert McEvoy at healthnews.net.au states the symptoms vary and are not specific with ‘male menopause’, which is the wrong expression, as unlike women, mens sex hormones drop slowly at around 40-50.

There is no main cause, however stress is a factor, like it is with other health problems. It includes tiredness, irritability, loss of motivation, joint aches and other symptoms too.It can be looked at through blood tests by your doctor to check the level of testosterone in your body. Like many things, a healthy diet and exercise increases metabolism and can stimulate hormone production, so older men who are overweight and unhealthy have a larger chance of going through ‘male menopause’ earlier on.

Like many health articles, it demonstrates that healthy eating and ongoing exercise, especially for elderly, is beneficial in almost every way. Exercise for elderly men could be perhaps doing the gardening or walking to the local grocery store.

Male hormone deficiency will happen to every man that gets older, however its in no way beneficial to get symptoms earlier on and therefor as the article demonstrates, elderly men should get regular check ups, keep active, eat healthy and they will generally have less health problems and less problems when they go through ‘male menopause.’

Will reading from screens harm your eyes?

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The article Will Reading From a Screen Harm My Eyes? Written by Ken Singh was not specific to the elderly but it definitely applies to them, as it applies to most people. It’s a fact that it is bad for your eyes to read in the dark but is it bad for your eyes to read from tablets, iPhones, computer screens and e-books? This is a topic that some of the elderly are more worried about, as they weren’t brought up in a generation with the products and therefore less trustworthy of some.

The article explains that there is evidence that if you are reading too close to a screen then there can be a negative impact and it could negatively impact on your sight as you then risk becoming more shortsighted. Luckily for the elderly, this is seen in children or young adults with eyes that are still developing.

If the elderly have sore eyes from watching television all day or maybe even using their computer for a while or reading a book, they should just rest their eyes until they feel better again, usually for about 5 to 10 minutes.

This article is useful because there are myths about whether or not reading from an electronic screen is bad for your eyesight; it is therefore good to know the actual facts. This article gives useful facts and could be helpful for elderly or younger people, so they know what is healthy for them and they can correctly tell their children and grandchildren what is healthy for them too.

Sources from the article: ABC health & Wellbeing at abc.net.au; and the conversation.edu.au