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10 Common Elderly Chronic Health Conditions: Prepare To Age Successfully

Your 1+1 Team
April 8, 2022

Aging comes with many changes both in our body and mind. Your loved one may be worried about what to expect as they get older, however, they can age successfully with the right preparation and knowledge! It is common for seniors to experience physical and mental health changes. Your loved ones can enjoy their golden years by acknowledging these ten health issues and taking preventative steps for healthy aging.

1. Chronic Health Conditions

The National Council of Aging states 92% of seniors are experiencing at least one chronic health condition and 77% have at least two. Some of the most common chronic diseases include cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

How can you manage or prevent chronic diseases?

2. Cognitive Health

You may be aware of seniors experiencing forgetfulness and memory loss. These are examples of the effects aging has on cognitive health and the ability to think, remember and learn. Dementia is also a common cognitive health condition seniors face.

How can you manage or prevent dementia?

  • You should be aware that other chronic health conditions can contribute to the risk of developing dementia. This includes substance abuse, HIV, smoking, depression, hypertension, and diabetes. There currently are no cures for dementia, however, physicians can help manage the disease by prescribing medications and a treatment plan.
  • Your loved one can also maintain their cognitive health by exercising their brain! Keep the brain active by participating in activities and social gatherings.

3. Mental Health

The World Health Organization states over 15 percent of people aged over 60 have a mental disorder. A common mental disorder seniors experience is depression. This can develop from the isolation and loneliness commonly experienced by older-aged groups. It also can be a side effect of chronic health conditions.

How can you prevent or treat depression?

  • If your loved one is experiencing depression as a side effect of chronic health disease, managing those conditions can help.
    Besides receiving treatment, depression can be managed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as improving living conditions and receiving support from friends & family.

4. Physical Injury

Seniors are more susceptible to injuries since aging can cause bones to shrink and weaken. According to the National Council of Aging, every 11 seconds a senior is treated in the emergency room for injuries. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults. This can lead to hip fractures, head trauma, and death.

How can you prevent falls?

  • Falls can be prevented through education, home modifications, and increased physical activity. 1+1 Cares provides more information on fall prevention.

5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

While sexual needs and abilities can change as you age, sexual activity doesn’t disappear and you still need to wear a condom! Seniors can still develop AIDS and HIV with the combination of not using a condom and the weakening of their immune system. Symptoms of HIV can be similar to symptoms of aging, so late diagnosis is common and makes it more difficult to treat.

How can you prevent STIs?

  • Practice safe sex and follow the proper protocols such as using condoms, washing before and after intercourse, and getting tested.

6. Malnutrition

Malnutrition is the lack of proper nutrition and it is often underdiagnosed amongst older adults. Malnutrition can be caused by depression, alcoholism, dietary restrictions, limited social interaction, restricted income, and other health problems. Developing malnutrition can lead to other health issues such as a weakened immune system and muscle weakness.

How can you prevent malnutrition?

  • Your loved one can make small changes to their diet to avoid malnutrition. This means increasing the intake of fruit and vegetables while reducing consumption of saturated fat and salt.
    If your loved one is facing difficulties affording or preparing their meals, there are food services available for help.

7. Sensory Impairments

It is common for seniors to face a decline in their vision and hearing. The CDC states one out of six seniors have a visual deficiency and one out of four have a hearing deficiency. However, several innovations can aid seniors with sensory impairments.

How can you manage sensory impairments?

  • Your loved one can use glasses, hearing aids, and other assistive devices to manage their vision and hearing loss.

8. Oral Health

The CDC’s Division of Oral Health reported that 25% of people over 65 no longer have their natural teeth. Seniors can be prone to experiencing dry mouth, gum disease, and mouth cancer. These oral health issues, as well as cavities and tooth decay, can cause older adults to face difficulties with managing a healthy diet and other health problems.

Oral Health Can be a Significant Chronic health condition. How can you maintain your oral health?

  • Your loved one’s oral health can be taken care of by maintaining good oral hygiene as well as by receiving dental care and going to annual checkups.

9. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is more prevalent in seniors than expected. In older-aged groups, substance abuse is usually alcohol and drug-related. It can stem from seniors having mental deficits or using an unprescribed medication from another patient since they can’t afford their own.

How can you treat substance abuse?

  • Substance abuse can be treated through proper treatment. There are several treatments for addiction that have been proven to be successful.

10. Bladder Control and Constipation

Bladder inconsistency and constipation are commonly experienced among older adults. This can be a result of age-related changes as well as side effects of chronic health conditions and not eating well.

How can you manage bladder control and constipation?

  • Your loved one can avoid these issues by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating balanced meals.
  • Your loved one can also contact their physician and receive treatment.

A few wrinkles and gray hair aren’t so bad when you know you’re healthy aging! Your loved one’s mind and body can still prosper if they take the right measures towards protecting their health.

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.

1+1 Cares by serving as a family’s caregiving concierge.  1+1 Cares is a unique platform that synergizes premium service, qualified caregivers, and affordable rates.  By empowering families to make the right decisions, 1+1 Cares makes in-home care affordable and accessible.  1+1 Cares about you.

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