Senior wellness is an aspect of health care focused on providing care tailored to the needs of seniors. This includes preventative care intended to help seniors stay healthy in addition to routine screenings needed by older adults, and medical treatment for conditions commonly associated with age. Many hospitals and clinics offer senior wellness programs to their communities and such programs are also an important aspect of services delivered at a retirement home.
As people age, their bodies undergo a number of changes. They are at increased risk for a variety of medical conditions ranging from osteoporosis and fractures to dementia and neurological problems. A key component of senior wellness involves educating seniors about the changes that occur naturally with age, and preventative measures people can use to limit illness. These can include exercise programs developed for seniors, dietary recommendations, and recommendations for activities and events seniors can get involved with to retain mental acuity and promote mental health.
Senior wellness also includes changing the approach to routine medical examinations and screenings. Physicians need to start examining their patients for the early warning signs of conditions common with age, so these conditions can be diagnosed and treated quickly if they are identified. Early intervention can be very important for degenerative conditions associated with age, and may make a significant difference in quality of life. Some older adults choose to go to a gerontologist, a care provider who specializes in elder care.
In seniors who are sick, it is important to receive treatments that are appropriate to the age and the diagnosis. Treatment concerns with seniors can be different from younger adults, and can also be more complicated. Seniors are more likely to take numerous medications, raising the risk of medication conflicts, and some age-related conditions can come with potential complications that must be considered when providing health care. Treatment for an 18-year-old athlete with a broken leg and an 80-year-old senior with the same fracture, for example, will be very different.
As medical science has improved, allowing people to live much longer, senior wellness has become an increasing concern in many nations. Gerontology programs focused on studying aging issues and educating health care providers who work with the elderly are available in many regions, and many offer senior wellness certifications for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. These certifications indicate that people have completed extensive training to familiarize themselves with issues relevant to older adults so they can provide the best possible support and treatment to their clients.