8 Health Conditions Common in Aging Adults

Statistics indicate that 41 percent of adults over the age of 65 live healthy, productive lives, which leaves 59 percent who are living with some type of chronic medical condition. The aging process, especially if it’s accompanied by unhealthy lifestyles, leaves older adults more susceptible to developing several different medical conditions.

1. Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2014, more than 92,000 seniors over 65 died secondary to having Alzheimer’s disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 11 percent of older adults develop the disorder. The brain-damaging disease causes cognitive deterioration and eventually affects physical ability. Reducing the risk of developing the disease involves eating healthier, getting enough exercise, and keeping the mind active. Many seniors with Alzheimer’s benefit from professional dementia home care. El Cajon families may not have the expertise to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and a caregiver can be a wonderful resource.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis remains the most common condition that afflicts older adults. The CDC estimates that more than 49 percent of seniors live with some form of arthritis, which causes physical discomfort and limited mobility. Affected seniors need to work closely with their healthcare providers to manage the problem, which includes taking anti-inflammatory medications, receiving physical therapy, and exercising as recommended.

3. Cancer

Malignancies remain the second leading reason older adults lose their lives. In 2014, more than 413,000 deaths were cancer related. The CDC reports that 28 percent of older men and 21 percent of older women have some form of cancer. Preventative measures include using sunscreen, quitting smoking, and eating enough fiber. Treatment plans provided by oncologists vary and depend on the senior’s overall health, the type of cancer, and the extent of the disease.

4. Cardiovascular Disease

Reports indicate that more than 489,000 older adults died in 2014 secondary to a cardiovascular condition. Risk factors include obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Preventing cardiovascular disorders requires eating healthy, exercising, and getting sufficient sleep.

5. Depression

The American Psychological Association reports that up to 20 percent of adults aged 65 and older live with depression. Depression hampers the immune system, which leaves seniors more susceptible to infections. Healthcare providers recommend seniors with depression get more exercise and increase social activity. Some seniors may need medication intervention.

6. Diabetes

Statistics suggest that 25 percent of older adults are diabetic. Diabetes caused more than 56,000 deaths in 2014. Contributing factors include obesity, a lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet. Losing weight, eating healthier, and exercising often can control blood sugar levels. Otherwise, oral or injected medications may be needed.

7. Osteoporosis

More than 50 million adults have osteoporosis, and the number could increase to more than 64 million by the year 2020. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures. Doing weight-bearing exercises and following a healthy diet can keep bone mass at optimal levels.

8. Respiratory Disorders

Asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema all fall under the category known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More than 124,000 seniors died in 2014 secondary to a respiratory condition. Older adults should quit smoking, take allergy-controlling medications, and exercise to optimize lung health. Affected adults often need oxygen, anti-inflammatory medications, and bronchodilator formulations.

A variety of age-related health conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of these challenges can be easier to manage when their families choose professional senior care. El Cajon families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and secure in the comfort of home. Reach out to us at Coast Care Partners if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call us at 619-354-2544 today to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.