HealthLinks Charleston May/June 2022

22 | www. Char l es tonPhys i c i ans . com | www.Hea l thL i nksChar l es ton . com 3. Malnutrition and undernutrition pose unique challenges to an aging body. Elderly people are more prone to osteoporosis and, therefore, need a diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D. Whether it is not eating enough of the proper nutrients or consuming an excess of unhealthy food, the failure to practice good dietary habits is detrimental to a person’s health. Dr. Aya-Ay pointed out that some families live in food deserts, and, as a primary care provider, he can assess dietary needs and prescribe proper supplements. 4. In addition to proper nutrition, seniors need to engage in regular activity to improve balance and prevent falling. Bones are not a static structure. Appropriately stressing the bones with weight resistance and activities such as water aerobics will improve bone density. Dr. Aya-Ay counsels patients to find structured programs designed for geriatric patients. Additionally, part of the patient-provider conversation includes discussing home conditions such as carpets, rugs, stairs and showers. He also ensures that patients have a trusted and capable person nearby and an established plan if they do fall. 5. Preparation for the final stage of life is one of the most important conversations that seniors should proactively pursue with their physicians. Primary care providers can help patients decide between requesting a full code or do-not-resuscitate. Some providers, like Dr. Aya-Ay, will go so far as to help patients establish a living will and power of attorney and can facilitate conversations with loved ones so that everyone understands a patient’s wishes. Having an ongoing conversation about the unique aspects of aging is crucial to living proactively. Dr. Aya-Ay recommended that elderly patients see their physician every three months or more frequently if there are specific health concerns that need to be addressed. Establishing a working relationship with a primary care provider is one of the most important ways to ensure that the final years are truly the golden years. PHYSICIANSPLAN.COM RAPID WEIGHT LOSS PLANS FROM $99. The clinical teamat Physician’s Plan can help create a customized weight loss plan that will jump start your metabolism to help you achieve your weight loss results – faster! WEST ASHLEY: 843-769-5510 MT. PLEASANT: 843-606-3333 SUMMERVILLE: 843-261-1111