Aged Care

Just as the organs and biochemical processes of kids are different to adults, these change again as you age. You may also find that you need less medications than you did in your 50s and 60s for certain conditions.

An important aspect of care of the older person is reducing the medication list as much as possible. Sometimes symptoms develop that are side effects of a medication. A home medication review with an experienced pharmacist in conjunction with your GP can optimise your medication list.

 

Continence

Bowel and bladder problems are common issues for both men and women as they get older. It is important not to just put up with this. There is a lot that can be done with diet such as increasing fibre and pelvic floor exercises to improve bladder function and bowels. It is also important to see your GP to make sure there are not any other medical conditions or medications causing the symptoms.
It is never too late for men and women to start pelvic floor exercises. Like all muscles they weaken if we are not using them regularly.
It is important to ensure you have the correct position for using your bowels when going to the toilet. This means having your knees above your hips. You may need a stool to help achieve this.
If simple strategies don’t help there are also medication options.


Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis which is caused by wear and tear can happen at any age. Your GP can help diagnose whether it is arthritis from wear and tear or arthritis from an underlying condition destroying the bone. The treatment for each is different.
For Osteoarthritis it is important to remain as active as possible. Undertaking an exercise program to improve the strength in the muscles around the joints helps to reduce pain. The GLAD program combines education and physical exercises and is run by specifically trained physiotherapists. It has a strong evidence base to show that it reduces pain for knee arthritis.
Hydrotherapy can also be helpful. Weight loss can be difficult to achieve but will reduce the burden on your joints. Even 5kg will make a difference.
Osteoarthritis can be managed to help you maintain your function, independence and do the activities you enjoy in life. If pain is stopping this, please talk with your GP. Surgery is considered the last option when other treatments have failed.


Memory Problems

With age sometimes memory can become a problem. If you are concerned that you have memory problems or are worried about a family member please talk with your GP. There are screening tests that we can do which can help with early detection. Many other medical conditions, that can be treated, and medications can impair memory as you age. Urinary tract infections in older people can often present as confusion without any pain or need to go to the toilet often.
Remaining physically active, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, having social connections and using your mind can all help reduce and delay the impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional home assistance with shopping, cleaning, gardening and other tasks you need to have an aged care package. There are different levels for these. More information is available here:Apply for an aged care assessment My Aged Care

Annual health assessments over the age of 75 are important to detect health problems and conditions at an early stage. Regular health assessments and having a care plan for any chronic conditions will reduce the likelihood of you going to hospital and help to keep you independent and at home.

These health assessments are done with the practice nurse and your regular doctor.

The best way is to come with your partner/parent so that it can be a shared discussion. GP’s are very good at picking up the nuances that don’t match.

Alternatively, we would encourage you to book an appointment to discuss the matter with your partner/parent’s GP.