Common Health Issues Among Seniors You Should be Aware Of
At this point in life, you are probably at the age where your parents or grandparents are starting to show signs of aging. You may be noticing some changes in their personality and behavior that make them seem just a little bit off from who they were before. As much as we would like to believe that our parents will never get older, it is inevitable. They have been through a lot over their lifetime and have endured many struggles and hardships, which has taken its toll on them physically and mentally. The best thing we can do for our senior loved ones is to educate ourselves about common health issues among seniors so that we know what to watch out for when visiting with them or if there comes an emergency situation.
Here are some common health issues among seniors you should be aware of:
Seniors are more likely to have arthritis and osteoporosis
Arthritis is a health condition that is common among seniors. It causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Osteoporosis is a health condition where bones become thinner over time from the loss of bone density caused by decreased production of bone tissue and increased breakdown of bone tissue as well, leading to fragile bones that can break easily.
To relieve arthritis pain, you can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce inflammation. You should talk to your health care provider to help find the best treatment for you.
The risk of falls increases with age
Seniors are more likely to experience falls as they grow older due to health problems like arthritis and osteoporosis, which can make movements more difficult. To help prevent fall-related injuries, seniors should wear sturdy footwear even indoors, use a cane or walker when needed for balance and strength training is recommended to increase muscle tone with the goal of increasing balance and flexibility.
Nursing home care is another way to help prevent falls among seniors since they usually have the opportunity to receive health assessments, health education and health programs provided by their caregivers.
Greater risk for developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke
Seniors also have a greater risk for developing health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They may be more prone to health issues since they are older or because of health conditions that developed over time like obesity.
In addition to having annual health checkups with your healthcare provider, seniors should maintain healthy eating habits by making wise food choices and eating a healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruits and grains; wholegrain cereals; legumes; nuts; seeds; lean protein sources like fish, poultry, eggs and tofu as well as healthful fats.
Seniors should also be physically active to help prevent health issues from developing since it can reduce the risk of health conditions and it can help with health issues if they already exist. Seniors can do regular physical activities like walking, jogging, swimming and other exercises to keep their body healthy and active.
Health programs for seniors are also available at health professionals’ offices, Nursing Homes and health clubs that can help them establish health habits that will benefit their health in the long run.
Decline in mental health
Mental health of seniors is also at greater risk as they age due to health issues and health conditions that can develop over time.
Seniors should be aware of their mental health since certain health conditions, such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are typically common among seniors. With the help of loved ones and health professionals, seniors with health issues can be treated to help improve health and maintain cognitive abilities.
More prone to depression because of the death of friends or family members
Depression is a health issue where individuals experience feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, positive outlook and irritability that last for at least two weeks without any explanations.
If you notice certain changes in your loved ones’ health, health habits or health behaviors, you should discuss this with your health care provider. Your loved ones may be experiencing sadness due to passing of loved ones that make them feel depressed and they need help to improve their health so they can have a healthy quality of life.
Older adults get less sleep than younger people do which can lead to cognitive impairment
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults who are 65 years and older should get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night compared to children aged 4 to 12 years old who should get between 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Since health issues are common among seniors, it is very important they make healthy sleep habits and good health practices in order to keep their health at optimum level.
Seniors can prevent health issues by getting enough sleep so they can maintain healthy mental health, mood and cognitive abilities. Sleep deprivation makes it harder for seniors to remain healthy since health conditions develop over time if they’re not cared for properly.
Older adults are often at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s
An older adult’s memory can be like a vapor trail in the sky.
An aging person is much more likely than their younger counterparts to experience cognitive deficits. An oft-cited statistic says that 50% of people over age 65 endure some form of this issue, but many experts believe it may even reach up to 60%. This unfortunate pattern usually begins with forgetfulness and gradually moves on from there; eventually an individual will find themselves unable to care for themselves or manage day-to-day activities without assistance.
Dementia is a health condition that affects the brain and it can be caused by health issues, health conditions and environmental factors. It’s important to understand that health issues don’t lead directly to dementia. A myriad of health conditions and health behaviors can increase the risk for cognitive deficits, but health issues are more central than those factors. While health habits can contribute to cognitive impairment, health issues are a greater factor in seniors’ health decline.
Dementia symptoms vary greatly depending on the health condition and health issues that are involved. Dementia is very common in older people because health problems develop over time, but there’s no single symptom that can be used to identify all cases of dementia or cognitive health decline. However, health professionals often say that a diagnosis of dementia isn’t made until health conditions become severe enough to negatively impact health behaviors, health habits or health quality.
When you look at the statistics, it’s no surprise that seniors are more susceptible to health problems. It can be hard for them to get around and they have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease or cancer.
If your parents need help with their senior care, give us a call! We provide home care services tailored specifically to meet all of your needs so you don’t have to worry about what happens when you’re not there. Our friendly staff will take care of everything from bathing and walking with hospice patients back into bed after meals as well as cooking healthy food made just for seniors. Give us a call today at (678) 494-8129 or email us at info@SilverCompanionsGA.com if this sounds like something that you need for your loved ones. We would love to talk with you about your specific needs.