As we age, it becomes more likely that we will be affected by a number of different age-related problems and illnesses. Some of the most common age-related issues that seniors may face include hearing and vision loss, immune system decline, cognitive decline, and more.
Learning more about the common issues that older adults may be faced with can help you prepare for them if they arrive and can help you learn how to deal with them if your loved one is already affected.
Common Age-Related Problems
Hearing Loss — Hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, contribute to difficulty hearing. The prevalence of hearing loss increases with age. In fact, about one half of adults over age 85 have hearing impairment. Unfortunately, hearing loss can lead to a number of other different problems including impaired speech processing which, in turn can result in social isolation, depression, reduced cognitive functioning, and reduced quality of life. Luckily, there are devices like hearing aids that can provide relief for those dealing with hearing loss. However, the cost for a hearing aid may have to come out of your own pocket as many health insurance companies do not offer coverage for these devices.
Vision — According to American Family Physician, vision loss affects 37 million Americans older than 50 years old and a quarter of all seniors who are older than 80 years old. As you age you are not only at a higher risk of losing vision but also for developing age-related eye diseases and conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, and more.
Immune Functioning — The immune system helps protect the body against harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and tissues from another person. However, as we get older immune system functioning can begin to slow and not work as well. It can become slower to respond, the body may heal more slowly, and the immune system’s ability to detect and change certain cell defects can become worse. All of these problems can lead to major issues including an increased risk of cancer, increased risk of sickness, and more.
Cardiovascular diseases contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths for seniors. Cardiovascular disease can lead to a number of issues including mortality, disability, functional decline, and healthcare costs. Cardiovascular disease includes hypertension, stroke, heart failure, and coronary heart disease.
Cancer — Cancer is the second leading cause of death for older adults. In fact, about 60 percent of cancers occur in people 65 years of age and older. Some of the most common types of cancer for older adults include breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.
Dementia — Dementia is a blanket term to refer to a group of symptoms related to cognitive functioning. Dementia can interfere with memory, thinking, and social abilities to the point that can affect your day-to-day life. It isn’t a specific disease, but several different diseases can cause dementia. The common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, no cure exists for dementia, however there are treatment methods that can be used to help deal with the symptoms associated.
Osteoarthritis — According to Musculoskeletal Medicine, osteoarthritis is the third most common diagnosis among older adults, it causes significant pain and can even lead to disability in some seniors. It breaks down the cartilage in the joints. When the body loses cartilage causes the bones to rub together. Over time, this rubbing can cause permanent damage to the joint.
Diabetes rates increase as populations age and become more overweight. In fact, one study estimates that the diabetes rate among older American adults may increase by more than 400 percent by 2050. Diabetes is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease at age 85, one of the biggest causes for hospitalization in older adults.
Osteoporosis — Osteoporosis is loss of bone density with aging. Osteoporosis is associated with an increased rate of fractures. It is recommended that seniors go through bone density screening after the age of 65.
Falls — Falls are one of the most common problems for seniors and one of the leading causes of hospitalization. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of older people fall and one in five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. One of the main injuries that come about from falls is hip fractures which causes more than 300,000 hospitalizations each year.
These are just a few of the problems that can affect your older loved one. However, there are a number of other issues including depression, social isolation, cardiovascular disease, movement disabilities and more.
Unfortunately, many of these things can cause you or your loved one to be unable to perform daily tasks and may require the help of a caregiver or a loved one.
Aging is a normal part of life and with age we can be affected by several different age-related health problems. Aging can bring about sensory problems related to hearing and vision, movement issues that can cause problems like lack of balance and falls, as well as chronic problems like cardiovascular disease and cancer. If you or a loved one is dealing with some of these issues it can make it difficult to live safe while remaining independent.
If your loved one is unable to safely live by themselves, it may be best to enlist the help of a caretaker or an assisted living facility. Landmark Senior Living is one assisted living facility in Hobbs New Mexico dedicated to providing your loved one with the best quality of care possible while keeping them healthy and socially engaged. Landmark also offers a number of specialized care programs, including memory care to help those residents who are dealing with issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you are interested in learning more about what Landmark is and what we can offer your loved one in terms of care please reach out to our website where you can schedule a free walkthrough of one of our facilities.