11 Jun Common Diseases in the Elderly
People with advanced age experience reduced physical and mental efficiency compared to their younger self. This is a known fact, that with age the overall functionality of the human body gradually decreases. On a superficial level, we can feel our bones and muscles getting weaker as we grow old. Internally, ageing affects our circulatory system, our digestive capability, and so on.
Ageing is a natural process, where the capability of the human body to naturally heal and maintain itself slowly decreases. The trends in geriatric-specific disorders show that several common diseases are mostly symptomatic of old age. While it is impossible to resist ageing, it is possible for us to lessen the negative impact that ageing has on our bodies. To be able to do that, we need to have an overview of the kinds of ailments that ageing can cause, and the ways we can prevent them or lower their effect on our body.
Listed below are some of the ailments that are common among people of advanced age. Most of the conditions that we have discussed can be prevented through regular exercise, proper dietary plans, and a healthy lifestyle.
This is perhaps one of the most common conditions that old age causes. A person suffering from Arthritis may encounter stiffness and pain in the joints. The two types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. In Osteoarthritis the cartilage in the joints suffers damage. In Rheumatoid arthritis, the joints are attacked by the body’s immune system
- Elderly people with this condition commonly experience certain movement difficulties.
- Swelling and pain in joints are some of the most commonplace symptoms.
- Stiffness is also fairly common in patients with Arthritis.
Regular exercise and physiotherapy can alleviate the symptoms of Arthritis. Calcium supplements can lower the rate of damage to the bones and joints. Painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to lessen inflammation and pain.
With age one becomes susceptible to a number of cardiovascular diseases. The aggravation of such conditions may result in heart attacks which can be highly fatal if they are not attended to on time. The weakening of the heart muscles or the narrowing of the arteries that carry the blood may cause these conditions.
- People may experience symptoms like nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness.
- Sudden pain in the chest is not uncommon either.
- Losing consciousness is also widely recorded.
Preventive measures like regular cardio exercises, and cutting down on cholesterol intake in food are effective ways of ensuring good heart health. One should quit smoking and reduce the consumption of alcohol in order to prevent heart conditions. People who have heart conditions such as angina may have to use isosorbide dinitrate during chest pains that are caused due to restricted blood flow to the heart.
This is a condition that naturally occurs with age. Osteopenia is a condition common to every human body, where a gradual loss of bone density can be observed with ageing. The lowering of bone density weakens the bone constitution and integrity making them susceptible to fracture.
- Although Osteoporosis may not have symptoms and can be diagnosed only through bone mineral density tests, back pain is often a symptom that is felt due to a fracture or a collapsed vertebra.
- People who have this condition may experience a loss of height or may develop a stopped posture.
- Bones become fragile and more prone to fracture.
The treatment for Osteoporosis generally includes dietary plans to increase calcium and mineral intake. Regular weight-bearing exercises are effective in maintaining strong bone health. Calcium and Vitamin D supplement are prescribed to alleviate this condition.
Although hypertension can affect people from varied age groups, it is common in older adults. High blood pressure negatively affects the arteries, making them susceptible to narrowing down and plaque buildup which may lead to conditions such as atherosclerosis. If this condition is left unchecked, the body becomes vulnerable to heart attack and stroke.
- Hypertension usually does not have symptoms. People with this condition may experience breathlessness or headaches.
- Sometimes nosebleeds can be signs of hypertension.
Food restrictions and healthy diet plans are important for people with hypertension. One has to cut down on the amount of salt intake and lower the consumption of alcohol. Getting regular exercise is useful for people who have this condition.
As per medical health professionals, can easily affect any age. However, we cannot overlook that this brain condition particularly occurs in older individuals. Being a brain condition, it naturally messes with the balance, as well as the coordination of the body, causing the everyday life of an older individual to deteriorate. If left untreated, this disease is perfectly capable of jeopardizing speech, and movement.
- It is common to experience involuntary movements
- The rigidity of muscles happens to be one of the classic symptoms of this condition.
- People have also reported disturbed sleep as a recurrent problem.
In order to prevent Cognitive impairment from Parkinson’s Disease, the most common resort that patients and their families run for cover is the medicine (mostly Levodopa) that improves the communication between the brain, and the body by turning into chemical dopamine.
As one age it is imperative to pay heed adequately to ophthalmology and resulted in issues. A healthy vision contributes to a healthy life, and one of the central threats to it could be Glaucoma. In this condition, the patient could experience s severe degree of damage to the nerve that stretches from the eye to the brain.
- People commonly experience slow vision, to begin with.
- A substantial amount of patients also experience eye redness.
- Dilated pupils could be a warning sign, too.
Glaucoma is particularly common among older patients. Based on one’s situation, one may go for eye drops or oral medication to prevent or treat this condition. In certain cases, one may go for laser therapy or excision.
Many of us are aware of how Alzheimer’s Disease happens to be a condition that is progressive and successfully leads to memory destruction, as well as other mental health imbalances. The brain cells of the affected patient’s die, and impair the quality of life they were once accustomed to. This condition is most common among older patients.
- Patients experience difficulty in comprehending things.
- Depression is one of the key warnings.
- Forgetfulness is also an inevitable symptom.
While dealing with a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is our duty to first acknowledge that there is no cure for this progressive condition. However, dug/non-drug symptomatic treatment may be possible by therapists to bring about a positive change in the quality of life of the patient.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
A number of older patients suffer from a condition entitled Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). While it can happen to patients belonging to any age group, it has a proclivity for affecting the aged ones more. This intestinal disease essentially causes stomach pain, passing of excessive wind, followed by either diarrhoea or constipation. The most common way to diagnose this condition is to take a close look at the symptoms.
- A patient, in the initial days, may only experience abdominal cramping.
- In more serious cases, there will be a change in the pre-existing bowel habits.
- A number of patients also report a sudden lack of appetite.
There is no specific treatment for IBS, however, both drug, and non-drug options are available. However, taking the prescribed medicine and maintaining a balanced, healthy diet that is rich in fibre can relieve the symptoms.
Here at TriBeCa Care we provide a home support system and assisted living facility for elderly people. We have a dedicated team of physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, nurses trained for critical care. If your professional life requires you to stay away from your home, you can depend on our team of healthcare specialists to take care of your loved ones in your absence.
We also have an emergency support team with minimal response time, and a network of ambulance services for emergency cases. Our elder care system also includes SOS-based communication services which allow elderly people living alone to contact for immediate aid in times of need. For more information call us at + 913366064208 or request a callback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.