With age, seniors often face several physical, mental and emotional issues.
Whether you have a senior parent at home or you’re a caregiver for the elderly, it’s always a good idea to keep yourself informed about the common health issues that seniors face in their everyday lives.
To help you take care of them better, here is a list of older adults’ common issues.
These are pretty common in seniors due to insufficient muscle strength and poor balance. It’s critical to address the causes of the fall to avoid life-changing injuries like hip fractures, spine fractures, and head injuries.
Frequent falls can instill fear in older adults, which, in turn, makes them significantly limit their physical activities. Most of the factors contributing to seniors falling can be addressed with the right exercises and medication.
Memory problems can be a widespread concern for seniors. Poor memory may or may not be connected to decreased thinking abilities, but the signs of forgetfulness shouldn’t be ignored in old age.
Most older adults are reluctant to evaluate their memory issues because they often believe that it’s a consequence of their age and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.
However, in most cases, getting evaluated can help them uncover treatable causes of their decreased brain function. Addressing this problem on time can also help slow down the decrease in cognitive function in their remaining years.
Older folks usually have difficulty controlling their bladder, and it gets worse with their age. It’s generally embarrassing for them, and they tend to reduce their social and physical activities due to this issue.
But it’s not that simple. Urinary incontinence can have different underlying causes, which, if appropriately addressed, can help their urinary problems. Identifying the type of urinary incontinence will also help them manage the urinary leakage better by using suitable pads.
As most cross their 60s, they start having bothersome aches and pains in their muscles and joints. They often get used to it and don’t bother about getting it checked. They also keep taking painkillers for their pain, which can be risky for them if overused.
Persisting pain has been shown to cause depression and decreased physical movement. Pain should be managed by non-drug approaches whenever possible, such as physical therapy, acupuncture, back exercises for seniors, etc.
Loneliness & Isolation
Isolation is when older people don’t have a lot of social contact with others. Loneliness is the feeling they experience from a lack of social connection.
Various studies show that older adults who reported feeling lonely were likely to lose their physical abilities before time. Feeling lonely has also been linked to the onset of depression and deterioration of immune function.
Arranging more social contact among seniors usually helps feel them included in society. If a senior is unwilling to get out and about, it’s essential to address any health concerns that might be keeping them locked in, including fear of falling or pain.
It is a common problem among older people that their families and caregivers easily miss. If the elderly person is dealing with a chronic illness or is socially isolated, they are likely to fall into the dark pit of depression.
One sign to look for is their lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy in the recent past. Studies show that medication and non-drug psychological therapies are equally effective for older people with mild to moderate depression.
Loss of Vision
As people cross their 60s, they start experiencing reduced vision in dim light. It’s not a serious problem in most cases, but it can signify more serious eye problems, such as cataracts.
Older adults with poor vision should have their eyes checked at regular intervals. They also need to take steps to protect their vision by avoiding direct exposure to sunlight and wearing UV-coated sunglasses.
Dental problems, like tooth loss or gum disease, can make eating difficult for older people. They are also likely to experience dry mouth, making them drink more water than they need. This can translate to other urinary issues. If not treated promptly, they can face a lot of discomfort with their dental issues.
Problems With Digestion
Older adults often have difficulty with swallowing. This leads to partially chewed food going through their gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to anal fissures and similar issues. They can also feel bloated all the time. So, try to ensure your senior chew food properly. Also, see to it that they don’t drink too much water during their meals.
Low Blood Pressure
A general decline in blood pressure can lead to dizziness when seniors stand up from a sitting or lying position. In some cases, low blood pressure can cause dizziness even when changing positions.
Tips to Take Better Care of Your Seniors
So, mentioned above are common health issues your seniors may face. However, knowing these issues is just one part. You also need to take good care of your loved elderly. And though it may seem straightforward, it isn’t.
Here are some useful tips to take good care of your elderly.
- Ensure your senior takes a balanced diet, which contains all the nutrients an older adult requires.
- You can provide them with dietary supplements, which include vitamins and minerals.
- Ensure the seniors take a proper amount of rest to handle their daily activities.
- You can also help your seniors be more active by going for a walk or doing some other type of exercise.
- Ensure they have their eyes tested regularly to prevent permanent damage.
- Dealing with memory problems early will help your senior enjoy life without hassles.
- Arranging more social contact can help your senior feel included in society.
The common health issues that we listed above can sabotage healthy aging for seniors. Most elderly folks keep taking medications they don’t need because they don’t get their chronic health issues appropriately evaluated.
Being aware of their issues and possibilities can help them improve their late-life health.