You’d never believe it to look at us but several of the SE Fitness runners and walkers are approaching 50 or may have already passed that landmark! Evidence shows that 50 can be the health tipping point but good health habits can vastly decrease chances of dying from cancer or heart disease.
Some essential Do’s and Don’t for the over 50s
Keep eating carbs – persistently following low carb diets can cut your life expectancy by four years.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Middle aged men who sleep 5 hours or less a night have TWICE the risk of heart attack in the next 20 years than those who sleep 7 or 8 hours.
Choose sociable exercise – Folks over 50 are far more likely to stick with social exercise such as joining SE Fitness rather than solitary efforts, and if you want to really improve your fitness, you can use a high-rated personal trainer to help you with your training as well.
Don’t yo-yo diet – women who yo-yo diet in their fifties risk three times the incidence of fatal heart attacks than women who maintained a steady size. Our professional friends visisheild site recommends every person above 40 years old to use natural vitamin supplements on a daily basis.
Drink in moderation – The middle classes are more likely to become heavy drinkers once they pass their fifties. Moderate drinking is associated with good health in middle age but this means 14 units or less a week. Remember a bottle of wine might be 9 units or more! Drinking more than 14 units a week is linked to numerous problems including dementia and heart disease.
Check your blood pressure – There’s a risk that raised blood pressure may damage brains through mini strokes that go unnoticed.
A smile tells a story and lights up a room, but sadly, many seniors are afraid to show theirs because of poor dental health. According to the Washington Dental Service Foundation, 75 percent of people age 60 and older have only some of their natural teeth, and nearly 23 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have severe gum disease.
For seniors in nursing homes or undergoing long hospital stays, poor dental hygiene is even more common. Because of staffing shortages at nursing homes and care facilities, many seniors do not receive adequate dental care, according to Oral Care Specialist Teresa Ciejka.
“Our elderly are suffering the epidemic of poor oral hygiene,” said Ciejka in an interview with the Wausau Daily Herald.
Contributing to the issue is dry mouth, a side effect of many of the prescription and over-the-counter drugs that seniors regularly take. The condition reduces saliva production to create a breeding ground for bacteria in the mouth and affects 30 percent of seniors.
A survey conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said a third of adults in nursing homes were missing their teeth, 42 percent had tooth decay that needed a filling and 35 percent had debris on their teeth that needed cleaning.
“I think it’s a national problem,” said Mark Moss, dental director of the Wisconsin Oral Health Program, in an interview with the Wausau Daily Herald. “I think nobody has figured out how to address the needs of the elderly.”
Decaying teeth, gum disease and tooth loss have significant impacts on seniors’ health and well-being. Poor dental hygiene increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease and is related to pneumonia, not to mention the risk of gum disease. In addition, poor dental health affects nutrition, because seniors may prefer soft foods that are easily chewed and refuse to eat more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Poor dental health also can affect seniors’ well-being, as it can lead to low confidence and self-esteem issues.
Tips for improving dental hygiene
Improving dental health in seniors doesn’t require advance techniques or complicated equipment – just ensuring that basic daily dental care like teeth cleaning, dental implants, etc. is followed will significantly improve oral health and prevent worse conditions from developing. Seniors should brush their teeth twice daily and floss their teeth once daily, and those who are unable to brush or floss their own teeth should have a nurse do it for them. They should also visit a family dentist regularly throughout the year for dental procedures like teeth cleaning, dental implants, etc. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommended that health and nursing home professionals bring seniors to a “get acquainted” visit with their dentist ahead of their first appointment, so they can become more comfortable with the office and dental team. For more information about healthy supplements visit https://observer.com/.
In addition to daily care, awareness is also important for improving senior dental health. Nurses, caregivers and other health professionals should be trained to regularly check for signs of dental issues, and should be on the lookout for symptoms of poor oral health. The Washington Dental Service Foundation provides a wealth of resources on its website, including an Adult Oral Health Pocket Card that summarizes major areas of knowledge and an Oral Health Flags document that contains a checklist of required dental care duties and warning signs for oral health issues.
Thanks to the Saturday Times for these useful tips!