41% of Americans over the age of 65 say that they are fit and strong. Are you one of them? Being healthy during senior life has many benefits. It can ensure that you will have an enjoyable life ahead of you.
Aging may bring about many health conditions. But with a healthy body, most of these diseases can be prevented.
Here are some of the most common diseases that seniors are prone to. Along with these diseases are ways how you can fight them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50% of older adults aging from 65 years old and above have one form of arthritis. This is a condition where joints are swollen and painful because of inflammation. The usual joints that are affected with osteoarthritis are the hands, lower back, neck, and weight-bearing joints, like the ankle, knees, and hips.
To fight off arthritis in seniors, a healthy diet and regular exercise may help. Some medical treatments can also be effective. You should talk to your doctor about undergoing physical therapy. They are designed to strengthen your muscles and improve joint range of motion which will help in your activities of daily living.
Seniors are prone to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These are triggering factors of heart disease. If you are able to find ways to maintain normal levels of your blood pressure and cholesterol, you are lowering your risk of getting heart disease. Heart disease is the perennial leading cause of death among seniors, so you should start maintaining your normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
To maintain your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, regular exercise, a safe diet, quality sleep, and a healthy lifestyle can all help. Having your ideal weight back should be one of your prime goals. It can be a big boost towards achieving a healthy heart.
Next to heart disease as the leading cause of senior death is cancer. According to the CDC, 21% of female seniors and 28% of male older adults aging 65 years old and above have cancer. In older men, prostate cancer is the most common. In female seniors, breast cancer remains the number one killer among other types of cancer.
There is no better cure for cancer than prevention. But when you are exposed, early detection can help delay the progression of cancer. Many forms of cancer are treatable, so you should go for mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin tests if you suspect some signs.
Seniors are also prone to respiratory diseases. This is the third leading cause of death among seniors. Asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema when coupled with infectious diseases such as pneumonia can even become more deadly. Getting a lung function test and taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor will ensure that you will have more productive years ahead of you.
According to the reports of the Alzheimer’s Association, 11% of older adults aging 65 and above have Alzheimer’s disease. The condition must have stemmed from cognitive changes that affect seniors. To manage seniors with Alzheimer’s, incorporating safety measures in the household is a top priority. Looking for a senior home that specializes in these conditions should also be included in your plans.
Having osteoporosis may increase the incidence of injury to seniors. This is because aging can bring about brittleness to the bones. This condition may not be painful but when bones are fractured, it can be debilitating. Safety measures should be incorporated. Assistive devices to help in weight-bearing, balance and movement should always be readily available.
Diabetes should be one that should be managed early as it can lead to heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure among others. Through diet, exercise, and medication, the debilitating effects of diabetes can be prevented. Avoid being one among the 25% of seniors having diabetes by going to a simple blood test that can help identify and address diabetes.
The decreasing rate of metabolism in seniors can be one of the causes of obesity. It is a risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and kidney problems. A balanced diet and exercise can help you improve your weight.
More seniors fall into depression because of many things. Anti-depression medications along with social activities can counter depression. It should be managed early on as it can affect the immunity of an older adult which can result in more health problems.
Oral Health Issues
According to the CDC, 25% of seniors do not have natural teeth anymore. Because of depression and other cognitive dysfunction, a senior may not do personal grooming such as brushing and flossing. This can lead to poor oral health which can lead to other more serious diseases such as kidney problems.
They say that senior life should be the most enjoyable stage of life. But when you are not able to combat diseases, it may be hard to enjoy your senior years. This can be made possible when there is cooperation among caregivers, family members, and seniors themselves.