Non-pharmacological therapies contribute to the well-being of the elderly

An article by Inés Varanda Seixas, Nutritionist, Campofrio Health Care collaborator
and Romina Polo i Nolla, Nutritionist and Key Account of Campofrio Health Care

The well-being is the experience of health, happiness and prosperity this includes having good mental health, feeling highly satisfied with life, having a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress. More generally, well-being is the condition of being well, noticing security, tranquility and harmony on a personal level and in the environment in which a person develops.

The WHO defines wellness as: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (one). In order to achieve this well-being and quality of life for older people, the merit is not only to have part of their pathologies under control, in them it is also necessary to seek the integration of the global well-being of the person and achieve the four stages that encompass well-being, both physical, mental, emotional and social.

Non-pharmacological therapies contribute to improving the well-being of the elderly, both physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

To achieve this state we have a series of pharmacological criteria that will allow the achievement of physical improvement, but there are many more non-pharmacological therapies to be able to reach this stage.

A summary of them can be:

  • psychosocial interventions

Psychosocial interventions in the elderly have proven to be very effective in our elderly sometimes being able to work better than drugs for certain aspects. The objectives of these interventions are mostly related to preserving the motor skillsthe skills to socializeincrease the autonomy in ADL, slow the progression of pre-existing diseases and Improve Life Quality of the elderly, as well as their environment.

Psychosocial therapies can be applied to the elderly and to the family member or caregiver. Both are of equal importance. There are different categories depending on the area to be strengthened: emotional, motor, cognitive, comprehensive…

For seniors with Alzheimer’s The most used therapies are art therapy, music therapy and cognitive stimulation. It is very important and useful for the caregiver to also attend these therapy sessions in order to continue them at home or in the center where the elderly person resides.

The cognitive stimulation it is in its essence, the stimulation of the brain. The music therapy it is a perfect tool to unlock emotions and memories through listening to music. Another therapy that is increasingly used due to its effectiveness against stress and increased defenses, is the laughter therapy. How important it is to laugh!

The physical exercise in the elderly is one of the daily pillars that must be promoted, to keep the irrigation of bone cells active, avoid muscle atrophy and strengthen the musculature,

Gentle exercises of rotations of the body and extremities, of concentration with movement (type thai chi( , of musculature (pilates) and of relaxation (yoga) makes it possible for our elders to strengthen their body during their classes and be able to achieve a slight fatigue, which will allow them to be able to fall asleep better.

When mobility is reduced, you must be a caregiver and / or rehabilitator to help you perform these exercises to be able to maintain better quality of your muscles and less structural damage. In some cases, swimming pools or bathtubs are usually a good alternative to practice “aqua gym” with the benefits of buoyancy and a feeling of lightness for the largest.

  • emotional interventions

It is one of the very important aspects to be able to achieve is the emotional well-being in our elders. In many cases there is brain degeneration that makes it difficult to activate this emotional pleasure. Even so, the mindfulness, based on the focus of attention on the present moment, it is a method to achieve mindfulness, focusing on what we feel in this precise moment, freeing the mind and allowing enjoy the moment you live.

Mindfulness in some cases is also used as a methodology for mindful kind eating: Re-learns to eat, adapting to the new physical situation to being able to enjoy food consciously again. In this process, the caretaker and the enhancement of the organoleptic flavor of the dishes are also very important.

And taking advantage of new technologies, virtual reality glasses allow you to activate the memory cortex and recover a feeling of nostalgia and relive forgotten sensations.

And to help achieve this complete well-being, we can add the Phyto-therapeutic therapies.

The vast majority of our elders are highly medicated pharmacologically and many seek as a result, natural solutions to solve certain problems or even to replace some medication prescribed by the doctor. The Phytotherapy It is a more natural solution, and less harmful than the chemicals of conventional medications.

must be a treatment under medical supervision (or social and health specialist) and taking into account the interactions that in some cases may exist with drugshence they cannot be used arbitrarily

The products that acquire more relevance and outstanding are remedies for constipation, either in capsules or powders of an extract of plants or infusions; products to relieve pain arthritis or muscle aches; and accessories for improve sleep quality such as valerian and passionflower.

Lately there has been a greater interest in improve memory and cognitive ability with supplementation of plants such as ginko biloba, bacopa or ginseng. Devil’s claw and cat’s claw are anti-inflammatories highly recommended for their anti-inflammatory properties.

But certainly the Coenzyme Q10 and the DHA (omega 3) are the crown jewels for supplementation of our elders. Cozyme Q10 or ubiquinone is an antioxidant that helps prevent heart conditions and migraines. DHA is an essential fatty acid for the development and maintenance of brain function.

Finally, the most decisive non-pharmacological therapy for well-being that exists in our society is don’t forget our eldersrespect them for their frailties and insanity and love them with us so that do not fall into oblivion neither they nor their feelings.

  1. Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, which was adopted by the International Sanitary Conference, held in New York from June 19 to July 22, 1946, signed on July 22, 1946 by the representatives of 61 States ( Official Records of the World Health Organization, No. 2, p. 100), and entered into force on April 7, 1948. The definition has not changed since 1948.

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