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Elderly Adults Experiencing Mental Decline Face Greater Health Risks

Elderly people who live alone and struggle with mental decline are in a higher risk bracket of injuring themselves or becoming ill. Daily life skills most of us take for granted such as drinking when thirsty is considered one of the most common forms of self-neglect, which could easily lead to dehydration. Other frequent tell-tale signs of neglect include poor hygiene and forgetting to follow medical advice. Failure to perform these routine activities could leave an elderly person susceptible to infections and injuries.

The biggest concern reported by healthcare workers was a concern for the safety of the elderly who lived alone.

Highest Risk Factors For Men and Women included:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Cerebrovascular Disease such as history of stroke
  • Feelings of social isolation or lonliness
  • Scored poorly on mental function tests

This study is looked upon as a helpful resource in providing valuable information needed to help improve the quality of lives of the elderly who live alone.

Researchers suggested developing a standard assessment tool that doctors could use to predict a patient's risk factors.

Folks, the answer to keeping your mind healthy is crystal clear and comes in the form of a single word--prevention. This could be done by staying active and keeping your mind mentally stimulated.

A past study found that people with the highest activity levels were half as likely as inactive individuals to develop Alzheimer's, and were around 40 percent less likely to suffer any dementia or mental impairment.

This is an excellent reason to get out there and start walking or jogging. I have been exercising vigorously for the last 30 years and can personally testify that it is one of the best health activities one can do.

Yahoo News September 30, 2004

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