Common Health Issues for the Elderly and How to Take Care of Them

Ageing brings its own set of health challenges with it. As we age, our body becomes more vulnerable to different ailments. However, this does not necessarily mean that we stop living altogether. By remaining alert and aware of the chronic conditions commonly seen in seniors and taking the necessary steps to prevent them, we can enjoy a healthy, disease-free life even after 60. The key is to eat a healthy diet, remain physically active and follow the doctor’s suggestions.

As India is becoming more and more developed enabling better lifestyles and well-being among citizens, people in the country can now expect to live longer than ever before. Today, the average life expectancy in India is 68 years. For many, it means that they can live for at least another decade.

While this is good news for you and your dear ones and especially the grand-children, getting old brings with it a number of serious health challenges. With adequate knowledge of these conditions and ways to prevent them, we can stay away from diseases, stay healthy and enjoy active lifestyles even after crossing 60.

This can be done by opting for healthy lifestyle choices, being physically active and eating a healthy diet. Senior citizens are also suggested to be in touch with a doctor who specialises in geriatric care as they can help you learn how to live better with any chronic diseases.

Here is a list of the most common diseases that people over 60 have to normally deal with. Make sure you know and take the necessary actions to avert them so that you too can enjoy good health like youngsters and enjoy life to its fullest!

  1. Arthritis

Arthritis is probably the most common condition that people getting older contend with. It causes pain in the joints and lowers the quality of life for some seniors. Even though arthritis threatens to disrupt an active lifestyle, it is important to consult your doctor to develop a personalised activity plan so that you can maintain good health and continue to be active.

  1. Heart Disease

Heart disease is a serious condition that remains the leading cause of death in people over age 65. As it is a chronic condition, people are always at risk and even more so as they age. In order to prevent complications they have to keep their blood pressure and cholesterol strictly on check at all times. Not doing so increases the chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease. One can keep a tab on the blood pressure level at regular intervals from the comfort of their home with the help of a simple bp machine. Doctors also advise patients to exercise, follow a well-balanced and healthy diet and get a good night’s rest.

  1. Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among people aged over 60 after heart stroke. Many types of cancer can be treated successfully if caught early through screenings. Even though it’s not always possible to prevent cancer, one can improve the quality of life by taking proper treatment and following the doctor’s suggestions.

  1. Respiratory Diseases

Chronic lower respiratory diseases are the third most common cause of death among old people. As a chronic condition, it increases health risks in seniors, making them more vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections. By getting lung infection tests and taking the correct medication, one can preserve good health and quality of life.

  1. Osteoporosis

As the bone density starts degrading with age, people get osteoporosis. It can cause patients to become less mobile and potentially disabled should they fall and have a fracture. In that case, they use diapers for adults as it becomes difficult for them to visit the restroom every time they have to. Be aware that most falls occur right in the home, where tripping hazards include wires, rugs and slippery bathroom floors. One can improve bone health by following a healthy diet, doing relevant exercises, taking dietary supplements, and especially vitamin supplements.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious health risk which is becoming increasingly common in India today across different age groups and seniors are far more vulnerable. Diabetes can be detected and checked early on with simple blood tests for blood sugar levels. The sooner you know that you have or are at risk of diabetes, the sooner you start making the required changes in your food and lifestyle to control the disease and improve your long-term health outlook.

  1. Depression

A large number of people experience depression on ageing. This happens due to feelings of loneliness and lack of work to occupy or engage themselves with. Depression is a threat to senior health as it lowers immunity and compromises a person’s ability to fight infections. In addition to treatment with medication and therapy, one can improve senior living by increasing physical activity, social interactions and going out more often.

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is indirectly responsible for a large number of deaths in people over 65. This disease is difficult to diagnose. It affects a patient’s mental, emotional and behavioural abilities. It leads to other problems prime among which are issues of safety and self-care and also the cost burden of care, either in the home or a residential facility. There is no proper treatment available for this degenerative disease yet. The best way to manage it is through cognition-enhancing medications and physical activity.