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Impact of air pollution on the elderly and 5 ways to tackle it

Impact of air pollution on the elderly and 5 ways to tackle it

Air pollution is the term that describes harmful gases or particles in the air. It is one of the leading causes of deaths across the globe. A latest research conducted by BBC shows that around 5.5. million people die every year due to Air pollution. Most of these deaths occur among senior citizens in rapidly developing economies of China and India. The main culprit is emission of small particles from power plants, factories, vehicle exhausts and from the burning of coal and wood.

The importance of fresh air is a basic necessity, just like food, clothing and shelter. This is because a life can’t flourish for a minute without air. Humans, animals and all living organisms require air to survive. Every day, the average adult breathes about 15,000 to 20,000 litres of air.

Air pollution is a health concern for everyone but it impacts elderly in more subtle ways. The first and common reason is that ageing slows down the functioning of every body part. With increasing age, the lungs of seniors are not capable of filtering the clean air and disposing off the pollutants. The existence of that polluted air gives rise to various health problems for seniors.

Another reason is that elderly have weaker immune systems so they are not as equipped to face the consequences of unhealthy atmosphere (Air). Their body system struggles to fight the bacteria that were once dispatched with ease.

Senior citizens generally have vision problems with age. But the problem of vision is affected multiple times if the dust particles in the air increase. Seniors finds it difficult to see clearly if the pollution rises. Moreover due to the heavy pollution, seniors face the problem of itchy eyes, sore throat and skin rash on the other parts of body.

Last but not the least, there is an impact is on the heart. With aging, the heart function of seniors declines. These problems get multiplied if the senior breathe in polluted air. The blood flow further slows down, which increases the chances of a heart attack.

Ways to tackle air pollution and its effect –

1) Monitor pollution levels and warnings: The first step is to identify if the senior has a disease which can become worse due to polluted air. Respiratory diseases most impacted due to pollution. Whenever pollution indexes are up, advisories are made for anyone with respiratory illness to not venture out. One should keep a check on these warnings through an app or on the computer, and they should be taken seriously. The elderly should stay indoors on days when the pollution levels are high.

2) Air purifiers: There are ways to tackle air pollution indoors, whether within the house or office. There are a number of air purifiers available in the market that can be used to filter out harmful particulate matter.

3) Avoid smoking indoors: All members of the house should avoid smoking indoors where there are seniors. Senior citizens have weak lungs and the impact of passive smoking is very harmful for them

4) Face masks: Seniors and children are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution. It is a good idea to get a face mask and use it when outdoors for a long duration, when the pollution levels are high.

5) Plants that fight pollution: Indoor houseplants like Garden Mum, Spider Plant, Dracaena and Peace Lily purify the air, and at the same time will beautify your surroundings.


Samvedna Senior Care –

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality at-home care services to seniors with limited mobility and social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation.

Our At-Home Care Services for General Wellbeing aim to raise the quality of life of seniors through a monthly interactive programme in the comfort of their home. Our senior care specialists, who are trained psychologists and gerontologists, keep them active and engaged through physical, mental and social activities. The activities include intellectual companionship, mind stimulation activities like puzzles and crosswords, playing games, dancing and singing, social outings for coffee or mall and more.
More – https://www.samvednacare.com/home-care-services/home-care-package/elder-care

Please call us for more info – 98184 21446, 124 4229659

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Samvedna Senior Care, G-7 Oriental Villas, Sushant Lok III, Sector 57, Gurgaon

Samvedna Senior Care, C-13 Anand Niketan, New Delhi