As we age, we are more likely to develop certain health problems. While it does not mean all health conditions are inevitable, you may be at higher risk in your 60s and beyond. Thus, we need to look at 5 Common Health Concerns for Seniors:
- Heart disease
- Poor oral health
The good news is, your lifestyle and the steps you take can decrease your chances of many health conditions associated with aging.
Continue reading to learn what you can do to lower your risk of 5 Common Health Concerns for Seniors.
1. Heart disease
A study by the American College of Cardiology shows that cardiovascular disease causes the highest number of adult deaths in the United States. People that are over age 65 have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
Elders are more likely to have risk factors for heart disease than younger people, including senior blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol.
Heart disease is preventable in many cases. One must start including heart-healthy habits as a part of their lifestyle; it is never too early, and never too late!
Consider the following suggestions:
- At least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise regularly
- Limit trans fats
- Don’t smoke
- Treat high blood pressure
- Maintain a healthy weight
Dementia is a progressive condition that affects a person’s cognitive ability as well as memory. There are different forms of dementia, with Alzheimer’s Disease being the most well-known.
Everyone occasionally forgets things. But dementia is different. Symptoms progress and eventually interfere with a person’s level of functioning.
Symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
- Trouble with decision making
Steps to lower the risk of dementia include:
- Get regular exercise
- Learn something new to stimulate your mind
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that every year, millions of adults over age 65 sustain a fall. Falling once doubles an older adult’s chances of having subsequent falls.
Falls can lead to many broken bones, head injuries, and even death. In some cases, a fall leads to limited movement, which can cause other health consequences.
In older adults, falls may occur for a variety of reasons, such as poor balance, medication side effects, tripping hazards, weak lower body muscles, and poor vision.
Decrease the risk of a falls in elderly by doing the following:
- Do balance and lower body exercises to strengthen your legs
- Install handrails on stairs
- Make sure your home is well lit
- Remove tripping hazards, such as throw rugs
- Place a grab bar inside the shower
Depression involves sustained feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, out of about 35 million people in the United States that have depression, 6.5 million of them are over the age of 65.
Older adults may experience depression for several reasons, such as:
- Death of a loved one
- Children moving away
- Social isolation
- Loss of purpose
- Medical conditions
Depression is treated with therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes, such as exercise. If you are showing symptoms of depression, help is available.
Symptoms of depression in older adults include:
- Sad mood
- Trouble sleeping
5. Poor Oral Health
Poor oral health can have serious consequences. It can lead to tooth loss, nutritional problems, and decreased quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 68 percent of adults over age 65 have gum disease. About 20 percent of people over 65 have lost all their teeth.
Protect your dental health by doing the following:
- See your dentist regularly
- Brush and floss daily
- Limit sugar
- Treat dental problems, such as cavities, as soon as possible
Heart disease, dementia, falls, depression, and poor oral health are the five most common health concerns for seniors. All of these conditions can seriously impact a person’s quality of life, and some can even be deadly. It is important for seniors and their families to be aware of these risks and start treatments as early as possible.
By taking the steps above, you can lower your risk of 5 Common Health Concerns for Seniors. Please check out BoomersHub’s Blog’s Senior Living category for more tips on living well as you age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are mental health issues not addressed with the elderly?
Mental health issues are not always addressed with elderly populations for a variety of reasons. One reason may be that there is a lack of understanding. Many people believe that once you reach a certain age, you are “set in your ways” and unable to change. This mentality can lead to the belief that mental health issues in the elderly are simply a result of old age and cannot be treated.
Additionally, many healthcare providers may not feel comfortable addressing mental health issues in elderly patients due to a lack of training or experience in this area. Finally, there is often a stigma attached to mental health issues which can make it difficult for elderly individuals to seek help.
Why are elderly people having STDs a public health issue?
Elderly people are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases for a number of reasons. Their immune systems may not be as strong as they used to be, and they may not be as careful about using protection during sex. Additionally, many elderly people are widowed or divorced and may be looking for companionship, which can lead to them having risky sexual encounters.
STDs can have serious health consequences for elderly people, so it’s important that we take steps to protect them from these diseases. STDs among the elderly can also have a significant impact on public health, as they can spread the infection to others.
What are common health concerns and issues for elderly populations?
Some of the most common health concerns and issues for elderly populations include heart disease, hearing loss, depression, and dementia. The elderly is also at a higher risk for falls and oral health issues.
What should the elderly understand about health care issues?
The elderly should be aware of:
- Their current health condition and care needs
- The signs and symptoms of common health problems, and knowing when to seek medical help
- Different types of health care available to them and the costs associated with each
- Medicare, Medicaid, and different types of insurance coverage available
- The importance of preventive care and staying healthy