It’s a sad truth of life that, as we age, our bodies naturally begin to deteriorate and lose various functions. Unfortunately, chronic conditions are relatively common in the elderly, in many cases requiring specialist care to alleviate unnecessary pain and suffering.
Many of these conditions are brought about through the normal wear and tear of life, however, there are some precautions we can all take that can considerably minimize the risk and severity of disease or pain in later life.
Sensible precautions and changes to lifestyle that can reduce risk
Medical experts are in almost unanimous agreement that many of the more common conditions experienced as we age could have been prevented (or, at very least, lessened) with some relatively simple and easy changes to lifestyle and habits. Physicians typically recommend the following:
- Ensuring you arrange regular scans and check-ups for the most common diseases (e.g. breast, cervical and prostate cancer as well as tests for bone density, high cholesterol and diabetes).
- Leading a healthier life with regular exercise while also eating well and avoiding tobacco exposure (whether first-hand or through second-hand smoke)
It has always been the case that prevention is better than the cure and by making just a few small changes to your lifestyle and exercise habits (plus staying on top of potential problems before they even develop), you can significantly reduce the risk of developing problems later in life.
What are the most common chronic conditions in the elderly?
There is a widespread belief that developing problems in later life is just an inevitable part of the aging process. While it is true that our bodies weaken over time, there are still many things you can do to lessen the risk of developing the issues noted below. As well as the tips above, there are many other things you can do to minimize the dangers. For example, obesity has been proven to be linked to many of the otherwise-avoidable conditions listed below. Nonetheless, in alphabetical order, the most common chronic conditions include:
- Adult-onset diabetes
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney and bladder problems
- Lung disease
- Macular degeneration
- Parkinson’s Disease
There is considerable fear in the elderly that developing any of these conditions might mean, in effect, an end to their independence or current lifestyle. While it is true that all these conditions will require specialist help and care, actually many patients continue to live a rewarding and enjoyable life – despite their illness.
However, if your elderly relative begins experiencing the symptoms of any of the conditions listed above, the best thing you can do is seek out the help of a specialist healthcare provider or Chronic Care Management company.
Unfortunately, it’s relatively common for patients to suffer more than one of these conditions at the same time, so specialist help is definitely recommended – both from a diagnostic and treatment perspective.
It’s also worth remembering, in all cases, the problems listed have national support organizations in place already, ready to offer advice and support to both you and your relative.