Most Common Health Issues Among Seniors

February 5, 2016

HealthIssues

Your health, as well as that of your loved ones, both mentally and physically, is affected by family history, health care, living environment and lifestyle. Some of the most common health issues among seniors stem from these factors, some of which are health issues themselves. Here are 10 of the most common health issues that might be affecting you or a loved one, and how to prevent or treat them.

Arthritis. Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen with age. For those with arthritis pain, staying active can be that much harder. If you or a loved one are struggling to exercise regularly or keep up with a medicine regimen, the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aides (HHAs) at Granny NANNIES can assist and support you or a loved one. They are also available to help devise treatment plans, manage symptoms and help maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Diabetes. Diabetes is a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood, or high blood glucose. It can affect the diet of the elderly, as well as the immune system, causing it to take longer for a wound to heal or for sickness to go away. If you or a loved one are concerned about diabetes, simple blood tests are available. If diagnosed, there are medicines that can treat the symptoms.

Cancer. A disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue, cancer comes in many forms. Regardless of family history, you or your loved one should schedule routine screenings, as various types of cancer can go unnoticed in the early stages. This is especially important for seniors who have smoked, heavily consumed alcohol or spent excessive hours in the sun as these factors can increase your risk for certain cancers. Speaking with a doctor may lead to an early diagnosis for lung, liver and skin cancer, among others, resulting in more effective treatment.

Heart Disease. Also called cardiovascular disease, heart disease is a condition that includes diseased vessels, structural problems and blood clots. It is a major health concern for the elderly; it is estimated that 42.2 million adults over 60 are affected by heart disease. In order to ensure a healthy heart, it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle. Routine exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent or manage heart disease with the support of an HHA or CNA.

Influenza and Pneumonia. Influenza, often referred to as the common cold, is a viral infection. Pneumonia, on the other hand, is an infection that inflames air sacs in one or both lungs, which may fill with fluid. Both illnesses are in the top 10 causes of death for seniors due to lack of vaccination and proper care. The ability to fight off infection weakens with age, making the elderly more susceptible. It’s important to get flu and pneumonia shots as a senior, especially for those more prone to illness.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia affect the memory and functionality of the brain. Seniors with these diseases should participate in brain-stimulating activities and engage in regular social interaction with friends, family or caregivers in order to prevent social isolation. Consistently scheduled visits by a CNA or HHA will also provide you or a loved one with peace of mind as they can routinely cook nutritious meals, provide help getting around the home without injury and offer information about the different stages of these diseases.

Healthcare. Having access to good health care and proper medicines may prolong life expectancy for seniors when it comes to infection and disease. Granny NANNIES offers a number of services to assist in senior home health care. They include, but are not limited to, meal assistance, housekeeping, hygiene care, adhering to medicine schedules, running errands and providing emotional support.

Injury. Falls are the most common injury among the elderly. If you or your loved one struggle maintaining balance or getting around, you can try walking aids or utilizing the HHAs and CNAs at Granny NANNIES to assist with daily activities and supervise exercises to build strength.

Lifestyle. Lifestyle can have a substantial impact on your health and that of your loved ones. Seniors who don’t regularly eat healthy meals, exercise or get enough sleep are at a higher risk for illness. These unhealthy habits hurt the immune system and make it easier to get sick. A cold might last a few days for an adult in their thirties, but it can last a few weeks for the elderly.

Environment. Living in areas with excessive heat or smoke can weaken the immune system. Making sure the air in one’s home is clean and set at a comfortable temperature (relative to the outside air), as well as making sure the environment is sanitary, are great ways to promote a healthy living environment. A caregiver can assist you or your loved one in making sure home environments are conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

Granny NANNIES has provided quality, trustworthy, reliable and affordable senior home healthcare services for all ages and levels of care since 1990. Granny NANNIES is dedicated to treating clients with the highest level of respect and dignity while maintaining a standard of excellence. Whether its 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or on an as needed basis, Granny NANNIES is there to help. For more information on home health care in your area, call 800-316-2669.