The Most Common Health Issues Seniors Face

The Most Common Health Issues Seniors Face

You’ve likely heard a senior citizen say, “ If I had known I were going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” Aging is a fact of life, and if you are nearing or over the age of 60, it’s important that you give a lot of thought to the health issues that can be caused by aging.
Taking steps to maintain optimal health is vital, and even if you haven’t in the past, there are steps you can take now to avoid future health risks.

– Know your body.
You, better than anyone, know when something is “off”. When something is out of the ordinary, you should visit your doctor to investigate what is going on.
– Good lifestyle choices.
Stay as active as possible, eat healthy foods, lose weight, limit alcohol intake and don’t smoke!
– See your doctor regularly.
It’s important that you see your doctor on a regular basis. Doing so will help catch any possible health issues early on.

If you want good health after the age of 65, you should know the most common health issues you may face and what you can do to avoid them as much as possible to live a long and healthier life.

Heart Disease
According to the CDC, the number 1 cause of death in senior citizens over the age of 65 is heart disease. In 2013, it accounted for 488,156 deaths in seniors. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women over the age of 65, and in most ethnic groups in the same age group including African Americans, Caucasians and Hispanics. Factors that increase the risk of heart disease include being overweight or obese, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and lack of physical activity. Heart disease related morbidity and mortality increase as we age, making senior citizens much more vulnerable.

Among those 65 and older, cancer is the second leading cause of death with more than 400,000 deaths a year. According to statistics from the CDC, approximately 21% of women and 28% of men are currently living with cancer. You may not always be able to prevent cancer, but when caught early many types of cancer are treatable. Screenings like colonoscopies, mammograms and skin checks are vital to catching some cancers early on. Working with your doctor and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with certain forms of cancer.

Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in nine adults over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s disease. It accounts for upwards of 80,000 deaths per year. Diagnosis for Alzheimer’s can be challenging, so it is difficult to know exactly how many seniors are living with this condition. In the top 10 list of leading causes of death in the elderly, Alzheimer’s is the only one that cannot be prevented, slowed or cured. Almost two-thirds of patients living with Alzheimer’s are women, and it is the cause of death in one in three seniors.

There are approximately 26 million people living with diabetes in the US, and seniors account for more diabetics than any other age group. One in four Americans 60 and older are living with this disease. Simple blood tests for blood sugar levels can identify and address diabetes. The sooner you receive a diagnosis, the sooner you can make lifestyle changes to improve your long term health outlook.

Almost 50% of adults 65 and older suffer from doctor diagnosed arthritis. It is estimated that by 2030, 25 million adults will suffer from activity limitations attributed to arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form in the elderly, is a result of many years of wear and tear on the body and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Studies have repeatedly shown that millions of Americans have a limited ability to walk, climb stairs, kneel, bend or participate in regular activities because of arthritis.

Respiratory Disease
Chronic lower respiratory diseases are the third most common cause of death among those 65 and older, resulting in about 128,000 deaths a year. COPD for instance, accounts for one fifth of hospitalizations in those 75 and older. By quitting smoking, getting lung function tests, taking proper medications and using oxygen as instructed quality of life can be improved after a diagnosis.

There may come a time when health issues prevent your senior loved one from living at home alone, or you may not be physically able to care for them yourself. We are here to help. Terrace Ridge provides affordable assisted living services, with the primary goal of delivering the highest quality of resident services at the most economical cost. Contact us today for more information.