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HEALTH IN LATER LIFE

As people get older, they appreciate that health is something current lifestyle, and their relationships with family, friends,
more than just the good fortune to have a body in proper and with the community, on whom they may increasingly
working order. Maintaining health into later life has to do depend if health deteriorates and energy levels fall. Health
with genetic makeup, how a person has lived life so far, their and well-being in later life can be planned for,

DISORDER SPECIFIC AILMENT PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

DIZZINESS Dizziness after a fall • Dizziness on standing up from a sitting


or injury or lying position
In later life, dizziness is commonly due to postural hypotension
• Dizziness better for lying down
(low blood pressure on standing or sitting) or drugs. It may be • Head movement creates a sensation
exacerbated by osteoarthritis (see page 196). More seriously, as though everything is turning with it
dizziness may be indicative of Parkinson’s disease (degeneration
of nerve centers coordinating movement), cervical spondylosis
(bony outgrowths on neck vertebrae restricting blood supply to
the brain), or arteriosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries, Dizziness with nausea • Dizziness is worse for movement and
especially those supplying the brain). These conditions affect is associated with nausea
balance. Mild, early symptoms may respond to self-help remedies. • Oversensitivity to noise that makes the
dizziness worse • Chilliness

SELF-HELP Stay physically active and maintain a good diet. Minimize


the risk of falls in the home by, for example, securing floor coverings Dizziness that is worse • Dizziness with a tendency to fall forward
and fitting handrails on stairs. in cold weather and sideways
CAUTION If there is no improvement within two weeks, see a doctor. • Sensation as though the head
If dizziness increases rapidly, see a doctor within 24 hours. If is being compressed
dizziness causes a fall, see a doctor within two hours.

CONFUSION Confusion with suspicion • General slowing down of physical activity


so that tasks take a long time to complete
Confusion is characterized by an inability to organize thoughts
• Weakness after eating
coherently and poor short-term memory. Elderly people are prone • Tendency to lose weight even when eating well
to confusion resulting from infection, alcohol, or drugs. Chronic
confusion may be due to dementia (see below). Sudden onset may
indicate a serious condition, such as hypothermia (fall in body
temperature to less than 95°F/35°C), a stroke (see page 187), a brain Confusion with delusions
tumor, or hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood-sugar levels). • Weakness when walking
• Noises in the head that resemble explosions
• Spasms in the neck or the bladder
SELF-HELP Make sure that the diet is balanced. Try using the when urinating
breathing techniques used in yoga to reduce stress. • Sensation as though the head is separated
CAUTION If there is no improvement within three weeks, see a from the body
doctor. If there is acute confusion, see a doctor within 12 hours.

SENILE DEMENTIA Senile dementia in • Weakness and fatigue


• Possible early stages of an enlarged prostate
A general decline in mental ability is caused by the progressive loss people who were once
intellectually sharp gland in men
of function of brain cells. This occurs if arteries supplying blood • Slowing down of all movements
to the brain become blocked, or as a result of a number of conditions, • Craving for sweet foods
including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke (see page 187). One of the first
symptoms is a deterioration in short-term memory so that it becomes
increasingly difficult to follow conversations or to read. As theSenile dementia
condition progresses, there is a gradual loss of interest in previously with suspicion • Susceptibility to digestive problems such as
enjoyed pursuits, as well as mood swings. There may be a loss of social bloating, excessive flatulence, and constipation
or sexual inhibitions. Diagnosis needs care, since a deteriorating • Fullness after eating only small amounts
mental state may be due to a variety of medical conditions, dietary of food
deficiencies, the use of alcohol or drugs, or depression.

SELF-HELP The diet should be balanced between proteins and Senile dementia in highly- • Generally thin and withered appearance
carbohydrates, and include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. strung people • Numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes
CAUTION If symptoms persist beyond a month, see a doctor.
• Burning pains, especially in the stomach
• Desire for salt and ice-cold drinks
HEALTH IN LATER LIFE • 267

as with any foreseeable situation, and the better the plan, a holistic approach to correcting imbalances in body
the easier life will be. Bodily systems may ultimately fail systems, and maintaining a sense of vitality and well-being
because of inherited weaknesses, but to what extent they fail in a person as they get older. Homeopathic remedies are
and how quickly they do so will also depend on nutrition, particularly well suited to aging bodies that may be less
level of exercise, lifestyle, and attitudes to life. Constitutional able than young ones to metabolize conventional drugs
homeopathic treatment (see page 176) aims to establish with speed and efficiency.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS SYMPTOMS BETTER SYMPTOMS WORSE REMEDY & DOSAGE

• Denial that there is a problem • For lying down, especially with the • For injury Arnica
• Desire to be left alone head lower than the body • For touch (see page 37)
• Refusal to get medical help • In the open air • For sleep 6c every 8 hours
• For bathing in cold water • For getting up up to 14 days
• For sitting up straight

• Nervousness • Nervous • For rest • For noise Theridion


exhaustion after long suffering • For drinking warm water • For touch (see page 169)
• Concern that time is passing • With the eyes closed 6c every 8 hours
too quickly • For the slightest movement up to 14 days

• Association with a deep sense • For cold drinks • In dry, cold wind Causticum
of grief • For gentle movement • For stooping (see page 79)
• Failing memory necessitating the • For warmth 6c every 8 hours
double-checking of everything up to 14 days

• Tasks are carried out thoughtlessly • For walking in the open air • For being in company Baryta carb.
• Lack of confidence and• For being alone • For cold (see page 76)
a concern about being mocked • After meals 6c twice daily
• Suspicion of strangers and up to 3 weeks
unfamiliar places

• Overexcitement and heightened • In the open air • In the dark Cannabis ind.
awareness of sensations • For bathing in cold water • For physical or mental exertion (see page 43)
• Possible out-of-body experiences • For rest • For coffee 6c twice daily
• Fear of the dark and of demons up to 3 weeks
• Laughter at anything
• Forgetfulness

• Lack of confidence as memory • For warm drinks • For the pressure of clothing Lycopodium
and concentration begin to fail • For loosening clothing • For warmth (see page 59)
• Fear of being alone • In the open air • Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. 30c twice daily
• For overeating up to 14 days

• Failing memory leading to odd• For walking in the open air • For being in company Baryta carb.
actions, thoughts, and perceptions • For being alone • For cold (see page 76)
• Suspicion that everyone is• For wrapping up warmly • For stress 30c twice daily
mocking, leading to a lack of self- up to 14 days
confidence and desire to be alone

• Agitation and apprehension • For sleep, even catnaps • When lying down Phosphorous
• Fear of the dark and being alone • For massage • For emotional stress (see page 94)
• Failing memory leading to • For eating • For warm foods 30c twice daily
constant worry about others • For mental exertion up to 14 days