Change is inevitable, just look at the construction in Buckhead or what’s happening Downtown. As we grow older, we also experience changes in our lives. Though some of these are positives like gaining wisdom, there are also challenges that arise during this time. Here are the most common elderly health issues that your loved ones may face as they advance in age and how to mitigate them.
1. Cognitive Health
Cognitive health is based upon a person’s ability to think, learn, remember and many other brain related functions. Two of the most well-known cognitive diseases are Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Though a decline in cognitive ability is common as people age, it does not have to be a burden. There are several ways to combat the loss of cognitive abilities, including a healthy diet, sufficient exercise, social interactions, and the pursuit of activities that stimulate the mind such as crossword puzzles, card games, or knitting. Keep this in mind the next time you’re around your loved one; a game of checkers can benefit them more than you may realize.
2. Sensory Impairments
With age comes a greater likelihood of our sensory organs deteriorating. For seniors, vision and hearing issues are typically the first to decline. Thankfully these ailments are some of the easiest to manage for elders. Vision issues are easily treatable with aids such as glasses, eye drops or laser surgery in extreme cases. Hearing problems are also relatively easy to correct as hearing aids have seen technological advancements as well as increased availability.
3. Failing Physical Health
As our bodies age, they begin to experience physical changes that affect our everyday life. Among these changes are bone shrinkage, loss of muscle mass and flexibility. This transformation can catch many off guard as they are not able to do some of the activities they used to. It is important to make sure seniors are aware of the changes affecting their bodies. One of the main by-products of losing muscle mass is a difficulty keeping balance. Seniors who have trouble keeping their balance are more susceptible to falls which can lead to broken bones or even permanent disabilities. Preventative measures for fleeting physical health can vary from using walkers to mobile scooters. Instead of focusing on reactionary solutions, however, it’s best to do everything possible to prevent these issues. Regular physical activity such as low impact yoga or walking can increase flexibility in senior citizens, and can improve balance and maintain muscle mass.
4. Chronic Health Conditions
The National Council on Aging reports that about 80 percent of seniors have at least one chronic disease and 68 percent have at least two. Chronic health diseases can vary; though the most common are typically heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diabetes. The best way to combat these issues is to maintain a regular checkup schedule with a primary physician. Many of the diseases that cost seniors their lives can be avoided simply by consistently meeting with a doctor and following the orders given. Often seniors will forget to take medication or bypass seeing a physician altogether. Consistently having checkups and being transparent with a medical professional can allow for greater control over these ailments and lead to a longer, healthier life.
5. Mental Health Issues
Over the last few years, America has seen a massive increase in mental health awareness. More people are concerned with the well-being of others mental states, and as a result, the availability of help has skyrocketed. The elderly are particularly susceptible to mental health issues as they deal with depression and anxiety specifically related to advanced age. Thankfully there are several ways to help alleviate this problem. Meeting with a certified counselor is always recommended for mental health disorders. In addition to professional help, social interaction can significantly improve the mental health of senior citizens as they interact and feel emotionally connected to society.
The key to dealing with elderly health issues is being proactive and consistent. By identifying any possible medical conditions early, you are one step closer to helping your loved one remain safe and healthy. Call Complete Care At Home if you notice any changes in your elderly loved one’s health. We would love to be of assistance to keep your senior safe, comfortable and healthy.