11 Critical Health Conditions Every Senior Should Pay Attention To
Today, people are living longer than ever. Getting to age 65 is considered the norm now, but that doesn’t change the fact that getting older brings new challenges as your body changes. Certain health conditions may seem minor at first – but they can become serious quickly if ignored.
Most importantly, many of these conditions aren’t easy to detect early on. Unfortunately for some seniors, getting a diagnosis may occur too late to do anything. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your health and stay informed about these key health conditions.
You may be perfectly healthy now, but your risk of getting type 2 diabetes increases every year. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports 1 in 4 seniors over age 60 has type 2 diabetes. And the epidemic is growing each year.
It’s important that seniors avoid low blood sugar, but if you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, there are ways to manage your symptoms and condition. Discuss different medication options with your doctor; some are especially designed for seniors. Start your search for senior treatment options now.
Are you finding it difficult to catch your breath? Are the simplest tasks, like walking or getting dressed, becoming too challenging? You might be experiencing the symptoms and early signs of COPD. This condition affects so many seniors – and it kills one American every four minutes, according to AgingCare.com.
COPD often begins with subtle signs like a lingering, constant cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. But, if left untreated, these symptoms can quickly become deadly. To counteract COPD before it worsens, seniors should watch for these symptoms and seek out solutions.
Skin changes happen when you get older, but there’s one change all seniors need to be aware of: tough, scaly patches that grow red and itchy. These patches are psoriasis, and they can have a long-term effect on your skin. While psoriasis is a condition that tends to affect women more than men, it targets seniors.
Seniors are at risk of developing psoriasis due to the different medications many seniors take, Sunrise Senior Living writes. Different medicines can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis, too, causing discomfort and unsightly skin. But fortunately, there are ways to alleviate these problems. From skin creams and prescription medications to light therapy and topical acne treatments, there are plenty of psoriasis options for seniors.
4. A Dead or Missing Tooth
Are you frustrated by a less than perfect smile? Missing even just one tooth can lead to lower self-esteem and a host of health problems, like moving teeth, bone loss in the jaw, and emotional turmoil. Fortunately, dental implants are a fantastic solution for seniors who are missing one tooth – or even a number of teeth.
Permanent and almost identical to your real teeth, dental implants are a seamless replacement for any missing teeth. And they’re offered by countless dentists and cosmetic dental surgeons. Seniors who want to revive their smile and replace any missing teeth can find affordable dental implants. All it takes is finding the right dentist who offers the best price – or biggest deal – on dental implants in your city.
5. Having No Teeth At All
Dental problems afflict many seniors, and it’s common for you to lose multiple teeth as you age. An alternative for seniors who are missing more teeth and those who aren’t suited for dental implants, dentures give you a flawless smile in seconds. They mimic the appearance of natural teeth, are available in a number of shades and shapes, and can be fit to your needs.
Dentures are an easy and affordable solution for those missing multiple teeth, particularly if those teeth are in the same area. Dentures are available from any dentist, and depending on the materials and type you choose, you can get your smile back fast – and at a low price. To find the right dentures at the right price, you can search for different options online.
Cancer is a serious concern for seniors, as over 1.6 million new cancer diagnoses occur each year according to Senior Homes. And anyone over age 50 faces an increased risk. Some cancer, like myeloma, are incredibly dangerous because they’re hard to diagnose.
Though it isn’t well-known, myeloma directly affects many seniors. In order to catch this difficult-to-detect cancer, you need to know the signs, symptoms, and treatment options well ahead of time. Make sure you know the info on this deadly disease before it’s too late.
7. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis is one of the most common health ailments that comes with aging. But for some seniors, arthritis isn’t just aches and pains; it can become more serious as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with more concerning symptoms, as you age.
If you’re starting to feel aching bones and frequent joint pain, you’ll want to seek rheumatoid arthritis management options before your symptoms become unbearable. Leaving RA untreated leads to joint damage. Instead, take action – research and learn about innovative options, like biologic medications, NSAIDs, and corticosteroids that show promise for RA.
One of the most frightening diseases that affects seniors is Alzheimer’s. As the sixth leading cause of death in America, it’s no surprise that the Alzheimer’s Association reports 1 in 10 seniors are diagnosed with this disease. It’s a condition that previously gave seniors little hope, shortening life spans and adding incredible hardships.
Fortunately, science has advanced dramatically when it comes to Alzheimer’s research and treatment. Now, if you’re worried about Alzheimer’s, you can learn about the latest steps forward that could add years to your life – if you’re informed and speak to your doctor. New options to look for include more effective medications that target multiple Alzheimer’s causes, better and faster diagnosis tools, and even growing neuronal regeneration therapies to possibly reverse the disease’s effects.
9. Kidney Cancer
One of the most common cancers is also a surprisingly dangerous disease for seniors: kidney cancer. For the past decade, the number of seniors with kidney cancer has increased according to the American Cancer Society, and its effects are damaging. Survival rates are lower for seniors who develop this type of cancer, and the disease can be more aggressive according to a 2009 study published in Urologic Oncology.
There are no warning signs – kidney cancer strikes quietly and quickly, especially in the elderly. But there is hope. Seniors need to look for, learn about, and know the best treatment options available to face kidney cancer. From local treatments like surgery to systemic treatments done through daily medications to options designed to alleviate pain and increase comfort, there are a number of ways to attack kidney cancer quickly.
10. Colon Issues and Diseases
With aging comes a host of digestive problems, and these unique age-related issues are often rooted in your colon. Ailments and diseases like Crohn’s Disease, irritable or inflammatory bowel conditions, and colon cancer can strike as you get above age 65.
Of course, these ailments aren’t always obvious. In fact, many seniors don’t even exhibit any symptoms – the signs of a larger colon problem or disease can often seem like simple bouts of distress. The best way to ensure you and your colon are healthy as you age? Regular screenings. Start your search for options today.
One of the most dangerous “conditions” that comes with aging is one that is seemingly harmless: falling down. Whether it’s a trip and fall, slip and fall, or a more dangerous fall in a bathroom or down stairs, falls are incredibly common and deadly for seniors. As NCOA.org reports, 1 in 4 seniors age 65 or older falls each year, causing more than 2.8 million injuries. And 27,000 of those falls result in death.
How can you prevent a fall or stay safe? First, you could wear a medical alert. Small and discreet, a medical alert lets you push a button and get immediate medical help if you fall alone and are injured. Medical alerts connect you with emergency medical services in your area in seconds.
Secondly, as many falls occur when seniors try to get in and out of the tub, consider a walk-in tub. A walk-in tub allows you to eliminate the danger of the bathtub; you’ll no longer need to climb over a 12-inch (or higher) tub wall. Instead, you can open a door and easily step in – and you can even sit down while you bathe to prevent a fall in your tub as well.