Older adults tend to lead different lives than younger ones. Because of this, they have some unique health risks. There are some conditions, illnesses, and injuries that you see a lot more with older adults versus younger ones. We will take a moment right now to talk about some of the more common older adult health problems. You should know about these and how to try to avoid them if you’re approaching your life’s later stages.
You probably have heard of something called a bedsore before. Doctors and other medical professionals sometimes call these bedsores decubitus ulcers. Neglect generally causes decubitus ulcers. They occur if you have an older adult who is in bed for most of their days, and they don’t get up enough and move around. Maybe they’re no longer able to move on their own, or they might even be in a coma, in which case, they are not aware of the world around them.
Decubitus ulcers can sometimes be painful or irritating, but more severe ones can cause a lot more damage than that. Doctors generally divide them into four categories. Stage 1 is the mildest, while Stage 4 is so bad that it can take months or even years to heal fully.
If you’re an older adult and you live in a nursing home, you need to be sure to stay active enough so that you don’t develop bedsores. If you can’t move on your own any longer without help, enlist attendants or nurses who can move your body into different positions during the day.
Older adults often develop hip or knee problems too. This is natural in many instances. If you have lived an active life, and you frequently walk, ride your bike, or engage in other exercises, the hips and knees are two places that wear down.
If you want to reduce hip and knee strain, one thing you can do is to stay lean. If you’re overweight or obese, you have to carry that extra weight everywhere you go. If you can lose the additional pounds and stay at your medically determined ideal weight, that’s one way to keep your hips and knees in better shape. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. If your hips or knees get into bad enough shape, you might consider replacing them.
If you do so, it’s a fairly common procedure at this point, but it’s not much fun recovering. The way back from knee and hip replacements is a multiple-month recovery time, followed by an extensive physical therapy process.
As you get older, you might also have to deal with brittle bones. The doctors call this condition osteoporosis. New bone creation no longer keeps up with old bone removal that takes place naturally throughout your body.
You can take supplements that can help you as you get older, but some seniors still have to deal with this problem, regardless of what they do. If you talk to a doctor about it, though, they will likely have some recommendations that will at least slow this issue. They will probably have some dietary suggestions. There are also medications and weight-bearing exercises that can help you somewhat.
Some older adults struggle with dementia as they age. Alzheimer’s Disease is one manifestation of it. Some hereditary factors play a part, as you’re much more likely to deal with dementia as you age if others in your family had it as well.
Dementia means that you might not who you are sometimes or who those around you are. Your mind might even deteriorate to the point where you cannot easily care for yourself anymore.
You might need someone on hand at all times to care for you and make sure you don’t harm yourself. Dementia is one of the more unfortunate conditions that a person can develop.
If you want to lessen your dementia chances, you can consume less alcohol. You can exercise frequently throughout your life, especially as you get older. You can also avoid smoking and eat a healthy diet.
Seniors also sometimes deal with balance issues or oral health problems. They catch pneumonia easier. Heart and respiratory diseases are more prevalent in older adults.
With many of these conditions, though, the prevention is similar. You can avoid excess alcohol. Don’t smoke, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet. If you do these things, you will probably remain healthier further into your life.