Traditional Chinese medicine has so much to offer our older citizens and the demand for gentle, natural ways to do so is ever increasing.

Elderly health: A traditional Chinese medicine perspective

Understanding health conditions affecting the elderly

We live in an ageing society. According to the WHO, by 2050 nearly one quarter of the world’s population will be over the age of 60. Heart disease, stroke and chronic pulmonary disorders are the leading killers of the elderly (1) with cardiovascular diseases the main cause of non-communicable disease in any age-group, causing approximately one third of all deaths globally (2).   

The leading causes of disability in the elderly are sensory impairments, back and neck pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depressive disorders, falls, diabetes, dementia and osteoarthritis and many of these can be postponed or even avoided depending on how we conduct our lives (2).

From soothing aching joints, calming the nerves and supporting restful sleep to treating stroke and angina either alone or as an adjunct to conventional medicine, at the bedside or in a Chinese hospital, traditional Chinese medicine has so much to offer our older citizens and the demand for gentle, natural ways to do so is only increasing.

Many herbs are suitable for self-care. However if a health condition does not resolve with home remedies we recommend using the information in Herbal Reality along with your health advisors, especially herbal practitioners from the professional associations listed in our Resources page (‘If you want to find a herbalist”). When buying any herbal products, you should choose responsible manufacturers with independently assured quality standards and sustainability practices. Check the label carefully for the appropriate safety and sustainability information.

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