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Top 8 Health Concerns for Seniors

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Aging brings a whole range of health issues that challenge your body’s capacity for endurance. It is a natural process that every living thing experiences. In humans, it alters the physical and chemical balance of the body and makes older adults susceptible to several illnesses. Therefore, as you age, you start to make decisions that can assist you later in life and increase your life span. Ultimately, planning a healthy future becomes as important as your financial plan.

According to WHO, several conditions occur in old age, such as cataracts, osteoarthritis, hearing loss, dementia, diabetes, COPD, and depression. Your family history, age, and lifestyle also play a role in your risk for medical illnesses. However, addressing any health concerns earlier in life through clever and healthy choices is very beneficial for you and assists you achieve the most out of life.

As you age, you may experience several health concerns that you may need to manage or cure. If that is the case, several of these tips can guide you and assist you.

Some of the health concerns older adults face are as follows:

  1. Brain diseases:

Aging causes several imbalances in the adult brain, and your brain cells tend to get smaller, shorter, and less in number over time. In addition, it causes usual symptoms of cognitive decline in the form of memory loss, slow movements, and concentration problems.

According to NIH, the communication between brain cells (neurons) is not efficient in the aged brain, causing several illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Brain diseases cause severe cognitive problems, and individuals may require care to manage their condition. Several institutions provide aged care facilities to help the elderly with brain disease and cerebral impairments. It offers treatment options, a homely space to live, and assists them in communication and participation in different activities and events.

  1. Cardiovascular diseases:

According to NIH, old individuals are more likely to suffer from heart diseases, stroke, coronary disease, and heart failure. With age, the heart weakens and starts to pump slowly or malfunctions. Your blood vessels may also change in diameter resulting in either massive or reduced blood flow. Such conditions come under the umbrella term of Atherosclerosis and result in stiffness of the arteries because of fat deposits. It can also cause constriction in the blood vessels of the heart resulting in ischemia, myocardial infarction, or cardiac arrest.

Regular checkups to manage your blood pressure and heart health is necessary for older adults. According to the National Institute of Aging, high blood pressure, if left untreated, can cause damage to the brain, kidneys, eyes, and heart.

Therefore, opting for a healthy diet that contains less saturated fats and processed sugars, loads of vegetables, and less salt combined with exercise can lower your risk of heart disease.

  1. Respiratory illnesses:

Your respiratory function deteriorates with age, and it can cause several breathing problems. The older you become, the more these respiratory conditions like COPD and asthma worsen. However, several medications can help to alleviate the symptoms. Consult a doctor immediately if you have severe trouble breathing. Notify them if you have any preexisting heart conditions, as they may complicate your respiratory illness.

  1. Vision problems:

Your eyes are the most crucial and sensitive part of your sensory organs. However, with age, the muscles of your eyes may become loose and less flexible which impair eyesight.

According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, typical signs of aging eyes are farsightedness, glaucoma, dry eyes and swollen eyelids, floaters in your vision, cataracts, AMD, sleep disturbances, and sensitivity to glare.

You can prevent severe loss of eyesight if you get frequent eye checkups, understand your risk factors, eat well, and reduce screen time.

  1. Bone injuries and illnesses:

Bones are the structural component of the body. Strong and healthy bones contribute to the structural integrity of the skeleton. However, as aging progresses, your bones become fragile because of low bone mineral density and loss of bone tissue.

Several bone diseases prevail in older adults, for example, osteoporosis and arthritis. According to NIH, osteoporosis is typical among older women and is the leading cause of hip fractures. In addition, Medline plus states that poor bone density causes gait changes and loss of balance.

  1. Viral and bacterial diseases:

Older people have weak immune systems and cannot fight bacteria or viruses efficiently. Hence, viral illnesses like influenza or pneumonia can cause severe damage to their body cells and tissues.

Moreover, older individuals in the hospital can suffer from nosocomial infections that are harder to treat and cure. Therefore, to strengthen their immune system and fight off bacteria and viruses, older individuals should opt for a healthy lifestyle. They should include moderate exercise, adequate calorie intake, and essential vitamins.

According to Cleveland Clinic, vitamin A, E, C, and D, in combination with B-vitamins, is a powerful source to boost immunity. Moreover, you can take a flu shot every fall to protect yourself from the flu.

  1. Oral health issues:

Senior individuals often suffer from oral problems because of low bone activity. Several seniors suffer from periodontitis, a bacterial infection of the gum and bone supporting the teeth.

The symptoms of periodontitis include red, swollen gums, bleeding, and bad breath. However, brushing twice a day, flossing, and frequent visits to the dentist for scaling and dental checkups can cure all of these oral problems.

Visit a dental professional if you experience oozing pus, tooth loss, bleeding, or recession of gums.

  1. Hearing loss:

Age-related hearing loss or presbycusis is the loss of hearing that occurs as you age. It is usual in older adults and gradually increases with time. Older individuals find it hard to hear doorbells, ringing phones, have a conversation, or respond to warnings. It can isolate a person and make them frustrated.

Presbycusis occurs in both ears and happens gradually. You may not recognize hearing loss until you’ve lost some of your ability to hear. According to NIDCD, this hearing loss occurs via changes in the inner or middle ear or alterations in the nerve pathways (ear to the brain). However, you can use hearing aids, cochlear implants, lip or speech reading, and bone-anchored hearing systems to improve your hearing.

Conclusion:

Growing old can make a person susceptible to numerous illnesses and health conditions. However, several preventive techniques can help you deal with them. Moreover, you can always ask someone for assistance or join an assisted living facility to get the care you deserve and feel connected to other seniors around you.

 

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