3 Common Health Issues Affecting Seniors
According to the CDC figures, more than 40% of adults above 65 are in good health. While this is good news, considering the rising average life expectancy, most senior adults battle serious health conditions. Nonetheless, aging brings along unique health issues that family members should prepare for beforehand.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, such as losing weight and quitting alcoholism and smoking, can avert these old-age conditions. Unfortunately, some of these concerns are unavoidable, especially with the declining functionality of various body systems.
Below are a few common health issues that affect senior adults. If your senior adult has been diagnosed with any of these conditions, you should seek special in-home care from Husky Senior Care.
1. Chronic Health Issues
The National Council on Aging estimates that 92% of seniors develop one chronic condition, and 77% develop two or more chronic health issues. Fortunately, adults can avoid these conditions by scheduling regular check-ups, adhering to a healthy diet, and maintaining an active lifestyle. Below are a few common age-related chronic conditions:
- Arthritis is the number one health issue affecting adults aged 65 and above. Arthritis primarily causes chronic inflammation and joint pain, making it impossible for affected seniors to move around.
- Heart disease – CDC stats show that heart disease is the leading killer of seniors above 65 years. It affects 26% of women and 37% of men aged above 65 years. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are two main risk factors for heart diseases.
- Cancer is another leading cause of death among senior adults. Early diagnosis, prompt treatment, and care can improve the quality of life of senior adults living with cancer.
Stroke, diabetes, COPD, and pneumonia are the other common chronic health conditions affecting seniors.
2. Cognitive Health Issues
Cognitive health affects a person’s memory and ability to learn and think. Dementia, which involves the loss of cognitive functions, is the most common cognitive health problem facing the elderly. Currently, almost 50 million people have dementia, with these numbers expected to triple by 2050.
Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia, affecting nearly five million people who are 65 years and above. Chronic health conditions predisposing seniors to cognitive issues include substance abuse, depression, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking. Since these conditions have no cure, treatment regimens and professional care can improve symptoms of cognitive decline.
3. Mental Health Issues
Surprisingly, more than 15% of senior adults suffer from mental disorders. Depression is the most common mental issue, affecting more than 7% of the elderly. Unfortunately, without close care, these mental issues are often not diagnosed and thus undertreated.
This explains why old adults account for nearly 20% of suicidal deaths reported in the U.S. Depression in old adults also occurs as a side effect of other chronic health issues. Therefore, managing these primary health conditions is beneficial.
Improving the lifestyle of old adults, such as improving their living conditions, providing social support, and hiring trained caregivers to provide care, can reduce depression among seniors.
Seniors also suffer from physical injuries, malnutrition, and sensory impairments. Awareness of these common health problems facing seniors can help caregivers plan for prevention and prepare for impending health emergencies.