Elderly patients often suffer from both acute and chronic conditions that can be extremely painful. While Arthritis is the most common, there are other bone and joint related problems that can be a cause of serious pain for the elderly. Along with this, the resulting pain from cancer, skin ulcers, diabetes mellitus, and surgical procedures also plagues elderly. Pain management is therefore not just important, but also its information is essential for the elderly. In this two part series we share a few of the techniques we discovered that are helpful to the elderly in managing pain.

The first part deals with doctors and experts, and how their advice can help you overcome the difficulties of living with the pain. The second part will cover personal habits such as diet and exercise for controlling the pain.

So here we go:

Listen to the Experts

For every problem you face, there will be hundreds of people claiming to have a cure, however since, chronic pain is among the most difficult problems to treat, as the solutions aren’t always clear, and in many cases there isn’t one guaranteed fix. A lot of trial and error is required to get to the root of the symptom and beat it. You must, and its importance cannot be emphasized enough, visit only the experts and avoid the other, making claims without backing them up with facts.

In every consultation, pay attention to whether the doctor is really listening to you, and whether he or she is proactive about ordering tests to find the cause of the problem — and suggesting physical therapy, medication, or other forms of treatment tailored for you. If the treatment doesn’t solve your problem, don’t hesitate to go back, and pay even closer attention to how the doctor reacts to your “What next?” questions. It shouldn’t be a problem to come in for repeated visits while you and your doctor try to get to the root of your pain and find a solution. If you start getting the feeling that the doctor is shrugging off your concerns, feels you’ve run out of options, or is sending the message that it’s “All in your head,” it’s time to find another doctor. Senior Citizens Residences policies have been defined by senior citizens homes for better medication.

Physiotherapy

For knee, hip, back, and other types of joint pain, physiotherapy can be one of the most effective treatments. To be truly effective, your physical therapy regimen needs to be individually tailored to your specific injury and other needs. All too often, those with chronic pain are referred to “one-size-fits-all” physical therapy programs, which can be unhelpful at best, and discouraging at worst.

Ask to be referred to a physical therapist for one-on-one therapy, at least for one or two sessions. That way you’ll have the individualized attention necessary to develop the exercises suited to your needs and to make sure you’re doing them correctly.

Pay Attention to your medication

Even if you’ve gotten relief from a particular medication in the past, pay close attention to any side effects and to whether the drug loses effectiveness over time. Even better, make an appointment with your doctor specifically to discuss medications, and prepare by making a list of everything you’re taking, when you tend to take it, and how often. (Or, simply take all your medications — both prescription and over-the-counter — with you.) Be honest; the doctor can’t help you if he or she doesn’t have a clear picture of what’s happening.

With these precautions and steps, you should be able to get your pain in control, however do remember, getting relief from chronic pain is a continuous exercise and at many times it is essential that you also pay attention to your habits and diet. Next week we shall be bringing you tips and tricks that can do daily to help with your pain.

For families with a senior citizen getting ready to celebrate a birthday, there are many ways that you can make their day by going that little extra mile. No need to have an elaborate birthday party, unless that is what you think they would like, just a meaningful thought can make them feel valued and respected.

However people have different views on birthdays, many people believe that once you get to a certain age, a birthday becomes another wrinkle on their forehead, or another grey hair on their head. While on the other hand, there are many senior citizens who look forward to their birthday almost as much as they did when they were young children. A birthday becomes a milestone and a triumph when you reach a certain age.

Let’s discuss a few things you can do to spice up a birthday and make it more memorable at old people homes or their own residences:

Guests

The guest that you chose to invite is a crucial factor in planning an elderly’s birthday party. Especially in India, we tend to have lots of friends and family – it can be tempting to include every family member or friend; but that can become overwhelming. Send out invitations ONLY to their closest friends and close family members they have had good rapport with. Oftentimes they will appreciate just being around the people they care about for their birthday. For the senior who prefer a relaxed birthday event, you can have just the immediate family and just a few of their friends to join in for a more intimate celebration.

Food

Since it is their birthday, it’s best to have food that they love. A meal does not have to be elaborate to be a success.  Old age care needs to be taken for the elderly in terms of their allergies, dietary restrictions and medical conditions when choosing the food. This is especially important when senior citizens are attending, since many may have conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure and all foods would be advisable for their health.

