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India has nearly 120 million elderly people and it is suggested that by the year 2050, the number of elderly persons will rise to about 324 million. Currently, 7.7% of India’s population is above the age of 60. While general health-care facilities provided by the government are available, the elderly need an active aging program to keep them independent and healthy. Health ministry has created various geriatric centers and geriatric clinics across various states that cater to the special needs of the elderly.
What are Geriatrics?
Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on the health of aged patients. The prime aim of geriatrics care is to treat and prevent diseases, disability or illness of old people as well as promote the general health of senior citizens. A geriatrician is a doctor, who is specialized in providing clinical cares for adults.
What is Homoeopathy?
Homeopathy is one of the most frequently used forms of complementary and alternative medicine across the world. Homeopathy for the elderly can be useful as it fulfills all the parameters required for being an ideal system of medicine for geriatric care. Homeopathy was established 200 years ago by a German Physician named Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. It is based on the ‘principle of similar’. Highly diluted preparations of substances that cause symptoms in healthy individuals are used to stimulate healing reactions in patients who display similar symptoms when ill. Homeopathy believes in treating patients holistically and medications are specific to the individual, rather than the diseases. Homeopathy is a safe, effective and scientific system of medicine.
Benefits of Homeopathy especially for Senior Citizens:
● Gentle and permanent cure As we age, our metabolism rate becomes slower, and various destructive and degenerative changes occur in our body. When we use conventional treatment for old-age ailments, there is suppression (temporary relief), while homeopathic medicines work gently, rapidly and come as a permanent restoration of health. Homeopathy for elderly is beneficial for elders because they deserve a gentle and ideal cure.
● Chances of side effects are lower than the conventional drugs Usually, homeopathic medicines are highly diluted and typically contain no active molecules, so there are fewer chances of potentially hazardous and adverse side effects as compared to conventional drugs. Although some homeopathic remedies tend to produce an energetic reaction after the first dose of indicated remedy, it may cause worsening of symptoms (medicinal or disease) in sensitive individuals but conventional medicines cause more severe and adverse effects in the form of allergic reactions, gastrointestinal disturbances and dizziness.
● Helps in increases immunity and resistance power of body The immune system is the disease-fighting system of the body, made up of a network of cells, tissues and organs that destroy the disease-causing organism (bacteria, virus) and protect the body from different infections. As the body ages, our immune system deteriorates and tends to catch common infections easily, so for them, homeopathy offers an excellent benefit of increasing resistance power of body as an ideal cure. Common Health Problems in Seniors that Homeopathy Cures:
● Hypertension, diabetes and osteo-muscular conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis increases
● Decreases the risk of developing different types of cancer like – prostate cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer are common cancers associated with advanced age
● Cardiovascular diseases – heart failure, heart disease, arrhythmia, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, stroke, congenital heart disease
● Poor Mental health – dementia, depression is common in old age
● Impaired vision and Hearing Loss
Homeopathy offers alternative health care choices that aim to prevent physical disability and increase active life expectancy through holistic care.
Here are some basic pointers to follow during a homeopathy treatment
1. The regime prescribed should be followed regularly and one must ensure that the medicines are taken on time.
2. People generally tend to take an overdose of the prescribed medicine thinking that it would increase the potency of the ingredients and thus treat them faster. This notion must be avoided. An overdose can lead to side effects.
3. If the doctor mentions that you must report back after consuming the medicine for a few days, the patient must pay a visit to the doctor on the given day. This will ensure timely and correct treatment.
4. Do not continue the medicine after the prescribed time period.
5. In case of a morning dosage that is prescribed to be taken right after you wake up, rinse the mouth with plain water and never brush your teeth or use mouthwash. This will hinder the medicine's action.
5. Medicines should be taken at least 20 to 30 minutes prior to or after a meal.
6. Most of the doctors advise patients to abstain from coffee and garlic when they are on homeopathic medicines. Ask your doctor for clear directions.
7. Medicines tend to have a better effect if they can remain on the tongue for a long time. This is the reason why doctors tell their patients to not chew the medicines.
8. Never touch the medicine with bare or wet hands.
9. In case you have missed a dosage, say for the night, do not compensate by taking it the next day morning. Do not do that. Instead, take the next dosage at the prescribed time.
10. The sweet globules of homeopathic medicines make children have some extra. Thus, the bottle must never be handed over to children. Parents should administer the dosage themselves.
11. Homeopathic medicines should not be taken soon after smoking or drinking, Avoid doing so.
12. Mother tinctures and liquid doses should be added in water in glass or porcelain cup, not in any metallic vessel. There is no need to keep the medicines in the refrigerator.
This blog had inputs from Dr. Geeta Parwani.
Dr. Geeta has an MD in Homeopathy & has more than 19 years of experience in working as head of homeopathy department in a Multi-speciality Hospital. She is also associated with the Indian Red Cross foundation Pune chapter. She delivers an excellent result for the upper respiratory disorder, migraine, allergies, asthma, pediatric, geriatric diseases, kidney stones, gallstones, arthritis, rheumatism, backache, slip disc, spondylitis, sports injuries, endocrinological disorders like thyroid, diabetes mellitus, menstrual disorder, breast tumors, and infertility.
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