People in the United States can expect to live longer than ever before. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once you reach 65, the data suggests you may live another 19.3 years on average.
“In order to reach these milestones, it’s important for seniors to carefully manage chronic condition in order to stay healthy,” said Operations Manager Robert Bicanic, of the Northbrook-based
Senior Helpers office serving the north and northwest suburbs.
“That’s why it’s important for seniors to maintain healthy lifestyle choices so they can be among 41 percent of the people over 65 who say their health is very good or excellent points out the CDC,” he added.
Here are 10 of the most common health concerns for seniors.
- Arthritis - The CDC estimates that arthritis affects 49.7 percent of all adults over 65 and can lead to pain and lower quality of life for some seniors. It’s important to keep active so your joints can be mobile. Talk to your doctor about the various treatments available to you.
- Heart Disease/Stroke - According to the CDC, heart disease remains the leading killer of adults over age 65. As people age there are risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol that increase the chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Be sure to exercise, eat well, get a good night’s rest and consult with your doctor.
- Cancer - ancer is the second leading cause of death among people over 65 notes the CDC. Screenings are important for both men and women. You can improve your quality of life working with your medical team.
- Respiratory Diseases - Having chronic respiratory disease increases senior health risks, making you more vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections, taking the correct medications or using oxygen as instructed is important for your quality of life.
- Osteoporosis/ Falling - Osteoporosis can contribute to becoming less mobile and potentially disabled if you fall and have a fracture. It is estimated that 54 million Americans over age 50 are affected by this disease. It is important to get treatment from a doctor who can prescribe medication to help prevent bone loss.
The risk of falls requiring emergency room care increases with age. Each year, 2.5 million people ages 65 and older are treated for falls-more than any other age group.
- Diabetes - The CDC estimates that 25 percent of people ages 65 and older are living with diabetes, which is a significant senior health risk. Diabetes can be identified and addressed early with simple blood tests for blood sugar levels. Control of the disease is important to avoid complications.
- Depression - The American Psychological Association points out that 15 to 20 percent of Americans over 65 have experienced depression, which is a threat to their health. It is important to get treatment with medication and therapy. Have physical activity and keep interacting with people to improve your emotional health.
- Substance Abuse - It is believed that one out of five people over the age of 65 have a substance or alcohol abuse problem. This is a concern for senior health because of possible interactions with prescription medication and the impact on overall health.
- Obesity - Maintaining a optimal body weight is more difficult as people age. Over one third of senior age adults are obese, which results in high medical costs because obesity contributes to other chronic conditions. A healthy diet and regular excise is recommended to help lose weight.
- Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia - When your brain deteriorates and cognition, behavior and the ability to do activities of daily living are impaired, you may be affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. This is debilitating to patients and their families and comes with a high emotional and financial cost.
Consult with your doctor as to the best treatment for you.
Senior Helpers is the affiliate office for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of American in the Chicagoland area and has specially trained caregivers who care for seniors-including people with dementia.
Finding the right caregiver for each client is important. If you want to know what you can do to help them, please contact Robert Bicanic at Senior Helpers: 847-564-6500, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.seniorhelpers.com. Free assessments are available.