Even though grey hair, deepening wrinkles, and pronounced laugh lines are the first signs of the passing years, we must mention other signs that aren’t really visible to the naked eye. There are numerous health challenges people tend to deal with in middle age and beyond, so make sure to keep on reading if you want to learn more about them. Here are five health problems the elderly are highly likely to face, so check them out.
Health challenge #1: Cataracts
A cataract is one of the most common health conditions in adults over the age of 65. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, half of all people older than 65 have some kind of cataract, but do you really know what that is? Basically, it’s progressive cloudiness in the lens of the eye that results from a number of factors, including diabetes, smoking, and exposure to ultraviolet light. It’s highly likely that you won’t even notice a cataract from a very beginning, until your vision becomes blurred and reduced over time. Cataract surgery may be recommended to remove the lens and replace it with a new one.
Health challenge #2: Cognitive health problems
As you probably already know, cognitive health is focused on a person’s ability to think, learn, and remember. Dementia is one of the most common cognitive health problems the elderly are facing, and it’s recognized as the loss of the aforementioned cognitive features. Approximately 47.5 million people from all across the world have dementia these days, but this number is predicted to grow even more over the next few decades. You should know that other diseases, bad habits, and chronic health conditions can increase the risk of developing dementia, and some of these are diabetes, hypertension, depression, smoking, and others.
Health challenge #3: Tendency to fall
Falls are a quite common yet often overlooked cause of injury in the elderly. There are three main reasons why older people are likely to fall, and the first one of them is a chronic health condition such as dementia, heart disease, and low blood pressure, all of which can cause dizziness. Impairments such as muscle weakness and poor vision are the second reason, whereas the third are illnesses that can affect balance. If your loved one suffers from any of these and tends to fall frequently, you should certainly consider getting personal alarms for the elderly. These come with a GPS emergency locator and are easy to use as they come with an SOS button. When the button is pressed, this device will send an SMS to up to 8 contacts before calling them. Just give it a try and we’re sure that you won’t regret it.
Health challenge #4: Diabetes
Diabetes is quite common among the elderly as well – according to the American Diabetes Association, more than one-quarter of the adults over 65 have it (types 1 or 2). Among the aging populations, type 2 diabetes is an increasing problem, and it involves sufficient insulin but acquired resistance to it, so that glucose isn’t processed properly by the body. However, both types of diabetes lead to high blood sugar levels, which can further result in health problems such as heart attack, nerve damage, kidney failure, and many more. Fortunately, embracing healthy habits like regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet can prevent declining health.
Health challenge #5: Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the last health problem a lot of older people are dealing with, and it’s a degenerative joint disease and the most common form of arthritis. It’s more prevalent in women, especially those who are obese or have had a prior joint injury. This condition is characterized by swelling and pain in the joints, and even though it can’t be cured, it can be treated with anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications. Of course, weight loss, physiotherapy, and exercise can help a lot, too.
As you can see, there’s a wide range of health challenges millions of people are likely to face in middle age and beyond. Cataracts, cognitive health problems, tendency to fall, diabetes, and osteoarthritis are definitely the most common of them, so make sure to be properly informed about each one of them in time. Knowledge is power, right?