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[Wan Qingyi Care]The risk of heart disease and mental illness increases and loneliness becomes a health killer for the elderly living alone

[Wan Qingyi Care]The risk of heart disease and mental illness increases and loneliness becomes a health killer for the elderly living alone

Although loneliness is defined as a psychological or social phenomenon, from a medical point of view, the health problems derived from loneliness are extremely serious, covering almost psychological and physical aspects.

In addition to directly causing a decline in immunity and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, it also includes a series of mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.

(Kuala Lumpur News) Before the outbreak of the new crown disease, many parents in Malaysia, especially Chinese families, would let their children go abroad for further study and put down roots in order to make their children successful in the future. One day when I got old and sick, I found out that the child was not around, so when I went to see a doctor, I was accompanied by older brothers and sisters, and the reason was that the child was not around.

Cardiology Consultant
Dr. Dewei Wong
(Dr Wong Teck Wee)

It is a pity that my father passed away and was not by my side

Dr Wong Teck Wee, Consultant Cardiology, pointed out that there was a tragedy during the epidemic. A child who held an important position abroad asked for leave to take care of his father because his father was seriously ill. However, his father’s condition did not improve. He was no longer allowed to ask for leave, so he had to arrange to go back to work first. Unexpectedly, he received the news of his father’s death just a week later. Because he couldn’t accompany his father to complete the last part of the journey, he was in pain and couldn’t forgive himself.

The incidents mentioned above are believed to be just the tip of the iceberg. He said that in the past three years, countless tragedies have happened again and again in all corners of society. To prevent the tragedies from happening, we must start from the root cause, especially to strengthen the self-management of the elderly’s health, and to achieve “independence”. Living but not alone”, so as to avoid the tragedy from happening again.

Who should bear the greatest responsibility for the health of the elderly? Some people say that it is the country or society. Yes, the country or society has certain responsibilities for the health of the elderly, but the elderly’s awareness of their own health, good social interaction and the company of their families are also key.

Our country’s public health provides appropriate medical care for every citizen, including the elderly, but medical treatment is only part of it, but the social interaction of the elderly can win the golden age of first aid for medical treatment.

“Compared to adults, the elderly are degraded due to the deterioration of body functions. When they have health problems such as pneumonia or cardiovascular disease, their symptoms are not obvious or completely different. For example, pneumonia does not have a fever, or they only feel shortness of breath if they have cardiovascular disease. Wait, therefore, if the elder is socially normal, friends around him are expected to notice in time, for example, he looks tired, or has been panting or has a poor appetite, etc., and then notify the doctor to seek medical treatment early to avoid unnecessary tragedies.”

Home testing equipment is a must for every household

It has been found in many cases that it is not easy to distinguish when the health of an elderly person is red. The biggest reason is that the body is no longer sensitive. Realize the size of the problem in time and whether to send it to the hospital urgently.

“Self-testing is especially important. Firstly, it can avoid unnecessary hospitalization (increasing the risk of infection), and secondly, you can know what stage your health index is in. It is equivalent to turning your home into a small hospital. This is very important for the elderly living alone. “

For ordinary families, including the elderly living alone, what home testing equipment should they prepare?

“Currently there are different types of testing instruments on the market, and the prices are affordable for ordinary people. It is recommended that every household must prepare blood pressure monitors and oximeters by themselves.

As for patients with diabetes, a glucose meter (glucometer) must be added, and others such as a thermometer (thermometer) or a weighing scale can be purchased as needed. “

When using a sphygmomanometer, you should not only pay attention to the blood pressure index, but also pay attention to the number of heartbeats.

That is, the pulse index (pulse) on the sphygmomanometer,

If an elderly person has a pulse index of 120 to 130 at rest,

The systolic pressure is only 70 to 80,

This is a situation that must be sent to the hospital urgently, otherwise it will be life-threatening.

It is worth noting that the degree of arteriosclerosis also increases with age,

At this time, diastolic pressure is no longer the most accurate indicator.

Instead, systolic blood pressure and heart rate are the key.