Decoration

Try & keep the decoration minimalistic. Many will enjoy simple balloons and streamers. It might even be a good idea to create a slideshow or collage of the birthday boy or girl’s life and of their friends and family wishing them happy birthday! This is an idea that they can even keep with them long after the party is over.

Activities

Plan activities suitable for people of all ages – especially when family is in attendance, you want activities that appeal to all generations together

Bingo! For the elderly, consider having cards that have large print and markers that are easy to manipulate. If you are planning birthday party games for Elderly Adults, consider making the squares be something to relate to the senior citizen (rather than numbers). Activities like Antakshari or Dumbcharades can also be considered.

So there you have it, a short check-list that can help you plan the special day for your elderly. However, the most important thing to bear in mind is that all these are just indicative. You know what the elderly in your family prefer and the birthday party should be about them. You can find a few examples here

So have fun and share pictures with us.

Ancient wisdom says that, you are what you eat, we must then be careful about what we put into our bodies. We cannot cure all illness or stop the hands of time. We cannot protect ourselves from all diseases, but we can certainly be careful.  What we can do is treat our bodies well and enjoy the health benefits that result from this conscious effort.

Senior citizens’ nutritional needs vary little from the nutritional needs of other age groups, yet there are some slight differences. Our younger bodies are able to withstand lack of nutrition more than those of the elderly, and hence it becomes more and more important to get proper nutrients as we age. Here are a few things essential for proper diet for senior citizens:

1. Fiber – Fiber serves two purposes. It fills us up more quickly than empty carbohydrates (carbohydrates that lack nutrition) and it aids in digestion. Fiber forms the bulk of our waste, so encourages our intestinal tract to continue functioning properly. Sources of fiber include: Wheat, spouted pulses, green leafy vegetables etc.

2. Protein – As we get older, we need to work harder at keeping our muscle toned. Muscle wasting occurs naturally with age and getting enough protein can help slow this process. Protein is also very important for transporting necessities, such as hormones, to the cells. The belief that vegetarians will have a hard time consuming enough protein is unfounded. Vegetarians can easily meet their protein needs by eating a varied diet. Sources of protein include: Kidney beans, Lentils, apples, almonds etc.

3. Calcium – Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth. Osteoporosis happens when calcium levels have reached a low level that results in bone cell losses. Because these levels fall more frequently, it is quite important to consumer more calcium to keep bones strong. Sources of calcium include: Dairy products, cabbage etc.

4. Vitamins – From assisting our bodies in sending out nervous signals to keeping our immunity strong, from warding off potential chronic illnesses to helping our hair and nail grow. Vitamins are the cornerstone of the proper functioning of our body. Some essential Vitamins that need to be consumed are Vitamin B, C, D, E and F

5. Omega 3’s –These nutrients have just “come into fashion” and are now being proven in scientific studies to enhance and improve joint health. They contribute significantly to the immunity system are somewhat considered to be the mechanic of the body, helping keeping it in shape.

6. Water – The need for water cannot be overstated. When not enough water has been consumed, dehydration will set in quickly. Dehydration is a frequent cause for hospitalizing in the elderly and can result in mental confusion and exhaustion among other symptoms.

Staying hydrated is as simple as drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day. Getting the rest of the aforementioned nutrients can be as simple as eating a meal full of vegetables, some fruits, nuts (if you are not allergic), seeds, lean meats, eggs, and beans.

So eat healthy, stay in good shape and keep sharing your thoughts with us.

With the monsoons gone, winter is right around the corner, and a lot of us will be starting to make preparations for it. Considering that it is generally believed that nothing is more important than health, sports and exercise have taken a new level of importance because they can make the body become healthy and give people a good mood. However, if we strain ourselves more than necessary, some problems can arise after the exertion, sometimes as serious as sudden fainting and death. It therefore is necessary for us to be careful when planning and executing the exercise plan, keeping in mind senior citizen care and health.

To build a proper plan we need to examine the meaning of exercise and what it contains; exercise is anything that you’re your body moving, from walking to aerobics to recreational sport. The most important thing to bear in mind as you get older is to keep moving. On a basic level, that means making sure you don’t spend hours on end sitting down during the day, whether you are at a home for senior citizens or elsewhere. This means avoiding long periods of TV viewing, computer use, driving, and sitting to read, talk or listen to music.

