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Physical healthy


Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

It is caused by the slow buildup of plaque on the inside of walls of the arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. As it grows, the buildup of plaque narrows the inside of the artery and, in time, may restrict blood flow. There are two types of plaque:

  1. Hard and stableÂ
  2. Soft and unstableÂ


Hard plaque causes artery walls to thicken and harden whilst soft plaque is more likely to break apart from the walls and enter the bloodstream. This can cause a blood clot that can partially or totally block the flow of blood in the artery. When this happens, the organ supplied by the blocked artery starves for blood and oxygen. The organ's cells may either die or suffer severe damage.

Atherosclerosis is a slow, progressive disease that may start in childhood. It affects the arteries of the brain, heart, kidneys, and the arms and legs.Â

What Causes Atherosclerosis?

Scientists don't know exactly how atherosclerosis begins or the exact cause. In some people, atherosclerosis develops faster as they grow older. Scientists think that the buildup of plaque starts when the lining of the artery is damaged or injured.

Who Is At Risk for Atherosclerosis

Although scientists don't know the exact cause, they do know that certain situations increase your chance of developing atherosclerosis. These are called risk factors. Your chance of having atherosclerosis increases with the number of risk factors you have. You can control some risk factors and others you can't.

Risk factors that you can't do anything about are: 

  • Age. As you get older, your risk increases. In men, risk increases after age 45. In women, risk increases after age 55.Â
  • Family history of early heart disease. Your risk for atherosclerosis is greater if your father or brother was diagnosed with heart disease before age 55 and/or your mother or sister was diagnosed with heart disease before age 65.Â


Risk factors that you can do something about are:

  • High blood cholesterolÂ
  • High blood pressureÂ
  • Smoking and using tobaccoÂ
  • DiabetesÂ
  • ObesityÂ
  • Lack of physical activityÂ
 
What is Arthritis?

There are two types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis

Within the joint cavity there is a membrane called cartilage. When the cartilage degenerates, pain is experienced in the joints. It usually affects the knee, shoulder, smaller joints of the hands and feet, leading to painful restriction of movements and difficulties in day to day work.

What are the causes of Osteoarthritis?

a)  Obesity affects the weight bearing joints e.g., knees and hips.

b)  Ageing causes a decreased ability of the cartilages to resist stress, damage and destruction.Â

c)  Genetics - Women are highly pre-disposed to Osteoarthritis.Â

d)  Mechanical aspects - Osteoarthritis is becoming increasingly evident in active people such as football players and athletes - repetitive mechanical stress maybe the reason.

What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Pain in and around the affected joints is the most common problem. This may cause impairment depending on the person's personality, anxiety, depression and lifestyle. Bony enlargement, deformity, instability, restriction of movements and muscular weakness are also common.Â

Rheumatoid

This condition is due to a chronic inflammation of the lining membrane of the joint cavities which causes irreversible damage to the joint capsule and the cartilage. It also causes inflammatory changes in all connective tissues of the body.

How does the doctor diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The following criteria help in diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • prolonged morning stiffness in the joints
  • characteristic nodules under the skin
  • joint erosions apparent on X-ray tests

What is the treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There is no cure for RA. The treatment is to manage the symptoms. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are important to avoid functional impairment and irreversible joint damage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used.

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What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine and there are 4 types of Urinary Incontinence:

Stress Incontinence

Involuntary loss of urine when a person coughs, laughs or exercises, thereby increasing intra-abdominal pressure. This is most often due to weakness of the muscles of the pelvic floor or the Urethral Sphincter which may in turn be due to repeated child-birth, trauma and Genito-urinary surgery.

Urge Incontinence

Leakage of urine, usually large volume, because of inability to delay passing of urine even after sensation of bladder fullness. This may be due to many problems such as stones in the Ureters, Parkinson's and Infections.

Overflow Incontinence

Leakage of Urine, usually small amounts, resulting from mechanical forces on an over distended bladder. This may occur if a person has an acontractile bladder associated with diabetes, an enlarged prostate or in certain spinal cord lesions.


Functional Incontinence

Urinary leakage associated with inability to pass urine properly because of impaired psychological functioning such as depression, regression etc.


What treatments are available?
Depending on the medical, psychological or other conditions, the doctor may advise drugs, exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, surgery or catheterization.

Is Urinary Incontinence common in the elderly?
Yes, it is common in the elderly but with proper management and treatment continence can be regained in most cases.

 
Different Bath Aids that are available for the Elderly or Disabled.

Everyone should have the right to be able to maintain their personal hygiene through regular showering or bathing. Unfortunately, for others this is difficult to managebecause of age or a disability that prevents them from climbing into or out of the bath, or standing in the shower.

Luckily, there is a huge range of shower and bath aids available to help with everything from turning tight taps to getting out of the bath easily.

                                                                                                                                                           

For those who just want a lending hand, small daily living aids such as suction cup rails and grab rails are cheap to buy and will provide an extra bit of support and stability. Some aids can be removed when not in use, so they are the perfect choice for those who have elderly parents visiting for example, and do not want to install permanent fixtures in their bathroom.Â
Easy tap turners are also good, basic bath aids that make it easy for frail people to turn taps on and off easily, by providing an extra long, easy to grip handle. They can also be bought in red and blue colours to be instantly recognised as hot and cold taps.

However, some people may need more help than just a suction cup rail or even a fixed metal bath rail can provide. In these cases, there is still a lot of bath aids available that can really help to make your day to day life easier. Take bath lifts for example. These battery powered chairs sit at a normal height and then lower you gently down into the bath, and back up again afterwards.Â
They are perfect in for wheelchair users who can move across from one seat to the other. For total security, be sure to choose a chair that has a built in mechanism that prevents it from lowering down if there is not enough power left to bring it back up again afterwards.Â

 
A Guide to the Different Bath Aids Available for the Elderly or Disabled

Everyone should have the right to be able to maintain their personal hygiene through regular showering or bathing. Unfortunately, for some this is difficult to manage due to age that prevents them from easily climbing in and out of the bath, or standing in the shower. Luckily, there is a huge range of shower and bath aids available to help with everything from turning tight taps to getting out of the bath easily.

 

For those who are generally able to shower or bathe themselves and just want a lending hand, small daily living aids such as suction cup rails are cheap to buy and will provide that extra bit of support and stability that can inspire confidence to use the bathroom alone. Plus, suction cup bars can be removed when not in use, so they are the perfect choice for those who have elderly parents visiting for example, and do not want to install permanent fixtures in their bathroom.

Have a look at the products on our website for many more options, plus general daily living aids for use in rooms other than the bathroom.

 

 

 
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