As we age, a number of significant changes take place in the human body at the level of both cells, organs and organ systems. Geriatric professionals play a prominent role in ensuring that healing in old age is of adequate quality. Last year, Semmelweis University established the first Hungarian Geriatrics Clinic and Centre of Nursing Sciences in the Szent Rókus Clinical Block. On February 25, lectures entitled “Aging is Not a Disease” will be held on the occasion of the 11th Semmelweis Health Days and will provide an insight into this increasingly valuable discipline, also will seek answers to the most important health issues that affect the elderly to the greatest extent.
“One of the essential elements of geriatrics is to look at the person in its entirety and start the healing process accordingly, because a special age requires a special care. The challenge is that many chronic diseases often have to be treated simultaneously, which can further worsen each other’s effects”, pointed out Dr. Attila Besenyei, Chief Physician of the Geriatrics Clinic and Centre of Nursing Sciences of Semmelweis University located at Szent Rókus Clinical Block.
According to him, one of the most important tasks of the geriatrician is to reconsider the main goals of the treatment, to consider the balance of its risks and benefits, after reviewing the various comorbidities. Then the optimization of therapy based on the individual’s condition and habits is necessary and the reduction of the amount of medications if possible. The specialist will also discuss why it is important to reduce the amount of medicines in his presentation entitled “Why is it different to cure an elderly person?”.
“Our immune system works well in old age as well. Although the so-called cellular and antibody immunity is no longer the same with aging as it is in the case of a young person, yet it can still adequately protect the body”, said Dr. Gyula Domján, Professor of the Geriatrics Clinic and Centre of Nursing Sciences.
Diseases such as atherosclerosis, chronic bronchitis, or persistent inflammatory complaints all impair immunity and the immune system.
“In the current epidemic period, therefore, special efforts should be made to ensure that these diseases are properly treated. As far as the overall defense of the body is concerned, it is especially important to have a proper blood pressure and proper digestion; also there should not be any untreated respiratory diseases”, added the professor, who will hold a presentation entitled “How does our immune system work in old age?”.
The general condition of the body affects the immune processes including how we react to an infectious disease, a viral infection, or even a vaccine. The professor emphasized that vaccination is definitely recommended for the elderly.
At Semmelweis Health Days, during the presentations, which will be accompanied by a consultation opportunity, the professionals will also draw the attention of the participants, especially focusing on the elderly this time, to the importance of a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition and adequate exercise, which affect the functioning of their immune system.
The attendance of the interactive, residential, public health programs celebrating the 250th anniversary of Semmelweis University, held on February 25 will be free but registration is required.
Featured image (illustration): Pixabay
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translation: Katalin Illés-Romhányi