While a unique plan is needed for everyone according to their specific needs, here are a few general tips that will help you as you are making your plan:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobics every week
  • Do something every day. At least for 10 minutes
  • Pick up an activity and do it 30 minutes on at least five days a week
  • Two days a week, activities should include those that strengthen muscles and bones, such as weight training, carrying heavy loads and heavy gardening

Here are some examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities:

  • Walking fast
  • Doing water aerobics
  • Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • Playing doubles tennis

Make sure you don’t count your daily chores such as shopping, cooking or housework towards your 150 minutes because the effort isn’t hard enough to raise your heart rate.

Building a plan based on the above suggestions will help you generate a plan that works and keeps you healthy. We’d love to hear your comments on our approach.

Finding balance in life is always a difficult thing, whether it is between work and play or family and friends. Everyone faces these issues and only a few overcome them. Sometimes, for single working individuals, taking care of their elderly parents can also be a daunting task. From the special medical attention needed to ensuring that they have the appropriate company and most importantly the constant concern associated with their safety, whether it is your parents or  in-laws, the complications can be immense.

Help however, is available at hand these days, allowing you to fulfil your responsibilities better and to make sure that the elders in your life, have the best living environment that you are able to provide. While nothing compares to company/benefits of a family and friends, these methods are almost lifesaving in today’s busy schedule, when we are constantly pressed for time.

Getting a professional help

A nurse or a caretaker can prove to be an excellent option for ensuring that your elderly loved ones are cared for at home. They have proper training and will know what medicines to give, what diet the elderly should have, what exercises are best and the necessary steps to be taken in case of emergencies. However, they are only a boon if you make sure that you are hiring from the right agencies, as there are a lot of frauds out there, just waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Community Living Homes

Most of the old age homes in the country are run by either NGOs or the government, and none of them provide the level of service your elderly loved one’s deserve. A new option that is taking root in India, pioneered by The Golden Estate, is that of community living homes. These societies on the lines similar to flats that are rented out by individuals; however the difference is the services they provide. From taking care of their dietary needs to ensuring recreational facilities for the elderly to having a doctor on call at the campus, these places are prepared to take care of the hourly needs of your loved ones to ensure they have a dignified life. Be sure to check out the credibility of a community home before letting your parents live there.

Planning & Reminders

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones. Planning is critical in taking care of your loved ones and if you are not able to plan properly, please spend some time with those experienced in taking care of the elderly to anticipate and prepare for the future needs of your loved ones.

Once you are able to see what needs your loved ones have and what areas need most attention, use reminders,  such as sticky notes or on mobile phones. Reinforce the message of taking medicines, proper food, and adequate exercise etc. and be at peace about the needs of your loved ones.

Seeking help from family or relatives

Get close family members or relatives involved in the care-giving responsibilities. Ask for and accept help from your partner, siblings & friends and you might find that others benefit from the experience. For example, getting your children involved in the caring gives them a great chance to bond with their grandparents.

Local groups

There are plenty of resources available on the internet, which can help you in providing care to those with special needs such as Alzheimer’s patients or those suffering from diabetes. In these local groups, people share their experiences and are sometimes even willing to provide specific advice about your elderly loved one’s need. They can be an excellent resource for you providing care, but before you take up any advice, please make sure you check with your doctor to avoid any issues.

But if you can’t find a local group, why not seek out an informal one of your own? Do you know anyone else in a similar position? If so, catch up with them for a coffee regularly. You might learn some new caring methods from them, perhaps be able to barter respite care with each other, or just air your grievances and feel a bit better for it.

Technology

Technology is revolutionising the way we do things today, and elderly care is not far behind. From alerts and warning systems related to falling on the ground, to automated information in case of cardiovascular issues. Look for the problem you are trying to solve, and are bound to find a technological solution related to it.

It is indeed critical that you keep yourself alert whilst caring for the elderly at home. Remember “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”

We will soon be trading in senior citizens, as the Rupee will cross 60.

This was a joke that was going on in the financial community, just a few weeks back and now that analysts are predicting it to hit 70, it is interesting to note that our currency is ageing pretty fast.

But what is all this fuss about? Does one really need to care if the currency slides? These and a few other questions are what this blog intends to answer. We are in our financial week and couldn’t stay away from this topic, which doesn’t fail to make the daily news.

