Whether we like it or not, we all grow older by the day. Unfortunately, with time also come a lot of health issues that we need to address. They can range from cognitive decline, heart disease, and osteoporosis to balance issues, hearing loss, malnutrition, and oral health problems. Nevertheless, one thing they all have in common is that they can significantly reduce the quality of our lives.
With average life expectancy being above 70 years, you might be experiencing some age-related conditions yourself. If you would like to know a little more about them, you came to the right place. Here are a few health concerns that affect the lives of seniors most often.
Table of Contents
According to Hearing Centre Santa Monica, balance issues affect the mobility and independence of millions of seniors around the world. They can be caused by a variety of factors, such as vision loss, sensory impairments, hearing problems, and physical limitations.
In most cases, balance issues will not go away on their own but can be managed with the help of various treatments. For example, you can improve your balance by doing exercises and following an exercise program that has been tailored to your needs. Alternatively, you can buy shoes for the elderly with balance problems. This way, you can prevent some dangerous falls in the future.
One in three seniors suffers from some level of cognitive decline, which can lead to a decrease in their quality of life and even their independence. Furthermore, even if you are not considered cognitively impaired, there is still a chance that you might have mild cognitive impairment.
Cognitive decline can be caused by numerous factors, including health issues, brain injuries, and medications. It might also be a result of normal aging. The good news is that you can take action to slow down the process and protect your brain. Many doctors recommend staying mentally active, exercising regularly, eating healthy food, and reducing the risk of experiencing a traumatic event.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. While it affects men and women equally, seniors are more likely to suffer from heart problems. This is because they are more prone to develop cardiac conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Hearing loss is another common concern among seniors. It usually occurs naturally over many years but can also be caused by other factors. It is important to note that it not only affects your quality of life but also increases your risk of developing depression, anxiety, isolation, and falls (due to mishearing instructions or environmental sounds).
Fortunately, there are various treatments that you can use to manage hearing loss. For example, you can invest in electronic or battery-operated devices that can amplify and change the sound. If you suspect that you have hearing loss, make sure to see your doctor for an examination.
Proper nutrition is an integral part of our health, especially when we are older. However, as we age, our bodies undergo changes that can make us prone to deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and several other vital nutrients, resulting in malnutrition. This can lead to various health problems such as a weakened immune system and osteoporosis.
It is essential to keep an eye on how much we eat and pay attention to the types of food we consume. If you are concerned about your nutrition intake, speak with your doctor. They will be able to tell you whether you need to change your diet or modify your eating habits in any other way.
Oral Health Problems
Unfortunately, it is very common for seniors to experience tooth loss or gum disease. These issues can significantly impact their oral health and quality of life by making it harder for them to eat properly or speak clearly. If you want to protect your oral health as well as prevent future diseases and issues, make sure to follow a proper dental care routine and visit your dentist regularly.
Memory loss is another issue that affects many seniors. The reason behind it is usually dementia, which is caused by damage to the brain cells. However, you should know that memory loss is not necessarily an indication of dementia. It can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease as well as by minor strokes.
As a result of memory loss, many seniors experience difficulties remembering things like names and faces or performing daily activities independently. Fortunately, some medications can help slow down memory decline or improve memory function, while other lifestyle changes might also help control memory problems.
Obesity is a common problem for people of all ages, not just seniors. Nevertheless, it is also the first sign of many other health concerns. That’s why it is crucial to reduce your weight and keep it low after turning 50.
Obesity causes several health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Not to mention that it comes with a lot of other problems as well, such as high blood cholesterol, skin tags, and fatty liver.
How to avoid such problems? First, you need to start eating healthy and exercising regularly. Start with small, manageable changes and stick to them until they become a habit.
An elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, throat irritation — these are just some of the most common symptoms of asthma that can affect seniors particularly often. If you suffer from respiratory issues, be sure to take care of your breathing throughout the day.
Doing this will help you avoid unpleasant attacks and keep your lungs in check. To do so, make sure you get enough sleep (at least 7 hours), take regular breaks from work, avoid secondhand smoke, and keep your home clean. On top of this, try to exercise regularly and stay away from allergens and pollutants.
As we grow older, our joints tend to become stiffer, which leads to pain. It can be the result of arthritis or osteoporosis. While there is no cure for these conditions, you can slow down their development by doing regular exercises and staying away from cigarettes and alcohol. Of course, you should stick to a healthy diet as well — that means no processed food or sugar!
With age comes vision loss and other vision-related issues, such as dry eyes and cataracts. It means that if you are a senior, you need to pay attention to your eyesight and sunlight exposure.
Consider wearing eye protection when outside. Also, make sure to schedule regular eye exams so you can detect vision problems early enough. Contact lenses might also be helpful in this case.
We’ve covered a lot of issues that affect the lives of seniors. Do you think any of them apply to your loved ones? If so, don’t wait until it’s too late. Instead, talk to your loved ones and see how you can help them. And if you’re experiencing some of these problems yourself, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for advice.
Whether it is heart problems or balance issues you are dealing with — never lose hope. There are millions of people who managed to overcome these issues or live comfortably with them. Make all the necessary adjustments in your lifestyle, take care of yourself, and the rest will fall into place on its own. Good luck!