The Most Common Health Concerns for Seniors

The CDC indicates that people today are living longer than ever before, specifically another 19.3 years on average. This is a promising sign, especially as our society continues to make advancements in medicine and technology. Of course, as people age, there are new health risks and challenges that they may face. There are several ways to maintain a healthy life, such as regularly exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, going to the doctor for checkups, and managing any chronic or serious health conditions. Let’s take a look at the most common health concerns for seniors and tips for how to better manage these concerns. 

1. Arthritis

Arthritis is a leading health condition affecting people aged 65 or older. The CDC reports that 49.7 percent of older adults 65 or older suffer from arthritis. This condition can cause pain and discomfort, which lowers a person’s overall quality of life. It’s recommended for older adults to talk with their primary care doctor about the best treatment options for their unique health needs. This will likely include a personalized plan that includes various exercises, medications, and/or therapy to help patients better manage their health conditions.

2. Alzheimer’s Disease

Did you know one in nine adults 65 or older have Alzheimer’s disease? This equates to about 11.3 percent of the U.S. population. Seniors affected by this chronic health condition may have serious effects on a person’s overall health. This includes their mental health, safety, and ability to live independently. 

3. Cancer

To no surprise, cancer is the top second leading cause of death among people over age 65. The CDC reports that about 28 percent of men and 21 percent of women of 65 are currently living with cancer. By receiving important screenings, several types of cancer are treatable. While cancer is not always preventable, there are still ways to improve one’s overall health and well-being. This includes receiving medical treatment and following healthy living practices based on the patient’s specific health condition.

4. Diabetes

Like other health concerns, diabetes is a serious health risk. Around 25 percent of older adults are living with diabetes, while thousands of people die from this condition every year. Luckily, diabetes can be identified and addressed with blood tests that check a person’s blood sugar levels. Once a senior finds out that they have or are at risk for diabetes, they can take the steps to better manage their disease and improve their long-term health. 

5. Falls

The risk for falls increases with age. Around 2.5 million seniors are treated in the ER due to serious falls. This can increase a person’s risk for additional falls, as well as the likelihood that they may require care and assistance during their recovery period. For seniors, this is a big fear because it means giving up their independence, even if it’s just temporary. Since falls typically occur in the home, it’s important to follow safety guidelines to prevent seniors from falling.

6. Heart Disease

Heart disease is a serious health concern for people aged 65 and older. The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics indicates that heart disease is a chronic condition that affects 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women aged 65 and older. There are several factors that can increase a senior’s risk for heart disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. To reduce the risk for this condition, seniors should talk with their primary doctor for suggestions. Their doctor will likely suggest eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis, and getting enough sleep.

7. Obesity

Obesity is another common health concern for older adults. If an older adult is obese, this can increase their risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For adults between 65 and 74, an estimated 36.2 percent of men and 40.7 percent of women are obese. This can be due to a variety of causes, such as another health condition, lack of mobility, and/or current medications causing weight gain and an increased appetite. 

8. Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory diseases are a serious health issue that significantly affects an older adult’s ability to live a healthy life. Common respiratory diseases include asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema. These diseases also increase a senior’s risk for other health issues, such as respiratory infections and pneumonia. Seniors can better manage their respiratory diseases by visiting their doctor on a regular basis, getting lung function tests, taking their medications correctly, and/or using oxygen as needed. Indeed, this can help patients live a healthier life.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s article discussing several of the most common health concerns for older adults. There are countless more, but these are a few of the most prevalent issues for seniors in the U.S. If you are looking for high-quality care and support for your loved one, look no further than Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services. We have expert skilled nursing facilities across North Carolina to make it easier to receive the services your loved one needs and deserves.