More than ever before, the world of medicine is evolving to better meet the needs of seniors. Doctors are focusing more than ever on the quality of life for people over the age of 65. Here are some of the ways medical therapies and medicine are evolving to help aging individuals.
3D Printers for Hip Replacements
One of the most futuristic developments of the last few years seems like something out of Star Trek. 3D printers are machines that can print out almost any object you can think of, from golf clubs to houses. For seniors, one of the greatest medical uses of these devices is artificial hips. Instead of waiting months for custom hips to be made for patients, or using generic artificial hips, scientists can print custom hips nearly identical in shape to the patient’s old hip. While costs are still somewhat high, as the technology progresses, the fast process may help minimize prosthetic prices, as well as recovery time.
Therapeutic Yoga for Senior Citizens
Though yoga has existed for many years, it’s experienced a recent evolution as doctors have started to recognize not only it’s benefits, but effective ways to tailor yoga for older bodies. Major universities like Duke, and even homes for assisted living in Virginia are integrating therapeutic yoga into their medical studies and practice, with the goal of giving seniors of all incomes cheaper, efficient ways of taking care of their bodies. Some tactics involve doing yoga in pools, an evolution of water aerobics, while others concentrate on low-impact poses that tone the body.
Insulin Pumps and Pills
As people age, their risk of acquiring Type 2 Diabetes increases. Complications of diabetes are serious, and if left untreated, patients may need amputations or suffer neurological symptoms. Luckily, doctors are perfecting insulin pumps, which, when installed in a patient’s pancreas, release a hormone that will help them absorb sugar. Another positive development concerns oral insulin; while for decades patients needed to inject insulin, new advances are making oral insulin pills a reality, making managing diabetes simpler for older individuals.
This list is far from exhaustive. While these therapies are a great start any senior should be interested in, medicine is also advancing at light speed in areas of cancer, nutrition, and strength retention. With all the research in therapeutic and medical approaches to aging, seniors may expect to live years longer than seniors just a generation ago.