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Most Common Health Concerns of the Elderly

The aging process comes with inevitable health concerns. You might eat properly, exercise diligently and socialize tirelessly, but getting older is unavoidable and certain precautions have to be made even if you are full of energy. This inevitability of the elderly period should not discourage you. If you are truly doing your best, the results will most likely contribute to your longevity and the quality of your life. However, you should still pay close attention to the most common health concerns of the elderly.

Heart disease

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Cardiovascular ailments are still the leading causes of death around the world. From myocardial infarction to strokes, cardiovascular conditions can be silent and chronic, but the end result is often swift and fatal. High blood pressure and cholesterol problems are risk factors that plague most people over the age of 65, but this is also one of those problems that can be limited, controlled or even prevented with the proper lifestyle. A diverse diet, exercising and regular sleeping patterns can do wonders for you.

Depression

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Depression is not unavoidable, but it hits hard and many elders do not even get properly diagnosed. This is not only a matter of twilight-years-lethargy. If your doctor ascribes the symptoms to life setbacks and chronic ailments, you should definitely look for a second opinion from a psychologist, just in case. Enriching your social life can genuinely help here. Introduce yourself to a vibrant environment where you can mingle with your peers and where your quality of life will improve.

Take your time to check out the finest retirement homes available, because good service and top-notch amenities are invaluable. The worst thing you can do is retreat deeper into yourself and your dusty home, especially if your family members are busy with their own issues. In addition, you might be suffering from subsyndromal depression, which means that you feel number to pleasurable events and activities. This doesn’t mean you are full-on depressed, but it is still something you should work on with professionals.

Flu

Most of us burn through influenza once or twice a year. For younger people, it is a terrible, often painful nuisance that stays bothersome for a week or two. For elder people, however, a viral infection is a serious problem. In fact, it is ranked among the ten leading causes of death in people over 60. The reason for this is quite simple – due to their age, the immune systems of the elderly are depleted, which means that their body is more vulnerable to the side-effects of the flu. The symptoms last longer and the body needs more time to recuperate.

Add to this extended torturous period the diminished metabolic resilience, and you have a recipe for disaster waiting to rear its ugly head. Pneumonia is the likely outcome of such condition, and this can lead to more serious respiratory diseases that can shorten the lifespan of the senior significantly. Asthma, emphysema and bronchitis are the most common lung-related problems and the elderly should get their lung function tested if the flu symptoms simply refuse to go away after two weeks.

Cancer

Once you’ve hit the golden age of 50, your statistical chances to get cancer skyrocket. In fact, age is the biggest predictor of a chance to get cancer, though it is not a guarantee – and this is your golden ticket out of this predicament. While scientists have a hard time finding the most definite reasons why elders are more susceptible to cancer – though aging telomeres might have something to do with it – they do know that certain types of behavior ensure solid prevention.

For example, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising will keep your cardiovascular system pumping and your body well-oiled. This means that your metabolism will be more efficient at excreting toxins and damaged cellular “material”. In addition, exercising will help you lose weight, which is amazing because obesity is definitely linked to at least 13 types of cancer, including colon, pancreatic and breast cancer. Of course, you should also diversify your diet and cut down on processed foods and red meat. Skin cancers tend to strike the elderly too, so it’s important to rub sunscreen onto exposed areas of your skin before venturing out. A visit to a dermatologist at least once every six months is also advisable.

Arthritis

The stereotype of an elderly person will be presented as someone who suffers from “aching bones”, and this associative phenomenon across cultures is not a fluke. Arthritis is the leading chronic condition that overtly damages the lifestyle of seniors over 65, and it is not any less dangerous than the conditions mentioned above. Chronic pain leads to lower quality of life and it can discourage seniors from physical activity. Movement is life and having a skip in your step is as crucial as breathing, so you should work with your doctor on developing a personalized treatment that includes physical activity.

It is true that, as the twilight years approach, there is a greater chance you will develop a certain condition that might hinder your lifestyle. However, the most problematic aspect of this prospect comes if any of these conditions hinder the elder’s ability to live independently. In order to increase your chances of the best prognosis or full recovery so your life remains minimally impacted by your condition, you should learn as much as you can about the most common health concerns and how to detect them in time.

Most Common Health Concerns of the Elderly

Written by Diana Smith

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

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