While some people find growing old to be the perfect time to relax, travel and spend more time with their family, for others it may seem daunting. Aging is typically associated with graying hair, wrinkles and unique health issues which can affect a person’s overall quality of life.
Generally, aging results from the impact of the accumulation of various molecular and cellular damages to the body and mind over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in the physical and mental health of the adult as well as a growing risk of chronic diseases and ultimately death.
Fortunately, thanks to the advancements in medicine and technology, the elderly can now live and cope with a wide variety of medical conditions. There are numerous treatments and medications available that alleviate symptoms of severe health issues and allow older adults to function properly.
Here is a list of five common health conditions that affect the elderly.
Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is very common in older adults. It typically results from the deterioration of the tiny hairs within the ears that help process sounds. This weakening is gradual and usually occurs in both ears, affecting them equally.
Luckily, seniors can improve their hearing simply by purchasing a high quality hearing aid device. The devices relieve the strain of hearing and help older adults hear better and clearer.
Also, thanks to the advancements in technology, people can now even connect their device to a hearing aid app on their smartphone to control the volume and monitor the device’s battery life.
Cardiovascular diseases are another common health condition in older adults. This is because aging causes your heart and blood vessels to stiffen over time, which can lead to severe medical conditions such as heart failures, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.That’s why most people hire a caregiver certified in ACLS that’s able to assist in cases of cardiac arrest and heart failures
Besides making lifestyle changes to reduce the fatal risks of these diseases, you may also have to take some medications. Unfortunately, these meds can be quite costly, so you may want to look for discounts to save on your prescriptions.
For example, you can rely on a website like Option RX to shop for the best price on medications in your local pharmacy or look for a lower price at a competing pharmacy.
Arthritis is a health condition that is also prevalent in older adults. It causes great pain and inflammation in the joints which can easily restrict a person’s movement.
There are many different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common in seniors. It usually develops as a result of wear and tear and is accompanied by various symptoms besides pain including:
- Muscle weakness around the joints
- Clicking or popping when bending
- Bony growths in the fingers
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, mild to moderate symptoms can be managed by a combination of medications, exercise, physical therapy and healthy eating. If any of these treatments prove ineffective, surgery may be recommended.
The cognitive health of people can also decrease with age, leading to conditions such as dementia. This term is used to refer to the decline in memory and other mental abilities that make the daily living of a senior more difficult. Most common symptoms associated with dementia include problems with memory, language, problem-solving and thinking.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known form of dementia. It can be caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.
While there is no cure for dementia, medical professionals can prescribe a treatment plan and medications to manage the disease.
Although depression is common in older adults, it isn’t a normal part of aging. In most cases, it is a side effect of chronic health conditions which often have a great impact on the mental health of a senior.
However, some significant life changes can also increase the risk for depression such as loneliness and isolation, reduced sense of purpose and fear.
Symptoms that can occur include persistent feelings of sadness, emotional numbness, anxiety, sleep problems, concentration and memory problems, low motivation, a lack of energy and changes in appetite or weight.
Some available treatment options for depression in older adults include medicine, psychotherapy and counseling.
It is no secret that getting older can bring senior health challenges. Due to the weakening of the molecular and cellular damages of the body and mind over time, people often develop severe medical conditions that affect their overall quality of life.
However, by being aware of these chronic health issues, older adults can take steps to stave off the diseases as they age and make their life better and more fulfilling.
For more information on this subject, refer back to our guide to learn about the most prevalent health conditions in seniors.