EMU Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty Releases Statement Regarding Geriatrics and Old Age
Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty and Marmara University Pendik Education and Research Hospital Interior Diseases Department of Geriatrics Academician Dr. Aslı Tufan Çinçin released a statement marking the 1st October, International Day of Older Persons. Dr. Çinçin’s statement regarding increasing the average period of life and increasing awareness towards the special needs of the elderly people is as follows:
Geriatrics is a discipline which focuses on the illnesses, functional conditions, social life, quality of life and medical practices of those 65 years of age and over. With geriatrics, a single unit evaluates problems which often occur with elderly individuals such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high amount of blood lipids, embolisms, osteolysis, cancer, forgetfulness, depression, urinary incontinence, sleeping problems (sleeplessness, too much sleep, frequent awakenings, problems getting to sleep), frequent falling-over, movement problems, nutritional deficiencies, bed sores and more.
Dr. Çinçin lists the precautionary measures that can be taken in order to have a longer and higher quality life as follows:
- “Protection from accidents: Accidents that take place during one’s elderly years can cause a range of injuries or even be fatal. All environmental factors that may cause accidents should be reviewed and necessary precautions taken.
- Smoking: Smoking harms the lungs, the oral cavity, the oesophagus, the bladder and the stomach. In order to prevent cancers and chronic obstructive respiratory diseases, smoking must be stopped.
- Physical Activity: Regular exercise is vital for a healthy and an active and non-dependent life. Regular exercise decreases the chance of falling and bone loss whilst increasing muscle strength. Elders should be encouraged to carry out regular exercise.
- Nutrition: Elders make up a risk group regarding nutrition because of a number of reasons such as economic problems, low level of education, dental problems and inadequate mental functioning. All elders should be warned, educated and inspected by doctors in terms of their diet.
- Dental health: Poor oral hygiene and inadequacy of teeth aid nutritional disorders. It should be suggested that elders visit a dentist a minimum of once a year.
- Immunization: Pneumococcus and influenza vaccinations should be given to ease respiratory diseases. Tetanus vaccinations should be given to elders with a high risk of lacerations.
- Protection of sight and hearing: For early diagnosis of preventable sight and hearing loss, elders mustn’t neglect visits to ear-nose-throat specialists.
- Cancer Screenings: Cancer screenings and check-ups are of the utmost importance as early diagnosis can be vital.
- Osteoporosis: Risk of osteoporosis increases with age. Elders should be informed about Calcium and vitamin D consumption as well as exercise.
- Rational drug usage for elders.
Dr Çinçin concluded her statement by noting “Do not immediately take medicine for every symptom or grievance, when going for a check-up make sure to show your doctor all the medication you are taking, take your medicine at the dosage recommended by your doctor, take your medicine for the period recommended by your doctor, if smoking, consuming alcohol or caffeinated drinks be sure to inform your doctor, if you are having problems or witnessing side-effects from any drug talk to your doctor, make marks on your calendar to remember when to take your medicine and if you are going to take what are known as “medicinal plants” in addition to your medication, be careful and make sure you talk to your doctor regarding how they might impact your doses and their effectiveness.