Healthy Ageing Webinar by SSSIO Medical Unit

SSSIO Australia Sai Medical Unit hosted a successful National Healthy Ageing Webinar on Saturday 28 August from 6:00 pm AEST. The Healthy Ageing Webinar aimed to provide information and tips from medical professionals on ensuring better management of common health issues as people continue to age

The program for the webinar included the following topics:

  • “Stroke: Think FAST – Early Recognition & Prevention“ by Dr Yogesh Gandhi (Emergency Physician)
  • “Health Checks – Preventative Health” by Dr Ishwarya Nair (Associate Lecturer)
  • “Healthy Feet, Happy Feet” by Suneek Sukhnundan (Podiatrist)
  • “Osteoporosis: Stand Strong” by Dr Vasantha Naicker (General Practitioner)
  • “Balance & Falls Prevention, a Physio Perspective” by Thomas Atkins (Physio)
  • “EyeSAIght” by Dr Venkat Reddy (Clinical Lecturer) and Viraya Naicker (Optometrist)

Dr Yogesh Gandhi provided an insightful talk on early recognition and prevention of stroke, emphasising the importance of receiving immediate medical attention when someone is experiencing a stroke. Dr Gandhi noted that stroke is one of the biggest killers in Australia, however encouragingly there appears to be some decline in the number of stroke related deaths over the last decade. Dr Gandhi noted that a key reason for this is the education around stroke recognition such as the F.A.S.T method that the community has been using to identify stroke. F.A.S.T stands for Face-Arms-Speech-Time which the community has be urged to use in identifying people experiencing  stroke. Dr Gandhi also touched on the importance of sleep, diet, exercise and lifestyle on preventing stroke.

Dr Ishwarya Nair then presented on the topic of Health Checks and their importance and relevance in preventing the onset of disease. Dr Nair walked through the general process a patient might expect when undertaking a health check with a doctor, including the types of questions that may be asked and the types of things that doctors are typically seeking to assess. Dr Nair touched on the healthy heart check that is recommended for people above the age of 45 and its importance in managing any heart health issues early. With regard to heart health, Dr Nair also stressed the importance of diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors in managing heart health.

Suneek Sukhnundan then spoke about the importance of maintaining healthy feet as we get older. She spoke about the importance of balance and mobility as we age and the how good footwear is an important consideration in maintaining balance and preventing falls. She further provided important tips on selecting appropriate footwear such as ensuring the right height and width of footwear, selecting appropriate cushioning in the heel and the importance wearing socks with footwear.

Dr Vasantha Naicker presented on the topic of Osteoporosis, which is a condition where bones have thinned significantly and often affect people as they age, particularly above the age of 50. After touching upon some of the risk factors that contribute to Osteoporosis, Dr Naicker talked through some steps people can take to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. These included ensuring appropriate nutrition and a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, adequate Vitamin D and Calcium intake, regular exercise and avoiding smoking and drinking. Dr Naicker further highlighted for the attendees awareness the potential increased risk from damage from falls when people are suffering from osteoporosis.

The next session by Thomas Atkins touched on Balance and Falls prevention from the perspective of a Physiotherapist. Thomas commenced the session discussing frailty, which is a biologic syndrome characterised by a high vulnerability to low power stressors. Thomas then moved to the effects of ageing on bones and how bones are continuously undergoing a process where they a built and removed and how this changes as we age. Thomas spoke about the importance of exercise and how it can be beneficial in ensuring balance and the prevention of falls. He further added that it was important to make exercise fun as it would increase the likelihood that people will do the exercise on a regular basis.

Finally, a session titled “EyeSAIght” was presented by Dr Venkat Reddy and Viraya Naicker which presented insightful information on managing eye health as we age. Viraya took the attendees through the anatomy of the eye and the functions of it’s various components. Dr Reddy then presented on Pterygium which is a condition in the eye were there is a benign growth of tissue across the front surface of the eye and is caused by excessive  UV exposure and low humidity environments. Dr Reddy brought to everyone’s awareness the importance of UV protection of the eye through the use of sunglasses and hats. Viraya also presented on the condition of Presbyopia, which is a condition of the eye which causes a loss of near focussing ability, and talked about the use of glasses and contact lenses to manage this condition. Other topics the presentation touched on included cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic & hypertensive retinopathy and glaucoma and how they can be best managed.

The session finished with a conclusion from the MC and a beautiful bhajan.

The full recording of the webinar can be found on YouTube