The hidden costs of disability
What are the hidden costs of disability? A question that must now be asked when dealing with issues of ageing. A recent local research suggests that seniors over 65 years old today have more chronic ailments than a decade ago. One has to wonder if it is modern science that has picked up more of these physiological malfunctions or is the general trend caused by our modern diet, our modern way of life.
Likely it is the culmination of both. Better advancement in medical science plus a sedentary lifestyle. We’ve indulged in foods made with hydrogenated fats, lots of sugars, salt, & lots of Es (preservatives, additives & the rest). We eat more. We exercise less. We spend more time indoors. All those factors are damning. Likely too that the types of food we consume have changed dramatically. In Asia, much have been rice based supplemented by fresh vegetables & fruits. Today, we consume cuisine & foods that have been imported from all over the world.
In the west, there has been an explosion of allergies. Allergies to lactose, gluten, peanuts & shellfish are the most common. These allergies have become so severe & are now evident in lives even of young children. A whiff or scent of peanuts or simply the lingering scent of peanut residue left from an earlier passenger consuming peanuts are known to cause life changing allergic reaction to an antigen which the body has become hypersensitive. The result can mean death or devastating & life changing if intervention is not properly administered & immediately.
Often wondered if the allergies – whatever the cause – are starting to show in the ailments here in Asia too. Chronic inflammatory diseases are wide spread such as hypertension, diabetes, hyper-cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis – are some – but what about others like Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, neuritis – are some other inflammatory diseases less known.
Disability is costly not only to the sufferer. It is expensive financially for the entire family as inflammatory diseases are often chronic & require long term management. A disability need not be physical. It can be subtle & life changing even thought it may not be obvious to the onlooker. Thus, at the onset of disability, the many factors that are involved need to be taken into account, addressed one by one, for the other costs like physical & social can cause much damage to family structures & dynamics.