Growing older certainly has its advantages, but it can also bring a myriad of health challenges.
Here are ten of the most common senior citizen health concerns:
*Alzheimer’s Disease: As one of the Bay Area’s leading Alzheimer’s Care providers, the professionals at Providence Care know that Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases are difficult to diagnose. As a result, many affected people do not receive the proper treatment. Cognitive impairment has a significant impact on quality of life, safety and health care cost issues. A healthy diet, mental stimulation, stress management and regular exercise are key components in an Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment strategy.
* Heart Disease: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heart disease is still the number one killer of adults over the age of 65. Older people can help avoid heart disease by maintaining a healthy weight, eating right and managing risk factors like high blood pressure.
* Vision Problems: Vision-related problems are one of the most frequent issues that affect seniors. Since vision is so critical, any decline in eye function should be immediately addressed by an ophthalmologist.
* Arthritis: For older people, arthritis is probably the most prevalent affliction. In fact, nearly 50 percent of adults over 65 suffer with pain and a lower quality of life due to arthritis.
* Hearing Loss: Aging takes it toll on the delicate components inside the ear. Over time, older adults often have difficulty identifying different sounds, which can be frustrating and confusing. Fortunately, modern hi-tech hearing aids are low profile and very effective.
* Diabetes: When not properly addressed, diabetes can lead to a variety of afflictions, including heart disease, vision problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot lesions and skin complications. Weight reduction and diet changes can help lower the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.
* Depression: As a group, nearly 20 percent of older Americans have experienced clinical depression. Proper treatment is essential since depression can affect the immune system and lower the body’s ability to fight infection.
* Sleep Disorders: A good night’s rest is critical for maintaining excellent health, and doctors recommended that adults get seven or eight hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, sleep becomes more shallow and choppy as we age. Regular exercise and alcohol avoidance can often help improve sleep patterns.
* Respiratory Disease: Chronic respiratory disease is becoming increasingly common in the elderly population. Asthma, bronchitis and emphysema aggravate other conditions and can lead to pneumonia in severe cases. Lung function tests and medication can help alleviate the effects of these illnesses.
* Cancer: Cancer is still the second leading cause of death for senior citizens. When caught early through the screening process, cancer is usually treatable. Eating right, exercising and staying active are keys to improving your chances of remaining free of cancer.
How Seniors can Stay Healthy
While staying healthy can be challenging for seniors, the good news is that 41 percent of those over 65 say they are in good or excellent health. Studies continue to emphasize the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices in order to live a long and satisfying life.