In this week’s news we discuss what’s been in the headlines concerning the elderly. In this series we will be discussing the topics of the Dementia battle, robots helping the elderly, and NHS waiting lists.
The Dementia Battle
A study has claimed that eating a portion of green vegetables a day can ‘help the elderly fight of Dementia’.
The study followed 960 healthy pensioners over the course of five years, who had an average age of 81 over. They found that those who had at least one portion a day of spinach, kale and lettuce had better mental capacity than those who never or rarely ate them. When the pensioners were assessed and put through tests the researchers found that the pensioners had a mental age that was 11 years younger than previous to the experiment.
Green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, cabbage and lettuce are known to have high amounts of Vitamin K, and researchers and experts believe this helps slow the brains ageing process. Such foods also have many other known benefits and are full of nutrients the body needs.
A diet that consists of high amounts of sugars and fats can not only cause the likes of Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood pressure and so forth, but it’s also believed to contribute towards the likes of poor memory and the onset of Dementia. Many studies have come to this conclusion regarding sugar.
Robots & Elderly
The next story which has been in the headlines is regarding robots helping the elderly. A US project titled ARIES, (Affordable Robotic Intelligence for Elderly Support) is aiming to develop robotic pets, cats and dogs that is, that can aid older people in their homes.
The giant toy manufacturer Hasbro, according to reports, been granted a $1 million science grant to develop the technology into the toy pets. Hasbro are known for the like of creating the groundbreaking Furby back in the 90’s!
Hasbro’s vice president explained that he was excited to combine their toy making expertise with the science of Robotic Intelligence. It’s expected that the project will take up to three years to complete.
It’s not the first idea of developing Robotic Intelligence to aid the elderly in the home. Many items are already on the market or in developed stages, however they don’t come without criticism. Many people have taken the thought that such technology will isolate elderly individuals from real human contact, whereas others are extremely supportive.
Did you know at Careline, we provide aid to the elderly? It’s not quite robotic but it’s intelligent alarm technology that allows vulnerable elderly and disabled people to call for help if they ever have a fall or accident. You can find out more information on our alarms by reading our useful guide here.
NHS – ‘The whole system is creaking’
The third and final story we’re covering this week is the topic of the NHS. According to Belfast Live, ‘Elderly people are arriving at A&E in “pain” and “desperation” thanks to spiraling waiting lists’
The amount of patients arriving into A&E apparently is causing pressure on the NHS and making waiting lists incredibly lengthy and delaying treatment. This influx of admissions to A&E includes many elderly patients who are in pain and desperation because of the care crisis and their last hope is to seek immediate medical attention, further adding to strains.
A consultant at the NHS explained that,
The reason why our department is busy at the moment is because the entire system is busy. There aren’t that many patients who come to our department inappropriately. But what we are finding is an increase in the number of patients attending because of pressures on elective care. So patients who are waiting to have their gall bladder removed, a hernia repaired, to see a specialist in the hospital; their condition is getting worse and it’s beyond the scope of their GP to sort this out
This story is particularly worrying, especially for any elderly patients who require quick medical attention, as their conditions can quickly deteriorate if left untreated for a long period. To overcome this problem hospitals are starting to implement different measures.
Recently one hospital in Norfolk, opened the first elderly emergency care unit, which is designed to take elderly away from the A&E wait and direct them to a specialized unit. This not only eases pressures on others in A&E but gives the elderly a better department to receive medical attention quickly.