The 15 Most Common Health Concerns for Seniors

Your 1+1 Team
March 28, 2022

An elderly person’s health can be one of the most common aging factors subject to change. According to the National Council of Aging, about 80% of seniors have at least one chronic disease and 70% of Medicare beneficiaries have over two. While this statistic looks daunting, Americans are expected to live longer now more than ever before. Prioritizing healthy habits can help your loved one avoid health risks.

Here are the most common senior health conditions:

1. Heart Disease

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for people over the age of 65. Heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol usually increase as people age. Maintaining a balanced diet, staying active, and getting enough sleep can help your loved one avoid facing these risk factors that can contribute to developing heart disease or having a stroke.

2. Cancer

The CDC states cancer is the second leading killer for adults aged over 65. The CDC further reports that 28% of men and 21% of women are living with cancer. Cancer can be treatable if caught early through medical screenings such as mammograms, skin checks, and colonoscopies.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis is the most common condition amongst seniors and has impacted 49.7 of people over 65, as reported by the CDC. Its effect on the joints can lead to pain and lower quality of life for some aging adults.

4. Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is a common cognitive impairment seniors can experience. The Alzheimer’s Association states one in nine adults over 65 has this condition. Its effect on the brain can impact a senior’s health across the spectrum.

5. Respiratory diseases

According to the CDC, chronic lower respiratory diseases are the third leading killer for people over 65. Respiratory diseases seniors may experience include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema. Respiratory diseases can increase your risk for pneumonia and other infections. Your loved one can take a lung function test to see the condition of their lungs.

6. Diabetes

CDC reports 25% of the elderly are living with diabetes. This significant health risk starts with high blood sugar, and it can affect the heart and entire blood circulation. The sooner it is addressed, the sooner you can make changes to control the disease. Diabetes can be identified early with blood tests for blood sugar levels.

7. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the weakening of the bones. It commonly contributes to adults losing their mobility and becoming disabled. This causes them to be at risk for falls and injuries.

8. Falls

You may think falls are common enough for them to not have a serious effect on one’s health. However, falls requiring emergency room care increase with age. The CDC estimates 2.5 million adults over 65 are treated in the emergency room for falls each year. 1+1 Cares provides ways for fall prevention.

9. Influenza and Pneumonia

The flu and pneumonia are not chronic conditions but the CDC states these infections are a part of the top eight causes of death for adults over 65. Seniors are more vulnerable to these illnesses, so getting an annual flu shot and the pneumonia vaccine are necessary protocols for prevention.

10. Depression

Depression can be a threat to senior health by lowering immunity and affecting their ability to fight infections. Depression can be treated through treatment and therapy, but also by increasing physical activity and social interaction.

11. Substance Abuse

According to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, one in five adults aged over 65 have had a substance or alcohol abuse problem at one point in their lives. Substance abuse raises concern for a senior’s health because of its possible interactions with medication, cause of falls, and other negative effects on the body.

12. Obesity

Obesity means your body mass index is greater than or equal to 30. This can be caused by poor health habits such as an unbalanced diet and no exercise. It is a senior health risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

13. Oral Health

Dentures may be common imagery for the elderly because oral health declines as you age. According to the CDC, 25% of aging adults do not have natural health. Old age comes with your mouth becoming drier and cavities being more difficult to prevent. Proper oral health care and regular dental checkups can help your loved one avoid this health concern.

14. Shingles

Did you have chickenpox as a kid? It can come back as an adult! The National Institutes of Health states one out of three people over 60 will get shingles. You can prevent shingles by getting the available vaccine.

15. Poverty

45% of aging adults over 65 were considered to be living in poverty in 2013, according to a 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation Report. Single seniors have a higher chance of living alone with fewer financial resources. Poverty affects a senior’s health because of their inability to afford essential healthcare needs.

I know what you’re thinking… aging is scary. As frightening as it can be to imagine your loved one’s health being at risk, maintaining a healthy lifestyle allows them to take control of what they can and enjoy the best parts of aging.

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.

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