The accuracy of the testing equipment is also very important. Whether the health index is red, but the test results show that everything is normal, or the opposite is that the person is fine but the test tells that something is wrong. The former can seriously delay the timing of emergency treatment. cause unnecessary anxiety.

Everyone needs to know basic health knowledge

There are two ways to check whether the instrument is accurate. If the elderly with high blood pressure lives with their family members, then after the measurement, another family member in good health can use the same instrument. If the test results are the same, then It means that there is a problem with the instrument; it can also be taken to the hospital during follow-up visits and used simultaneously with the nurse, which is also a way to check whether the instrument is qualified.

However, if the elderly live alone, because they have no contact with others, it is the safest way to purchase testing equipment certified by the Malaysian Medical Devices Authority (MDA), which is under the Ministry of Health.

“As I often say to patients, everyone must be responsible for their own health. Whether it is an adult or the elderly, in addition to learning how to use home testing equipment correctly, you must also increase basic health knowledge, just like you own a car. Cars, when you hear some abnormal noises, you must be alert to whether there are any problems.”

don’t speakright and wrongmoney Establishsmall circlehelp each other

The words loneliness and emptiness may seem similar at first glance, but they have very different meanings. If a person is content, he will feel lonely when he is alone, but he will not feel empty.

For example, a practitioner in a deep mountain, but if a person is poor in spirit, he will feel empty even in a multi-person space, such as a busy metropolis. Therefore, when discussing the problems faced by the elderly living alone, they should not be ignored spiritual needs, especially avoiding feelings of emptiness.

Feelings of loneliness and emptiness lead to decreased immunity

“Among the five senses, sight and hearing directly affect whether a person feels empty, because when he can see and hear, whether through mobile phones, computers, TVs or radios, etc., the sense of emptiness will be greatly reduced, and therefore When people gather for dinner through video conferencing during the epidemic, for many people, especially the elderly living alone, this is a good example of reducing the sense of emptiness.”

Huang Dewei said that a person will feel empty. In addition to personality, some psychological and external factors cannot be ignored. For example, before the epidemic, family members were busy and seldom saw each other. It will increase, and some people may choose to close themselves because of this. In addition, people’s social skills in today’s society are getting worse and worse, and they don’t know how to communicate with others, which intensifies the feeling of loneliness and emptiness. One plus one equals two, when As loneliness and emptiness get worse, people’s immunity and emotional management will get worse and worse, and they will not realize that their health is on the red light, especially sudden cardiovascular diseases, etc. This is especially important for the elderly living alone .

So how do you keep the feeling of emptiness from getting worse?

NGOs send warmth unconditionally

“The answer is to establish an “inner circle”. The “inner circle” referred to here (does not refer to right and wrong, not to talk about romantic affairs, nor to build on money transactions, but to support and encourage each other in times of difficulty, A circle of close friends who can share joy when there are happy things, and more importantly, understand each other’s health status through caring, as long as one of them is unwell, each other can be aware of it in time.”

“This small circle does not need many people, about 5 people are enough. Among the 5 people, everyone is like a family member who unconditionally gives time and care without asking for anything in return. In the gradual interaction, we can truly share the difficulties and share the blessings. , instead of only one person paying, and the other receiving benefits constantly, and a small circle of 5 people also has an advantage, that is, to prevent fraudsters from getting involved, because to prevent such scammers, in addition to personal growth and experience, friends around you can also play a role. supervisory role.”

Other ways to reduce emptiness, such as reducing complaints, focusing on things you can do well, not talking flat, not making friends with casual acquaintances, and being willing to learn new things, especially learning new things In addition to improving concentration, you can also make like-minded friends, and these friends may become one of the five small circles in the future.

However, over the years, the Malaysian Society for Healthy Aging has found that there are indeed some elderly people in our society, especially those who live alone for a long time, and their loneliness and emptiness have firmly trapped them. It is not at all necessary to lead them out of this box. easy.

Fortunately, however, there is still warmth everywhere in the society. Some NGOs and social workers care for them unconditionally, with the aim of reducing the spiritual emptiness of the elderly living alone. This is nothing less than the other side of warmth in Malaysian society.

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