Due to the free fall of the Rupee and the seriousness of the situation, we shall only be discussing the impact of the depreciation on the general. As for the trading rules and value determination, it can easily be found on the internet, if not do let us know and we shall address it soon.

Why should we care about the fall of the Rupee?

Life was uncomplicated in the olden days. Our economy was closed, we mostly bought good produced in the country and the value of the Rupee didn’t have much impact on us. However, with a globalised world, the falling of the currency will have a serious impact on our day-to-day living.

The falling rupee potentially can hit our pockets directly and make management of our day-to-day expenses challenging.  In order to understand this, let us look at how rupee impacts our savings and has the potential to derail financial planning:

The Rupee and Loan Rates

The Reserve Bank of India has been quite active and quick in responding to this situation, harsh steps have been taken targeting individuals, corporates and banks. While this is not the suitable platform to go into details of the technical instruments being used by the RBI, it is important to note that the measures being used impact the amount of money the banks are able to play with, which results in less cash at hand for the banks.

While this may seems like a bad thing, as the amount of money supply can impact growth, it helps maintaining the value of the currency, as it results in reduced flexibility for trading and extending loans, which can be a deterrent to speculation and possibly stabilise the currency. However, since that hasn’t happened, the RBI will have to play its most dreaded weapon, raising the repo rate. This is a rate related to the amount of money banks have to deposit with the RBI to operate and give loans.

Raising repo rate will tantamount to pressing panic button. If repo rate goes up, banks will not hesitate to pass it on the customers unlike what they do when rates fall. The situation seems to have just reversed from what it used to be three months back when everybody was expecting interest rates to fall.

All in all, if the rupee continues to fall, there is a high chance that loan rates will go up impacting both your financial planning and day-to-day life.

Expensive Imports

A depreciating Rupee would mean that every dollar which we have to pay for our imports, costs more. Though it means that the imported commodity / product would become costly in India and any product with elastic demand would result in lowering the demand for such imported products. However, in case of India most of our imports are of products which are inelastic, e.g. Oil, luxury products, etc. and hence despite of rising import prices, our imports don’t come down.

Oil Prices Sky Rocket

Oil prices in India are a subject of two factors  – international crude oil prices and the currency factor. Even though oil prices may decline 10% in International markets, currency depreciation may offset this decline resulting in high oil prices in India.

As a result, high oil prices creeps into the prices of almost every commodity and product in the economy. Oil plays a fundamental role in India’s economy as it supports the fundamental structure of all Industries by fuelling up the energy requirements. A higher oil price would result in higher cost of production and higher logistics / transportation costs.

 The fire of inflation

This paragraph gels in perfectly with the above points which stresses upon imports becoming expensive with a depreciating Rupee. And a direct consequence of it, the inflation in the economy shoots up. Higher inflation results in commodities becoming more expensive. Countries which import their essential commodities suffer more than countries who are major exporters. Unfortunately, as mentioned in above paragraphs, India is a major importer of Oil which tends to hit the cost structure of the economy and fuelling the inflation scenario in the economy.

The Problem at Hand

The most worrying aspect of fall of rupee is that it has been purely caused by fundamental factors and hence curbing of speculative activities alone cannot arrest depreciation of rupee. High inflation and high rate of inflation have caused rupee to reach this stage.

The demand for dollar has been strong because of higher imports as well. The middle class Indians need to be ready to face the music if positive policy measures are not initiated by the government in India.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the essay and we would be happy to comeback with any clarifications required.

In the last post we had mentioned different types of diabetes and why it is considered to be very dangerous. Today we discuss the symptoms and treatment for the same.

Symptoms

Symptoms of diabetes include: excessive thirst, frequent urination, being very hungry, feeling tired, weight loss without much physical effort, the appearance of sores that slowly heal, having dry and itchy skin, loss of feeling or tingling in feet, and blurry eyesight. Still, some people with diabetes do not experience any of these symptoms.

Treatment

There is no cure for diabetes, but with careful control of blood glucose level,  cholesterol level and blood pressure, it can be managed.Managing diabetes includes several lifestyle changes. These include:

Following a Meal Plan

It is not necessary for people with diabetes to only eat particular foods, rather food that are good for everyone are also good for diabetics. Such food includes those that are low in fat, salt, and sugar. Foods that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables are also great choices. Making healthy choices in your diet will help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, control your blood glucose levels, and prevent heart disease. It is highly recommended to consult a dietician.

