Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Health Education Fact Sheets

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Constipation is a frequent health concern for older adults and their care providers.
Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent constipation. Understanding the reasons for constipation is the first step. If you have chronic constipation, talk to your nurse, doctor or nutritionist.

Smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco is mentally and physically addictive. More than 45,000 Canadians over the age of 35 are estimated to die every year as a direct result of smoking. Tobacco use increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, pregnancy complications, stomach problems and gum problems.

Many older adults are affected by delirium, dementia and/or depression. These conditions are not part of normal aging. Delirium, dementia and depression are different from one another, but it can be hard to distinguish between them because their signs and symptoms may be alike.

Sometimes a person has more than one of these conditions at the same time. Alert health-care staff if you or someone you know shows any of these signs or symptoms.

Many older adults are at risk for delirium. Delirium is a condition that comes on quickly (within hours or days) and affects the brain. It can often be prevented, but if it develops, it needs to be treated right away.

Family members and friends can do a lot to help prevent delirium. They can also support the health-care team to deal with the symptoms of delirium.

Many older adults have problems with shortness of breath.
If you are over the age of 40 and are a smoker you may be at risk for developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Smoking is the main cause of COPD, but breathing in second hand smoke, other chemicals and pollution may also put you at risk.