You hear about Alzheimer's, cancer, and stroke all the time. These are health issues senior citizens face, but there are many others that do not get talked about as often. We're taking a look at three of the common health issues that affect the elderly.
Arthritis affects more than 50 million men and women according to Arthritis.org. It's a common ailment the elderly face. With arthritis, the joints swell and become stiff and painful. This makes it hard to walk or stretch. Symptoms may be mild, but in others, the pain can be severe. It may stay the same or worsen. If it worsens or symptoms are severe, seniors may stop being as mobile, which puts them at risk of other diseases.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It's caused by the cartilage in a joint deteriorating, which leads to bone rubbing on bone. Hot and cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers help ease the stiffness and pain. Once activities of daily living are affected, joint replacement may be the best treatment option.
It's estimated that more than 70 percent of men and women in the age range of 60 to 79 have cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association increases this to 83 percent for men and 87 percent for women ages 80 and up. According to Heart.org, it's estimated that the average age for a first heart attack is 65 years for men and 71 for women.
There are several factors that increase your parent's risk for having a heart attack or some form of cardiovascular disease. Smoking is one of those factors. Not getting enough exercise is another. A diet low in fat, sodium, and sugar is also helpful. Finally, your mom and dad should monitor and improve, if necessary, their cholesterol and blood pressure.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation currently puts the number of people with low bone density at 54 million. The foundation estimates that 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men over the age of 49 all have the low bone density that puts them at risk of developing osteoporosis.
Unless your mom and dad go for a bone density scan, they won't know they have osteoporosis. Most people find they have the disease after breaking a bone during a fall. It's important to get the bone density scan done. If the bone mass is decreasing, there are prescription medications that can help.
Some seniors are able to live by themselves with little help. If your parent has a health issue that affects the quality of life, you need to look into care services. Your mom or dad may need someone to take over driving or a caregiver to help with meals and shopping. No matter what they need, home care is the ideal solution as it lets they age in a familiar location. Call a home care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Hobe Sound, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.