Get Regular Physical Activity

Make physical activity a part of your daily life. Go on walks, ride a bike, or gardening.  Try dancing or swimming, or simply stay active by doing work around the house. Try to get some sort of exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. If you are new to exercising, start slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your exercise. However make sure to talk with your doctor before you begin.

Medication

Insulin

People with Type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes use Insulin to lower blood glucose levels. People must take insulin when their body does not take enough of it. Insulin is a liquid hormone that must be injected with shots or an insulin pump.

Diabetes Pills

In many cases of type 2 diabetes, the body makes enough insulin but is not properly used by the body. Diabetes pills are used to correct this problem. Some are taken once daily while others must be taken more often. It is important to ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take your pills. Also, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing side effects or your pills make you sick.

Self-Monitoring

It is important to keep track of your blood glucose levels regularly by using a blood glucose monitor. Logging these levels in a diary may also be helpful to get a better idea of how your treatment is going. Some people must check their blood glucose levels several times a day while others check it once daily. Consult your doctor how often you should test your blood.

Foot and Skin Care

Despite the risk of diabetes due to age and weight status, people often delay having a check-up because they do not feel any symptoms. Unnoticed injuries can contribute to ulcers, which may lead to amputation. Check your feet everyday for cuts, red spots, sores, infected toe-nails and swelling. People with diabetes are more likely to experience skin injuries and infections – For these reasons taking care of your skin is also important.

Sometimes, people experience symptoms do not realize that it may be diabetes. Diabetes, if left untreated, may lead to hazardous complications and even death. Controlling blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol can help prevent or delay complications associated with diabetes such as heart disease and stroke.

Human body obtains glucose from  food , the liver and muscles also supply our body with glucose. Blood transports the glucose to cells throughout the body. Insulin, a chemical hormone, helps the body’s cells to take in the glucose. Insulin is made by the beta cells of the pancreas and then released into the bloodstream.

If the body does not make enough insulin or the insulin does not work the way it should; glucose is not able to enter the body’s cells. Instead the glucose remains in the blood causing an increase in blood glucose level. This high blood glucose level causes pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Pre-diabetes means that blood glucose level is higher than average but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Having pre-diabetic glucose levels increases risk for developing type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke. Still, if you have pre-diabetes there are many ways to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Moderate physical activity and a healthy diet accompanied by modest weight loss can prevent type 2 diabetes and help a person with pre-diabetes to return to normal blood glucose levels.

Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, being very hungry, feeling tired, weight loss without trying, the appearance of sores that slowly heal, having dry and itchy skin, loss of feeling or tingling in feet, and blurry eyesight. Still, some people with diabetes do not experience any of these symptoms.

Diabetes can be developed at any age. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is also referred to as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults. In this type of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas are no longer able to produce insulin because they have been destroyed by the body’s immune system.

Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as adult-onset diabetes or non insulin-dependent diabetes. It may be developed at any age, including childhood. In this type of diabetes is the result of insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells do not interact properly with insulin. At first, the pancreas is able to produce more insulin to keep up with the increased demand for insulin. However, it loses the ability to make up for the body’s cells inability to interact properly with insulin with time. The insulin is unable to help the cells take in glucose, this results in high blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes amongst  senior citizens in India. An unhealthy weight contributed by a high calorie diet and lack of physical activity increases the risk for developing this form of diabetes.

Type 3 diabetes is also referred to as Gestational diabetes; development of diabetes in the late stages of pregnancy. It is caused by hormones associated with pregnancy and a shortage of insulin. This form of diabetes goes away after the baby is born, but puts both the mother and child at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes in later life.

Diabetes is a serious disease and when it is not well controlled, it damages the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, gums, and teeth. Having diabetes makes one more than twice as likely as someone without diabetes to have heart disease or stroke.

It is important to keep blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control to avoid the serious complications associated with diabetes. Taking steps to control diabetes can make a large impact in the one’s health.

In the next post we will discuss about the prevention & treatment of diabetes for the elderly.

