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What Chronic Health Conditions Are Common in Older Adults?

By , 9:00 am on

The risk of developing a chronic health condition goes up with age, and certain conditions are more common among seniors. While multiple factors such as genetics and past health history play a role in developing certain conditions, there are also things your aging loved one can do now to prevent and address health issues before they get worse. Being aware of these common chronic conditions in seniors empowers you to help your loved one make the best choices for the future.

Osteoporosis

People begin to lose bone mass in early adulthood, but it doesn’t usually become apparent until the senior years. Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken, which increases the chance of breaking a bone during a fall. Seniors should receive regular screenings for bone loss according to their doctor’s recommendations, and women especially need to take preventative action, such as doing weight-bearing exercises, to retain their bone mass as much as possible. If your loved one already has osteoporosis, he or she needs to implement fall-prevention strategies at home, such as having assistance in the bathroom.

Diabetes

Adult-onset diabetes is another common issue among seniors that can sometimes be reversed if it’s caught early. Older adults who aren’t currently diagnosed should be screened for the condition regularly. A prediabetes diagnosis is a serious warning sign that your loved one needs to make dietary changes and include exercise in his or her daily routine to avoid progressing to a full-blown diabetes diagnosis. Seniors with diabetes need to practice medication management and have support that helps them stay on track with a healthy diet. 

Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to prepare meals on their own or follow the correct diet. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Edmonton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is often a silent chronic condition, and many seniors don’t realize they have heart disease until they have a serious cardiovascular emergency. Many of the most basic healthy lifestyle practices can prevent and help with heart disease. Make sure your loved one eats a low-fat and low-salt diet, gets about 30 minutes of exercise each day, and tries to reduce stress. 

If your loved one needs help with exercise or maintaining a healthy diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Edmonton, senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Arthritis

Seniors living with chronic arthritis encounter daily challenges, such as pain and stiffness in the joints, that limit their movements. Although your loved one may be tempted to sit out workouts when his or her joints hurt, exercise loosens up stiff joints and eases pain. Your loved one also needs to protect his or her joints from further injury, which is difficult when stiff joints increase the risk of falling. Give your loved one assistance at home that prevents him or her from trying to do too much on days when he or she doesn’t feel well.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD occurs for many different reasons. For instance, many older adults were exposed to toxic chemicals during their service in the military, which led to the development of lung disease. Seniors may not be able to change their past, but they can take action starting today to preserve their lung function. Encourage your loved one to quit smoking and take prescribed treatments, such as using a nebulizer to keep his or her airways clear.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Edmonton families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (780) 490-7337 today.