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health promotion

‘Preventing Aging’—What Strategies can Physicians Advise?

Teaser: 

Dr. Marina Abdel Malak, MD, CCFP, BSc.N,

is a Family Physician in Mississauga, Ontario. She has served on several committees and groups, including The Primary Care Network and Collaborative Mental Health Network. She has a passion for medical education, patient empowerment, and increasing awareness about the relationship between mental, emotional, and physical health. Dr. Abdel Malak is highly involved in quality improvement initiatives, and her research interests include strategies to support physician wellness, patient self-management, and optimizing physician education.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: The Canadian population continues to age, and therefore, promoting healthy aging is essential. Physicians play an important role in counselling patients on how they can optimize their health. Despite the range of societal myths and fads, the 4 pillars of health are the strategies that have been shown by evidence to promote healthy aging. In the clinical setting, it is critical for physicians to advise patients on these 4 pillars: a balanced diet, a range of physical activities, maintaining relationships, and utilizing the brain’s cognitive capacities all promote physical, mental, social, and emotional wellness. Although aging itself is unavoidable, these lifestyle behaviours can support patients in experiencing aging as a positive, fulfilling, and meaningful part of their lives.
Key Words: Health promotion, aging, nutrition, exercise, cognition, social engagement.
1) Although aging is unavoidable, patients can engage in lifestyle habits and behaviours that promote healthy aging and improve quality of life
2) Optimal nutritional intake and physical activity positively impact mental, emotional, and physical health throughout the lifespan
3) Engaging in social relationships, as well as cognitive stimulation, improves the self-esteem life-satisfaction of elderly patients
1) The four pillars of health that promote healthy aging throughout the lifespan are nutritional intake, physical activity, cognitive stimulation, and social engagement. Physicians need to counsel patients on strategies that address these four pillars
2) Chronic under and over-nutrition are both harmful to health. Physicians should therefore provide advice to patients on how to eat a balanced diet that provides essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients
3) Cognitive stimulation can involve activities such as word searches, memory games, playing a musical instrument, mazes, and more. Evidence supports that these activities promote neuroplasticity and can prevent the development of dementia
4) Attending groups and workshops provides social engagement opportunities for elderly patients, which allows them to contribute to the community, develop social skills, and maintain a sense of human connectedness
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Osteoporosis Prevention: What can we tell patients?

Teaser: 

Dr. Marina Abdel Malak

is a Family Medicine Resident at the University of Toronto. She graduated and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and went on to study Medicine. She has a passion for medical education, patient empowerment, and increasing awareness about the relationship between mental, emotional, and physical health.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract:Osteoporosis (OP) is the leading cause of hip fractures in patients. Primary prevention focusses on engaging in strategies that prevent the development of osteoporosis. Physicians often provide health information to patients on how to optimize their overall wellness, and therefore, ought to educate patients on bone health as well. Offering advice on specific interventions that decrease the risk of developing OP is an effective way to engage patients in maintaining peak bone mass. Physicians should counsel patients on key points such as dietary modifications, physical activity, and decreasing the use of alcohol and smoking. Setting mutual goals with patients and ensuring that they understand the positive impact this will have on their health is critical.
Key Words: Osteoporosis, bone health, health promotion, primary prevention, education.

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1) Educating patients about methods to decrease the risk of osteoporosis is a critical role of the physician, as peak bone mass develops in early adulthood
2) CALCIUM (see figure 4) is a mnemonic that can help physicians recall what strategies they can address with patients: calcium/vitamin D intake, aerobic activities, limit alcohol, cut down on smoking, increase balance, use supplements if indicated, and maintain a healthy weight
3) Physicians should provide patients with resources and referrals if appropriate to ensure patients receive adequate information/support in promoting their bone health
Patients should be advised that a vitamin D supplement is required to obtain the 1000-2000 IU daily requirement
A calcium supplement is not always indicated if dietary intake is adequate
Both aerobic and weight-bearing activities are essential for OP prevention
Smoking cessation and limiting alcohol are also factors that impact bone health
Patients should be encouraged to mutually set goals around bone health with their physicians, as this increases the likelihood that their behaviour changes will be successful
To have access to full article that these tools were developed for, please subscribe. The cost to subscribe is $80 USD per year and you will gain full access to all the premium content on www.healthplexus.net, an educational portal, that hosts 1000s of clinical reviews, case studies, educational visual aids and more as well as within the mobile app.
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The Seniors Wellness Clinic: An Interprofessional Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Care Model

The Seniors Wellness Clinic: An Interprofessional Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Care Model

Teaser: 


Lina Medeiros, MSW, Social Worker, University Health Network - Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON.
Debbie Kwan, MSc, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto; Pharmacist, University Health Network - Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON.
Carol Banez, MAN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, University Health Network - Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON.
Beatrise Poroger-Edelstein, MHSc, Manager of Elder Care, North York General Hospital, Toronto, ON.
Kitty Mak, BHthSc, Nurse, University Health Network - Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON.
Keegan K. Barker, MEd, PhD(c), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Rory Agellon, BSc, Dietitian (Retired), University Health Network - Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON.

In light of the aging population trend and the complex needs of the aging population, there is an increasing impetus to develop innovative service delivery models that focus on health promotion and disease prevention and management, are easily accessible for older adults of diverse ethnic backgrounds, are community-oriented, and incorporate an interprofessional team approach.
This article describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Seniors Wellness Clinic, an innovative health promotion model of care for older adults focusing on primary and secondary disease prevention and disease management.
Key words: health services for the aged, multidisciplinary care team, program development, health promotion.

Promotion of Exercise Prescriptions in General Practice for Older Populations

Promotion of Exercise Prescriptions in General Practice for Older Populations

Teaser: 

Boyd Swinburn, MB, ChB, FRACP, MD, Professor, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Richard Sager, BHlthSc (N&D), APD, Public Health Research Fellow, Greater Green Triangle University, Department of Rural Health, Deakin University, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia.

Regular physical activity in older populations reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and falls and also improves mental health. Some programs of written exercise prescriptions by general practitioners have been shown to significantly increase physical activity levels over the medium-term (six to 12 months). Increasing the confidence and skills of general practitioners to prescribe and monitor exercise programs is important. However, the more challenging barriers to the widespread uptake of exercise prescription programs are the structural and economic constraints within general practice, as well as the competing promotion of prescribing pharmaceutical products. Implementation research on overcoming these barriers is urgently needed.
Key words: exercise prescriptions, general practitioner, health gains, training, barriers, health promotion.