As the 21st century wears on, we now increasingly rely on technological advancements for the prevention, detection, and treatment of complex health issues of the elderly.
As studies have shown (such as those performed by Dr. Steven Gundry of Gundry MD), the consumption of certain foods and substances such as Lectins affect our health and lends a hand to the development of diseases.
Furthermore, as people age, physiological systems of the body begin to deteriorate and, which is accompanied by changes to structural and anatomical characteristics. The degree and intensity of these degenerative changes are influenced by the lifestyle of individuals and also, very often, by prevalent environmental factors.
As a result, there is a considerable difference in the health status of senior citizens as we move from one individual to the next.
Some changes that occur as the body ages include (but are not limited to): changes to the skin, whereby it becomes tougher and less elastic, becoming prone to infection; slower healing of wounds; degenerative eyesight; loss of bone mass, resulting to osteoporosis; arthritis and rheumatism; weight loss; dementia and memory loss; and loss of appetite.
It’s often found in some developing countries that senior citizens face hindered access to medical facilities and health resources. This is as a result of transportation challenges, proximity of health care centres, as well as health insurance issues.
Subsequently, it’s common for elderly citizens to deviate from the prescribed health care plans, endangering themselves in the process. Such factors cause an increase in the dependence of these senior citizens on medical interventions and assistance.
Therefore, this state of affairs calls for the urgent development of health care technologies that will help the ageing population to sustainably and proactively monitor their health personally. This will also enable them to achieve the timely prevention and treatment of prevalent health challenges.
Health technology has been advanced to cater for the urgent medical and health requirements of the elderly. Technologies range from wearable devices to information transmission networks, installed in the living areas of the elderly to help monitor their activities and wellbeing. The delivery of health care services from remote locations is now also a common advancement.
Thanks to modern technology, early diagnosis (facilitating speedy and adequate treatment), ‘at-home’ health status monitoring, as well as improved mental and physical well-being are now so well placed that the active social interaction and general health of the elderly has improved remarkably.
The idea of healthy ageing has easily evolved into an achievable reality, as human involvement in administering health aids are steadily being replaced by modern technology. Meanwhile, the development of food supplements and health promontory tonics further help to achieve improved health.
As is often the case, senior citizens frequently crave the freedom to remain independent, regardless of their health status. Modern technological advancements help make their desires a reality by affording them the capability to stay independent for as long as possible, whilst relieving their relatives and caretakers of worry. The aftermath for the general population is an increased life span via the facilitation of a much healthier lifestyle, in turn creating a better quality of life for all.
Advances in science and technology are helping to create new inventions in health sciences, leading to the development of health clinics. Advancements in modern society allow for a fast-growing health care service, which is continuously based on providing healthcare at home. This has created a paradigm shift from the well-known ‘hospital based’ health care service to a more convenient ‘at-home’ health care service.
As stated earlier, this paradigm shift has been made possible by trusty, health focused communication networks and technologies which are continuously bridging the gap and facilitating the decrease in hospital visits. People’s health status can now be easily monitored on a daily basis and at personal convenience, making healthy ageing a common and achievable goal.
Examples of technological milestone achievements with regards improved health services include: personal electronic record keeping of health data; Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technologies; and personal robots.
Technological aids have been developed to cater for the various stages of the ageing process, encouraging the active prevention and treatment of health related challenges. In line with the brain child of Leavell and Clark, advancements in the health system have been achieved to facilitate the primary prevention of diseases (preservation of health by discouraging the development of ailments).
Further success has been achieved helping to reduce the risks of escalation of some diseases by proactively helping to detect and treat ailments (known as secondary disease prevention).