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If we are aware of how to best support physical, mental, and emotional health, ageing doesn't have to mean a decline in health.

Elderly health

Understanding elderly health

Ageing is a natural process, generally referring to the accumulation of molecular and cellular damage over time, and subsequent increased risk of age-related disease.  These changes however do not tend to be linear or consistent and are only loosely associated with a person’s actual age (1).  This suggests that as we enter the elderly years, it does not necessarily need to mean a complete decline in health, if we are aware of how to best support physical, mental, and emotional health, and in how to adapt to the physiological changes which naturally occur during these later years of life.

The elderly population is increasing as people are living longer than ever, not only in high-income countries, but now also in low and middle-income countries life expectancy is increasing (1).  Although modern medicine typically focuses on treating disease and prolonging life, the real importance for elderly health is above maintaining longevity in years, to prioritise delaying the onset of many chronic health conditions (ageing better) and sustaining quality of life for as long as possible, which includes activity, independence (not needing to be cared for), and health.  This is where herbalism and a holistic approach can come into its own, providing a natural yet powerful source of support to all aspects of physical, mental, and emotional health during elderly years.

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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