While technology is certainly helping the elderly live an easier life, it is also leading to a reduction in the actual interactions people have with each other. This diminishing contact is resulting in a serious concern for the elderly, in the form of abuse. There was a time when it didn’t matter who the senior was, they were supposed to be respected and listened to, however we are now facing a situation where elders are becoming perhaps the most marginalized community in a society. And while issues of harassment are being raised as red flags, elderly abuse is not being addressed the way it should  be. These are people who have spent their lives helping people and now all they want is to spend the golden years of their lives in dignity, but are being denied this right by the society.

Elder abuse manifests in different forms, from  physical to  financial and leading upto the most painful and the most common, emotional. While sometime back we could come across a few instances while surfing T.V. channels or flipping through the newspaper, it is now something we can see on a daily basis. A recent survey by Help Age India pointed out that over 71% of the elders are facing abuse from their families and shockingly, sons and daughter-in-laws were responsible for a majority it. This is a difficult fact to digest, however it is the harsh reality of the times we live in. Steps need to be taken and the matter needs to be red flagged with greater intensity, as the abuse is not just confined to metros and big cities, but as the survey points out, is also prominent in smaller towns and villages.

One of the most important questions arising from the data is about its causes. Why do these kinds of atrocities occur? Is it just the generation gap or is there something deeper playing in the minds of people? We are staring into a stark reality  of degradation of the society. Are we moving into a territory which may ultimately lead to breakdown of all domestic ties? While these may seem to be unlikely future scenarios, the possibilities are real and we need to take notice.

The issue of elder abuse is a serious one. One of the best ways to prevent it is to know what it is and how it can be avoided. In the event that you know an elderly individual who is the victim of abuse, there are many resources you can turn to, from public authorities to legal professionals. If you believe someone you know is the victim of elder abuse, seek help. Drop in your views regarding this issue in the comment section.

If you encounter elderly abuse anywhere, please report it to people who can help. Here are a few numbers you can either contact or share with the victims to get in touch with directly:

HelpAge India: 1800-180-1253

Bangalore: STD code: 080

Nightingales and the Bangalore City Police: 1090 / 22943226

Nightingale’s Medical Trust Elders’ help line: 23548444

Dignity Foundation Helpline : 41511307

Chennai: STD code: 044

Help Age Senior Citizens Help Line: 1253

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 42133002

Delhi: STD Code: 011

Age well Foundation’s help line: 29836486

Police Senior Citizen Helpline: 1291

Mumbai: STD Code: 022

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 61381111

Mumbai Police &Helpage Elder Line: 1090

Shree ManavSevaSangh: 24081487

Kolkata: STD code: 033

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 306909999

Senior Citizen Helpline: 09830088884

Hyderabad: 040

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation – Aasara: Toll Free No: 1253

Heritage Helpline: 23390000

Satyam – HMRI – 104

Pune : 020

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 30439100

There are many different hearing, language, and speech problems that affect the elderly. By understanding what the symptoms are seniors can seek the treatment they need and identify the problem as early as possible.

Hearing difficulties affect many elderly across India. The most common cause of this is presbycusis which is age-related hearing loss. This loss of hearing happens slowly, and first results in the difficulty to hear high-frequency sounds as someone talks. As this condition gets worse, lower-frequency sounds can become difficult to hear as well. Some of the symptoms include: difficulty hearing in noisy places, ringing in the ears, and voices sounding slurred or mumbled. It will also be easier to understand a man’s voice than a woman’s. While there is no cure for this condition, there are some treatments available with the most common being hearing aids.

Aphasia is a condition where seniors experience impairment in language ability. Symptoms may include the inability to understand language, inability to form words or pronounce words, and inability to read or write.

The major causes of aphasia are strokes and head injuries. And because of the complex nature of aphasia there is no universal treatment method. It presents itself differently in patients and, therefore, requires a team effort in providing a treatment plan. This may include a doctor, social worker, speech pathologist, psychologist, and occupational therapist. Overall treatment has been known to create positive outcomes when learning to adjust to these limitations in communication.

Dysarthria is a disorder that interferes with the normal production of speech. People who have dysarthria often have challenges with vocal quality, range, tone, strength in speech, and timing. Causes of dysarthria include degenerative disease (Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, and ALS), embolic stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Treatment is typically done by speech pathologists and includes a variety of techniques.

If you notice a change in speech, memory, organisation, or communication in general than it should be reported to your physician or the senior’s physician immediately. These problems can often occur when there is an underlying problem, so it’s important to address this as soon as possible.