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As in the whole world, the elderly population is growing in our country as well. It is possible to prevent health problems that may occur as you age by using routine screenings and vaccines to be applied instead of seeing them as a natural result of aging.

Turkey iHealth member and Trabzon hospital Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, who says that the priority of geriatrics science is to add years to life, rather than to add years to life, to add years to every period of old age. Dr. told about the ways to improve the quality of life in old age.

The fact that the average life expectancy in our country exceeds the age of 75 and the population over the age of 85 is the fastest growing segment shows the importance of a quality old age. It is undoubtedly much more important to grow up healthy, not to be dependent on anyone at an advanced age, and to feel physically and spiritually fit.

Quality of life is raised

Regardless of the current health status of the elderly person, the priority approach is to improve the quality of life. although being 65 years of age or older is defined as “old age”, the biological age of the person is important. While preventive medical practices such as health screenings and vaccination are of great importance in the vigorous group, the treatment of conditions such as pain, pressure ulcers, confusion, sleep problems that impair the quality of life in the bed-dependent group comes to the fore.

Geriatric medicine common in older individuals “geriatric syndromes”I recognize, hypertension, diabetes and the treatment of common chronic diseases, such as the optimal level of the individual, are involved in many complex diseases and drug use and treatment of elderly individuals taking to reduce addiction in the elderly individuals, improve the quality of life for the patient and the family, and thus aims at adding life to years.

What is geriatric syndrome?

These are conditions that are common in old age and negatively affect a person’s quality of life, physical and mental health. At the beginning of geriatric syndromes, there is a lack of nutrition (malnutrition), a decrease in muscle strength (sarcopenia), falls, forgetfulness, sleep problems, constipation and urinary incontinence. These problems are found in many elderly people, but they are often not reported to the doctor because they are seen as a natural result of aging. For example, weight loss, loss of appetite, a decrease in the amount and frequency of meals, weakness in muscle mass are symptoms of malnutrition. Suppression of the immune system to malnutrition, fatigue, susceptibility to diseases and prolongation of the recovery period, instability, falls and bone hardness, sarcopenia is associated with. Other geriatric syndromes, such as malnutrition, can also be treated, and the person’s overall health status and quality of life improve.

What are the vaccination practices in old age?

for those aged 65 and over, it is necessary not to be afraid of vaccinations and to follow up on this issue regularly. A flu vaccine should be given once a year and a shingles vaccine should be given once with pneumonia vaccines, which are sufficient to be administered only once or twice over the age of 65. It is also recommended to administer a vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria once every 10 years. During the pandemic, older people should also be vaccinated against COVID-19.

What scans should be done?

Screening and control for hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia, dementia screening in those with forgetfulness, depression questioning in all elderly people, visual and hearing examinations should be performed.

Osteoporosis, known as bone resorption, should be screened for all women and men over the age of 65.

Colon cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancers in women should be screened even if there are no complaints. Although it used to be recommended to routinely screen for prostate cancer in men, it is now recommended to be screened in certain groups.

Lung cancer and aortic enlargement (abdominal aortic aneurysm) screening should be performed in smokers who smoke more than a certain amount.