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As we grow older, facing health challenges often becomes more common. Family history, genetics, and age make it more likely for older adults to deal with chronic medical conditions. Nearly all adults over 60 have at least one health condition, while many have more. You may have an elderly family member undergoing a condition, or you might be facing one yourself. Read on as we discuss the 10 most common health concerns for seniors. Understanding these problems can not only help in preventing them when there is time but also manage them properly.
Let’s first understand why older people are more prone to senior citizens health issues.
Older people are more likely to have health issues because of various reasons, here are some of them:
As we get older, our bodies naturally change, making us more vulnerable to health problems elderly. For instance, our bones become weaker, and our immune system is not as strong.
Over time, we get exposed to different things like pollution, unhealthy eating habits, and irregular routines. These build up and can lead to common health problems in the elderly as we age.
Our bodies become less good at bouncing back from sickness or injury as we get older.
Many long-term health issues elderly tend to show up or get worse as we age. Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are more common in older people.
Our ability to fight off illnesses weakens as we age, so we're more likely to get sick.
Here are some of the most common health problems of old age.
Arthritis is the most common health issue for elderly people. It affects the joints, which are the places in the body where two bones meet. Normally, these joints are cushioned with a layer of smooth tissue called cartilage, which helps them move easily and without pain. However, in arthritis, this cartilage can break down. This causes the bones to rub against each other.
This can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving the affected joint. While arthritis may discourage seniors from being active, it's crucial to get in touch with your doctor to create a personalised activity plan, which can help maintain overall senior health.
Heart disease is a type of chronic condition that affects both men and women. As people grow older, they often face risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which increase the likelihood of stroke or heart disease development.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among senior citizens. Cancer is a disease where the body's cells start growing uncontrollably. These abnormal cells can form a lump called a tumour, which can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Early detection through screenings like mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin checks can make many types of cancer treatable.
While you may not always prevent cancer, you can enhance your quality of life as a senior with cancer by following your medical team's suggestion. The doctor may suggest treatment options like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.
Cognitive health is all about a person's ability to think, remember and respond. The most common elderly health issue is dementia, which involves the loss of these cognitive functions. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Various chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, alcohol, hypertension, HIV, and smoking, can increase the risk of developing dementia.
According to the World Health Organisation, over 15 per cent of adults aged 60 and above experience a mental disorder. Sadly, depression, which is a common mental disorder, often goes undiagnosed and undertreated. Since depression can be connected to chronic health conditions, preventing and monitoring those common health problems is crucial. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle, improving living conditions, and providing support from family and friends can be effective in treating depression.
Falls are among the leading reasons for injury in seniors, resulting in their deaths. Ageing leads to a reduction in bone size, muscle strength and flexibility, making seniors more vulnerable to losing their balance and suffering injuries like bruises and fractures. Two such diseases contributing to common health problems of old age are osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Diabetes in adults is a condition where blood sugar levels are too high. There are two main types: Type 1, usually diagnosed at a young age, whereas Type 2 is more common in adults and is often linked to lifestyle. Both types require careful management of diet, exercise, and sometimes medication to control blood sugar and prevent complications.
Managing the challenges of this condition becomes a bit more complex as you grow older. Ensure you keep up regular check-ups, including blood tests, and follow the recommended lifestyle changes to enhance your long-term health.
Issues like constipation become pretty common as people age and can affect the quality of life for older adults. These problems can result from age-related problems or may be linked to issues mentioned earlier, such as an imbalanced diet and chronic health conditions.
Doctors recommend maintaining a healthy weight, following a nutritious diet, and staying active to prevent these health concerns. Effective medical treatments are often available, and thus, seniors should be encouraged not to feel embarrassed discussing them with their doctors.
Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema are some of the top causes of death among older people. These diseases can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections like pneumonia. Participating in a pulmonary rehabilitation program that offers breathing techniques and emotional support can significantly improve the quality of life for seniors dealing with respiratory issues.
Just as age can affect bone density and the immune system, it can also impact your vision. While eyesight problems often result from the natural ageing process, various chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can exacerbate the issue. If you notice blurry or cloudy vision, spots or floaters, or a narrowed field of vision, it's essential to schedule an appointment with your optometrist/ ophthalmologist.
It's common to face various health concerns for seniors. Factors like family history, genetics, and the natural ageing process make older adults more likely to deal with chronic medical healthier. Sometimes, these common health issues for the elderly can become severe and can lead to emergency hospitalisation. Even a single trip to a private hospital means you’re bound to pay heavy medical bills. There is where if you’ve invested in health insurance, it helps a lot to curb medical costs while getting high-quality treatment facilities. With Care Health Insurance, there are various health insurance for senior citizens that you can navigate through and choose the best one.
Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.
Published on 23 Feb 2024
Published on 23 Feb 2024
Published on 23 Feb 2024
Published on 23 Feb 2024
Published on 22 Feb 2024
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