As medicine has improved over the past few decades, we’ve been able to live longer and longer, with many of us living into our 80’s and 90’s. Taking good care of oneself is key to extending one’s life expectancy and ensuring good health.
Unfortunately, there are many ailments that are common to seniors. With age inevitably comes a breakdown of the body and a weakening of the immune system, not to mention the psychological issues of depression and loneliness. These pave the way for the following top 10 of the most common health issues for seniors.
- Osteoporosis: Decreased bone mass makes bone fracture more likely.
- Obesity: While many older adults lose weight as they age, some gain instead, leading to a surprisingly high number of seniors who struggle with obesity.
- Heart disease: Along with obesity, other risk factors for heart disease increase with age, including high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Diabetes: Obesity also leads to diabetes, which afflicts about a quarter of seniors in the United States.
- Arthritis: Likely the most common ailment seniors face, arthritis can limit mobility and diminish quality of life.
- Alzheimer’s and dementia: An estimated 11% of older adults have Alzheimer’s, and this disease accounts for a variety of health and safety issues throughout the US.
- Influenza and pneumonia: With diminished immune function, seniors are more susceptible to disease, including flu and pneumonia, which are a leading cause of death among the elderly.
- Oral health issues: Age brings dryer mouth, which leads to a higher incidence of cavities and other oral health problems.
- Incontinence: Age-related changes can lead to poor bladder control, especially where factors like poor diet are present.
- Depression: Loss of loved ones, separation from friends and family, and the changes brought by old age often lead to loneliness and depression, which can pose a threat to overall wellbeing.
Quality elderly care facilities such as Senior Care Centers make a special effort to ensure their residents are properly cared for, thus preventing many of these issues.