As we age, our bodies tend to become increasingly susceptible to certain health problems that we might have been able to overlook in our younger years. The older we get, the more we should be watching out for the onset of health conditions associated with old age that can often be more easily treated the earlier they are detected. According the ComForcare National, there are actually a high percentage of Americans who require 24 hour home care assistance because of the multitude of issues that come with old age.
The following are five of the most common health problems that develop as we age:
- Arthritis- It is estimated that about one in six people will suffer from arthritis as they age age. Arthritis is most often felt in parts of the body such as fingers, knees, hips, wrists, and the spine. While arthritis can be a debilitating condition, there are many treatments out there that can ameliorate and in some cases eradicate the pain.
- Glaucoma- Glaucoma develops when patients experience fluid pressure within the eye that leads to damage of the optic nerve connecting the retina and the brain. Unfortunately, glaucoma is a condition that it is often difficult to detect due to its extremely slow, gradual onset. Once the damage is done, patients suffering from glaucoma cannot regain the loss of peripheral vision that results. Regular appointments with an eye doctor are the best method of detecting glaucoma.
- Alzheimer’s and dementia– These conditions can be some of the most difficult to deal with, as they affect the patient mentally and compromise his/her independence. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, and it affects roughly 80 percent of those who have been showing symptoms of dementia.
- Diabetes- The vast majority of those who develop diabetes as they age develop type 2 diabetes. While the condition is largely connected with obesity, it is important to note that patients do not have to be overweight to develop diabetes. Diabetes results from the body’s inability to properly use insulin. Although diabetes can be a highly dangerous condition- especially if left undiagnosed- it can be treated with different drugs that control the patient’s blood sugar levels.
- Cancer- One’s chances for developing cancer generally increase with age. This is particularly true of certain types of cancer that are more common among the elderly, such as cancers of the stomach, prostate, colon, breast, and lung.
While regular checkups with a doctor are always advisable, they are especially important for the elderly to test for the development of the above-mentioned conditions. The challenge that makes these problems even more difficult to deal with is that often the responsibilities fall on the children and grandchildren. A busy schedule of medical treatments, doctor’s appointments, exercise, and other errands make life pretty difficult to manage.
One of the best ways to combat this busy schedule while still keeping the grand parents happy is to share the workload among the family. This makes the pure work easier, and also gives the older individual a healthy dose of human interaction from loved ones. This type of interaction is shown to be essential to the health of the elderly.