Five Common Health Issues for Older Adults


Article Categories: Diseases & Caregiver Corner

Many things happen to the body as it ages; wrinkles, loss of hair for some men, and poor vision, to name a few. These are considered a natural part of aging.



Unfortunately, some more serious medical issues can occur as a person ages, and as a caregiver, you will most likely be caring for a patient who has one or more of the conditions in this article.

Arthritis

By the year 2030, it is expected that the number of adults with arthritis will be an astounding 67 million. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. The top layer of cartilage wears away causing the bones to rub together which then causes pain and swelling in the joints.

Since arthritis causes pain and discomfort, some people think that exercise will make their pain worse or do more damage, when in fact, lack of exercise can make the symptoms of arthritis worse.

Also, for those who have knee osteoarthritis, weight control can help reduce symptoms.

Diabetes

Almost 25% of people over 60 in the United States have diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin which causes elevated glucose in the blood.

Common symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.

Those victims of Type 1 diabetes will have to take insulin daily and those who have Type 2 diabetes will need to test their blood glucose and may need to take medication to control their blood glucose levels.

With either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a healthy eating plan and exercise routine should be followed.

Depression

Depression is a common problem, but is not a normal part of growing older.

Stress from a difficult relationship or loss of a loved one can cause depression. Health issues and financial concerns are often a cause of depression, as well. Some medications can also cause symptoms of depression.

Some signs of depression include:

- Feeling extremely tired
- Feeling hopeless
- Loss of interest in activities
- Lack of sleep or sleeping too much
- Thoughts of suicide

When a person shows signs of depression, a physician should be consulted to rule out any health conditions or medications that may be causing depression.

An anti-depressant may be prescribed to help with depression symptoms, which will allow more positive thoughts and actions.

Heart Disease

The risk of heart disease and cardiovascular problems increases as a person ages.

There are many lifestyle changes that can be considered to help seniors avoid heart disease live longer and live better.

- Eat a healthy diet
- Treat high blood pressure
- Control cholesterol
- Lose weight
- Exercise
- Stop smoking

Osteoporosis

As we age, our bone mass stops increasing.

Osteoporosis thins and weakens the bones, causing them to break easily. Over 54 million people in the United States have osteoporosis and it is most commonly found in older women.

Exercise, a good diet, and some treatment medications can help reduce the risk of fractures, which are more likely to occur for people with osteoporosis.
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The great news is that all of these health issues have a common theme when it comes to reducing or controlling the symptoms – exercise!

You, as a caregiver, are in a position to speak to your patients and clients about the benefits of exercise.

You can also help with simple range of motion exercises to help them get over the fear that they may have of starting an exercise program.

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FromComment about document or authorResponse CountryResponse Added
It is amazing to educate people about their physical problems and even they will learn how to understand their life style.11/11/2016 8:59:18 PM

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