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Expert Advocates Lifestyle Modification for Elderly People

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A Consultant Family Physician, Dr Oludaisi Oduniyi, has stressed the need for elderly people to adopt lifestyle modification.

Oduniyi said this at the commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons organised by the Geriatric Unit of the Department of Family Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.

He said the UN under the resolution 45/106 had designated 1 October as the International Day of Older Persons, adding that The Geriatric Association of Nigeria had also adopted the month of October to celebrate the elderly people.

“Ageing commences from 30 years. Some of the problems of elderly people have to do with sight which usually starts with vision impairment; impairment in hearing and immobility challenges. Some of them suffer from dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cataract and glaucoma.

“In order to prevent all these ailments, they need to adopt lifestyle modification by regulating their weight and being physically active. Older people must also reduce their salt intake, reduce their alcohol intake and they need to also socialise. If they are on social media, it will reduce their risk of getting depressed.

The expert advocated the establishment of more geriatric centres for the care of older people.

“The Federal Government has already approved the National Policy on Ageing. The purpose is to give the elderly people independence, dignity and comprehensive health care.

“There is the need for the government to establish more geriatric care centres, a one-stop shop where the elderly people can have access to multi-specialist care,” Oduniyi added.

A Consultant Restorative Dentist, Dr Lillian Enone, said there was the need for the elderly people to regularly check their blood pressure and sugar level.

Speaking on the theme for the 2021 UN International Day of Older Person, ‘Digital Equity for All Ages,’ Enone said, “There is the need to emphasise that the elderly people must pay more attention to the use of their phones.

“Those of us who are younger will agree that with our phone, we are able to communicate, we are able to be less lonely and we are able to attach to the public, as well as family members. Many of these elderly people do not stay with their family members, some of them stay alone, and loneliness can cause them to age of quickly.”

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