Top Chronic Health Concerns for Older Adults

Research reveals that an estimated 49 million Americans are 65 years and older. However, many live with chronic diseases that affect their quality of life. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), 80 percent of the older population have at least one condition, although 70 percent may have two or more. Here are the common health issues you may experience as an older adult,

  1. Osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis occurs when new bone creation doesn’t match old bone loss, causing bones to become brittle and weak. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed 16 percent of women and 4.4 percentof men older than 50 experience this condition, which increases their risks of hip or spine fractures and other bone damage after a fall. 

While risk factors can increase your chance of developing it, osteoporosis can be managed. Fortunately, exercises like walking, dancing, and weightlifting have been proven to strengthen bones and reduce bone loss. Protein-rich foods with vitamin D and calcium have also been proven to prevent osteoporosis. It’s also advisable to abstain from excess tobacco, alcohol intake and a sedentary lifestyle for healthier bones. 

  1. Coronary heart disease

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is caused by cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries, limiting blood and oxygen flow to the heart. Various studies indicate that 10.7 percent of adults aged 65 and older have CHD and experience symptoms like angina, neck pain, and dizziness. It can also cause sudden cardiac arrest or heart failure, which can be life-threatening. 

While CHD can’t be avoided entirely, you can reduce your risks of contracting it. For instance, you may substitute processed foods for fish, meat, vegetables, and fruits. You may also develop a workout routine, although you need your doctor’s advice on a suitable plan for you. Additionally, it’s best to avoid nicotine use and take in recommended vitamin supplements. You may also opt for surgical operations if you experience CHD complications. 

  1. Diabetes 

A study by the American Diabetes Association indicated a high prevalence of diabetes among older adults in 2018, with 26.8 percent living with the condition. It’s a chronic disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, which results in excess sugar in the bloodstream. Genetics or poor lifestyle choices such as irregular sleep patterns, excess fat, or a sedentary lifestyle can trigger this. It can also lead to kidney failure or vision loss if left unchecked. 

While there’s no known cure for all diabetes types, you can manage them for a healthier life. You may embrace aerobic exercises as they control your glucose levels. Eating a balanced diet and reducing your sugar and saturated fat intake will also prove helpful. It’s always prudent to check your blood glucose levels and blood pressure regularly as well.

  1. Oral health conditions

According to the American Dental Association, many people aged 65 and older experience oral conditions such as periodontal diseases, oral candidiasis, and cancer. They may also experience tooth loss, root decay, and reduced taste sensations, typically caused by poor diet, anemia, decreased saliva production, and plaque. 

Fortunately, you can visit a dental clinic such as Mountain View Dental to test for any underlying oral issues for immediate treatment. You may also practice oral hygiene practices like flossing and brushing at least twice daily. Additionally, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash daily can reduce bacterial infection and other oral diseases. 

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