Many people consider their senior years as the best time of their lives: you’re retired, have plenty of time to dedicate to your interests and all the wisdom in the world! However, growing older is not so smooth after all. With age come various health concerns that can affect your mobility, cognitive functions and overall quality of life. So, here’s what to keep an eye on as you age and how to battle these issues.
The number one health condition seniors experience is arthritis. It is estimated that almost 50 percent of all adults over the age of 65 suffer from this ailment that causes a lot of pain and significantly lowers the quality of life. The biggest issue with arthritis is that it prevents people from being active and pursuing their hobbies which is very disappointing. However, even though it affects mobility, it’s important to have a senior exercise plan that can keep the symptoms and pain at bay. When you combine it with proper treatment prescribed by your doctor, you can maintain your health levels.
While arthritis affects many parts of life, heart disease is much more dangerous. In fact, it’s the leading killer of seniors over 65! Why is heart disease so prominent in seniors? Well, as we grow old, we start experiencing more issues with high blood pressure and cholesterol which are the main culprits of stroke and heart disease. However, regular exercise, a healthy diet and proper sleep can improve overall senior health and lower the risk of heart issues. Pay special attention to your weight and try to keep it optimal throughout your life.
The second leading cause of death among seniors is cancer. It’s so prone that 70% of all cancer deaths are people over the age of 65! Luckily, if you catch any of the cancer types in time (during their early phases), many of them are treatable and manageable. That’s why regular mammograms, colonoscopies and skin checkups are super important! Unfortunately, there’s nothing much you can do to prevent cancer, but working with your medical team and practicing healthy living can improve the quality of life for individuals with cancer.
Another common issue that often targets seniors is Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in nine seniors suffer from this chronic condition, but because the diagnosis is not always simple, experts predict that the number might be even higher. However, what specialists know for sure is that Alzheimer’s has a significant impact on health all across the board and it affects everything from safety and self-care to costs of care. And, since Alzheimer’s can’t be cured, the best path for patients in later stages of the disease is to find a good aged care facility like Mark Moran Vaucluse where people with dementia can have a happy, safe and active life. These facilities nurture residents’ passions and wellness and provide freedom and familiar comforts patients love and crave.
One common health issue in seniors is malnutrition. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed even though it leads to various health issues like the weakening of the immune system and muscle weakness. The cause of malnutrition is often an underlying issue such as Alzheimer’s (patients with dementia often forget to eat), dietary restrictions, depression and even poverty. However, malnutrition is quite easy to cure. Even the smallest of changes to your diet like an increased consumption of veggies and fruits can help with nutrition issues. Adults who can’t or don’t want to prepare fresh food for themselves can turn to various food services that can supply them with a daily dose of nutrients.
Vision or hearing impairment is another very common health issue for seniors, especially those over the age of 70. But even though they can affect almost every part of life, these impairments are treatable with aids such as glasses, contacts and hearing aids. And with new technologies, these aids are only getting more efficient, practical, durable and less expensive!
Oral health in seniors is often overlooked, but it’s actually very important. A huge percentage of adults over 65 no longer have their natural teeth, which affects their diet, speech and self-esteem. Other issues associated with old age are gum disease, dry mouth and oral cancer. However, all of the aforementioned issues can be prevented or managed with regular dentist appointments and good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing can really improve the health of your mouth and prevent gum inflammation and cavities and ensure you have healthy and strong teeth long into your old age.
People rarely realize this, but substance abuse is more prominent in seniors than previously thought. Unfortunately, this already big number of adults with substance abuse issues is expected to rise and even double in the next few years! But because drug-abuse and alcoholism are often associated with the younger population, it is often overlooked in adults. The main reason why older adults get addicted to substances is that they are given multiple medications to be used long-term, suffer from undiagnosed mental issues or take medications that are not prescribed to them by professionals. Luckily, there are various clinics that cure addictions and can significantly improve the quality of life in substance abusers.
Depression is an illness that is also often overlooked, even though it can be a serious threat to senior health. It causes low immunity and affects people’s ability to fight off infections and various ailments. However, depression can be cured and managed with medication and therapy, but regular physical activity, healthy diet and plenty of socializing can also help fight the symptoms. Even if you live alone, there are senior centers you can visit or you can even learn how to use social media to communicate with peers.
Now that you know which health issues to expect once you reach your senior years, you’ll fight them with ease and ensure a happy and healthy retirement! As soon as you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or your loved ones, make sure to seek professional help and you can potentially save a life.