Getting older brings with it a unique set of health challenges. By being aware of the common chronic conditions associated with aging, you can take steps to practice smart preventative care. Caring for senior adults requires a certain amount of coordination between healthcare staff, family members, and caregivers.
Handling Special Healthcare Needs
A rapidly aging population brings with it an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases and their effects. Elderly people often have several health conditions, take several medications and require more interactions with healthcare providers. As the aging population eclipses the younger, you see profound and complex health, social and economic implications. Click To Tweet
Arthritis is the number one condition that people 65 or older contend with. It leads to pain and decreases mobility, as well as lower quality of life for some seniors. Although arthritis can discourage you from being active, it’s important to work with your doctor to develop a personalized activity plan that you can do without discomfort.
Heart disease is the leading killer of adults over age 65. As a chronic condition, heart disease affects 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older. As people age, they’re living with more risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, that can increase their chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease.
Out of all the risk factors for developing cancer, age is the greatest one. So it’s no surprise that 60% of people who have cancer are 65 or older. If you are an older adult with cancer, you are not alone. But you should know that age is just one factor in your diagnosis and treatment.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly degrades memory and cognitive skills, and eventually prevents afflicted individuals from carrying out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms begin to appear around age 65. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s. It’s the most common cause of dementia, which is the loss of cognitive functioning and basic behavioral abilities.
Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like an intricate honeycomb. In people with osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass, making them weaker and are more likely to break.
Living with diabetes can be tough, even for the healthiest individual. Every day is a new hurdle with unique challenges that you must conquer. As you get older, jumping those hurdles can become more challenging. With old age comes an increased risk of several complications that require preventative care.
According to the CDC, 2.5 million people ages 65 and older are treated in emergency departments because of falls. That’s more than any other age group. Older adults are more susceptible to serious injury from a fall that most young people would walk away unscathed from. This is because many seniors are frail, and have pre-existing disabilities or medical complications, so even seemingly minor falls can result in severe injury or death. Unlike young people, seniors’ bodies simply aren’t able to withstand and recover from the trauma. And because they often have compromised immune systems, even a short stay at a hospital puts them at risk of developing a secondary infection.
Getting The Best Care
Older Americans are living longer than ever, and thus require much more care than in decades past. Approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. It stands to reason that these seniors will need more healthcare attention to address their medical conditions. It’s important that you find a health care provider capable of handling the special health care needs that come with aging.
If you have healthcare needs related to aging, we can help. Contact us today.