As hard as it is for elders when they get old, it is equally challenging for youngsters to see their elders growing older.
It is heartbreaking for you, who have seen your parents and grandparents, full of vigour and energy, struggle to do everyday chores and activities.
Although medical advancements have increased the life expectancy of elders, there still needs to be a robust elderly care system to make sure that our elders receive competent and gentle care.
Most elders start seeing signs of ageing by the time they hit their sixties. Many physical problems crop up, negatively affecting your elders’ quality of life.
A few common elderly issues that make it necessary to have a proper elderly care system are mentioned in this article.
11 Common Elderly Issues
Hearing And Vision
One of the more common issues many elders face is hearing and/or vision loss. The issues are progressive, which means that the senses deteriorate with age. These sensory losses could result from nerve degeneration due to old age, side effects of severe health issues, or even due to genetic predisposition.
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain in joints and inflammation. As people grow older, there is a noticeable wear and tear on the joints and muscles of the body. This type of arthritis is called Osteoarthritis and is more commonly seen in elders. However, another type of arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is an autoimmune condition that directly affects the lining of the joints.
More than the younger population, it is the elderly who are prone to cardiovascular diseases.
As you grow older, the risk factors associated with cardiovascular issues like hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol become more relevant.
Although not foolproof, eating healthy, with moderate exercise, and following a healthy lifestyle could help people reduce cardiac problems at an elderly age.
Tooth decay, tooth cavities, gum disease, and oral cancers are a few dental issues that can happen in old age. Therefore, it is necessary to schedule regular dental appointments to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and not on the verge of decay.
Constipation and Incontinence
Constipation and incontinence are quite common in elders. Usually, they are simply a reaction to growing older. However, improper diet and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to the problem.
These problems could also be a side-effect of consuming medications for other serious medical issues.
Issues With Balance
Falls are one of the more common things that elders have to deal with. As you age, your bones slowly shrink, and muscles lose their tightness and become loose. This could mean a constant lack of balance for elders, resulting in broken bones or bruises. Falls at such an age could also be fatal to elders.
Dehydration happens when your body does not have enough fluids to function optimally. As you grow older, the body’s ability to retain water reduces. There is also a reduced feeling of thirst, and the kidneys’ functioning also slows down.
Dehydration could also be the unintended effect of medications. Therefore, elders must keep a strict watch on their water intake: the more water, the better.
Diabetes is when the body cannot process glucose from various foods effectively. Insuling production in the body also reduces. It is a medical problem that has severe long-lasting side effects.
Diabetes needs to be screened regularly to ensure that it can be identified early and measures can be taken to control it.
The long-term consequences of diabetes, especially in the elderly population, can be visual impairment, kidney failure, and peripheral neuropathy.
Excess Reliability on Medicines
Most elders are under heavy medications to cope with severe chronic illnesses. Since these medications are usually prescribed for long-term use, elders could become reliant on these medicines unintentionally.
Medical overdose or abuse is also usually seen in people suffering from depression and cognitive issues.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia are two of the more well-known diseases that impact cognitive functions in elders. Since the symptoms of these cognitive illnesses are on the brain, and the brain controls the body, the impact can be seen physically as well.
These illnesses affect the way elders think and also cause memory problems. This is quite dangerous as most elders are on medications that need to be taken regularly.
Mental health issues though quite common, are often left undiagnosed. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 15% of the elderly above the age of 60 suffer from one or other mental disorders.
Most elders fear being left alone by their family members, and these thoughts often lead to depression. Depression could also set in due to chronic health issues and consuming heavy medications to manage the same.
Summarising The Commom Health Problems
- Most of the common medical issues that elderly people experience are the consequences of growing older.
- As elders advance in age, the nerves and muscles in the body start deteriorating leading to sensory problems, balancing issues and other physical problems.
- The medications that most of the elders consume due to various serious medical problems may have side effects physically or mentally, thus reducing the quality of life in elders.
- While it is impossible to prevent cognitive issues, regular health checkups can help identify potential problems earlier and start treatments for the same.
Your elders have done so much for you. They have always been the strong pillar you could lean on. However, seeing them become vulnerable and fall prey to several common elderly issues is difficult to digest.
It also becomes challenging for the younger generation to be physically present always and attend to the needs of the elders.
This is where a professional elder care service like Senocare can help. Like many elderly care services, Senocare also provides nursing support, at-home attendants, and medical care. However, Senocare also helps elders cope with non-health-related help like dealing with technology, home maintenance, planning travels, etc.
No two elders would have the same requirements. Therefore, the care managers at Senocare do not use any standardised methods to take care of your elders. Instead, our care managers work with you and your elders to create a customised care plan tailored to each elder.
Call us at +91 8800 700 100 or email us at email@example.com. Our care managers will walk you through our services and find the perfect one for your elders’ care.
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