5 common health problems for older people

Numerous health problems plague older people. Although this is common knowledge, it is largely expected as their increasing age cannot be ignored. In parts of the world, for example, America, data suggests that once you make it to 65, you can live for an added 19.3 years, on average. These latter years find older persons managing chronic health conditions to stay healthy.

1. Arthritis

This is probably the number one condition that people 65 or older face. It affects an estimated 49.7 per cent of all adults over 65 and can lead to pain and lower quality of life. Although arthritis can deter you from being active, work with your doctor to develop an activity plan that, along with other treatments, can help maintain your health.

2. Heart Disease

According to the CDC, heart disease remains the leading killer of adults over 65, accounting for 489,722 deaths in 2014. As a chronic condition, heart disease affects 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. Exercising, eating well, and getting a good night’s rest are habits that will help older adults live healthier lives. Eating well, in this case, means eating in a manner that will allow you to keep a healthy weight with a well-balanced and healthy diet.

3. Cancer

Cancer is the second foremost cause of death among people over 65, with 413,885 deaths in 2014. The CDC also notes that 28 percent of men and 21 percent of women over age 65 are living with cancer. If caught early through screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin checks, many types of cancer are treatable. And though older adults may be unable to prevent cancer, they can enhance your quality of life as a person living with cancer, including during treatment, by working with their medical team and maintaining living advice.

4. Respiratory Diseases

Although having a chronic respiratory disease increases older adults’ health risks, making them more vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections, getting lung function tests and taking the correct medication, or using oxygen as instructed, will go a long way toward preserving their health and quality of life. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are the third most common cause of death among people 65 and older, with 124,693 deaths in 2014, according to the CDC.

5. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease accounted for 92,604 deaths of people over age 65 in 2014, according to the CDC. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that one in nine people age 65 and older but because diagnosis is challenging, it’s difficult to know exactly how many people are living with this chronic condition.

Making healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting smoking and losing weight, can help you avoid such health risks, though you also need to be physically active and eat a healthy diet. Including a geriatrician on your care team can help you learn how to live better with any chronic diseases.



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