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8 Common Health Challenges That Affect Older People

For the majority of people, senior age comes with various health challenges. These are brought about by lifestyle choices during the early years or the natural aging process. Identifying these problems will help older people get prompt treatment and the necessary care, so they can live a fulfilling life. Below are some of the common health problems that affect seniors.

1. Arthritis

Although arthritis can affect people of all ages, it is more prevalent in adults above 65 years old. This disease causes joint pain and stiffness, restricting movement. There are various options for treating arthritis, depending on its cause.

Osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis, is the one that mostly affects older people. It is caused by wear and tear. Arthritis also puts older people at the risk of falling.

2. Hypertension

Hypertension is another common condition that affects older people. If not controlled properly, it can lead to conditions such as stroke, heart failure, and heart attack. A person can live with hypertension without knowing it, as it doesn’t show symptoms at early stages. For most people, hypertension start showing symptoms when their blood pressure is at very dangerous levels. These symptoms include irregular heartbeat, severe headaches, chest pain, and anxiety. High blood pressure can be prevented by eating healthy foods, exercising, and quitting smoking.

3. Dementia

Dementia refers to cognitive decline symptoms such as memory loss and is very common in older people. Some of its symptoms include:

  • Forgetting dates and where a person is
  • Struggling to find words during conversations or following it along
  • Problems judging distance
  • Not remembering events that happened recently

Also, these people require utmost care as they can forget important things such as eating and taking medications.

4. Diabetes

Although anyone can get diabetes, seniors are at more risk. It’s caused by several factors such as being overweight, lack of exercise, and a family history of diabetes. Diabetes can be prevented by exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and avoiding being overweight.

When a person is diagnosed with this condition, they should follow the treatment guidelines given to control it. Diabetes is controllable by the use of medications and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In some instances, it can also be eliminated.

5. Depression

Depression is also a common condition that affects older people. Depression also leads to other problems since it lowers a person’s immunity, making it difficult to fight infections. It can be controlled through treatment, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments, such as encouraging more social interactions.

6. Oral problems

According to the CDC, approximately 25% of adults above 65 years old don’t have natural teeth. Other adults have natural teeth, but have oral problems such as cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and dry mouth. Dental problems in older people can be prevented by having frequent dental checkups and maintaining dental hygiene.

7. Shingles

Shingles are very common in elderly people since the body gets weaker with age. This disease is caused by the virus that causes chickenpox which means if a person has ever had chickenpox, they can get shingles. Shingles cause painful rashes and blisters on the skin. The affected areas may also become tender, and a person may feel stabbing pains and a tingling or burning feeling. The condition can be prevented through vaccination.

8. Malnutrition

Malnutrition is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions in elderly people. It is often caused by dietary restrictions, lack of income, forgetting to eat, alcoholism and depression. Malnutrition leads to other problems such as a weakened immune system and general body weakness. Elderly people need to eat a balanced diet and not skip meals to avoid malnutrition.

Old age may come with various challenges, such as health conditions. Some of these conditions can be prevented by practicing a good lifestyle. Older people should also be taken good care of to prevent health problems and control them if they are already sick.

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