10 Most Common Challenge Illnesses We Face As We Age
Ageing in inevitable for all of us and as we, or our loved ones get older there are a range of different medical and physical challenged we face.
We have created a list of the most common medical challenges individuals face as they age, not to alarm you, but to make you aware so that the appropriate measures can be taken to ensure yours or your loved ones wellbeing.
Medical problems in the elderly can involve any organ system in the body. Most conditions result from decreased function or degeneration of the involved organ and so primarily, an active lifestyle is encouraged to keep your body in top shape for as long as possible! Regardless, however, eventually our bodies begin to grow weary and struggle with many simple organ functions.
The 10 most commonly encountered medical conditions in seniors based on organ system are listed below:
- Musculoskeletal: osteoarthritis (inflammation of joints due to wear and tear), osteoporosis (bone loss), gout, loss of muscle mass, fractures.
- Hormonal: Diabetes (lack of control of blood glucose), menopause, thyroid dysfunction, high blood cholesterol, slower overall metabolism.
- Neurologic: dementia (Alzheimer or other types), Parkinson’s disease, strokes, poor vision, hearing impairment, balance problem.
- Visual: macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and hypertension related eye disease.
- Cardiovascular disease: heart attacks, congestive heart failure, irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), high blood pressure (hypertension), atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of blood vessels) and peripheral vascular disease or peripheral artery disease (poor blood flow as a result of narrow blood vessels).
- Lungs: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), loss of lung volume.
- Kidneys: poor kidney function (kidney or renal disease) from long standing diabetes and hypertension.
- Skin and Hair: hair loss, dry skin, itching, infections.
- Bone marrow and immune system: inability to produce sufficient blood cells (anemia, myelodysplasia).
- Oral and dental: gum disease, dry mouth, loss of teeth, poorly fitting dentures.
As morbid as some of these may sound almost all of them are either prevented or slowed by regular check-ups, healthy eating and regular exercise. Make sure the elderly individual in your family (whether it be you, or someone else) is regularly socializing and eating. As depression caused by lack of nutrients or lack of company is prominent among the elderly.
An Aged Care Facility (low care) is a great way to ensure longevity as there is no risk of isolation.
Also be aware of general problems such as urinary incontinence, fatigue, general deconditioning, forgetfulness, diminishing appetite and forgetfulness.
If you, or your loved one is getting to the stage of needing Aged Care, contact Balance Aged Care Specialists to get your affairs in order.