Saturday, March 28, 2009

Health Tips for March 28

Health Tip: Depression Among Seniors

Depression affects more than 6 million people aged 65 or older in the United States, but only about 10 percent of them are treated, the Cleveland Clinic says.

The clinic offers this list of risk factors for depression in seniors:

  • Living alone without much social interaction.
  • Having persistent pain or illness.
  • Being overly afraid of dying.
  • Having a family history or personal history of depression or suicide attempts.
  • Having had a recent bereavement, such as the death of a close family member.
  • Having problems with drugs or alcohol.
  • Taking certain medications, alone or combined with other medications.
  • Problems with body image after a surgery or major illness, such as cancer or heart disease.

Health Tip: What Seniors Eat

Nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any age, a requirement that doesn't change as you get older.

Here are some dietary guidelines for older people, courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic:

  • Seniors should get 1- to 1.2-grams of protein each day per kilogram of their weight. For instance, a 150-pound person (70 kg) should get 70 to 100 grams of protein daily. Those with chronic kidney disease should ask their doctor about how much protein is safe.
  • Seniors need 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, and 1,000 units of vitamin D daily.
  • Seniors should take special care to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Seniors should take a multivitamin if their diet isn't balanced, they've been sick, or are losing weight. Vitamins don't include protein, however.

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