Eighty percent of adults ages 65 years and older have at least one chronic condition, while 68 percent have two or more chronic conditions, according to the National Council on Aging. The top 10 chronic diseases faced by aging adults includes:
- Hypertension. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common chronic condition that may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. The Mayo Clinic reports that most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. Some signs and symptoms of high blood pressure include headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds. “The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age. Until about age 64, high blood pressure is more common in men. Women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after age 65”, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- High cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol can increase your senior parent’s risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, transports cholesterol particles throughout the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Complications of high cholesterol include chest pain, heart attack, and stroke. Age, diabetes, poor diet, obesity, immobility, and smoking are risk factors.
- Arthritis. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of the joints. The risk of many types of arthritis – including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout – increases with age, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severe arthritis can affect your senior parent’s ability to do everyday tasks. The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and decreased range of motion in the joints.
- Coronary heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that coronary artery (heart) disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease and is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women. Risk factors for CAD include physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, smoking tobacco, and obesity.
- Diabetes. The risk of diabetes increases with age because seniors tend to exercise less, gain weight, and lose muscle mass due to immobility and other health complications. Complications of diabetes can lead to cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, skin conditions, hearing impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.
- Chronic kidney disease. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood properly. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD. Healthy food choices, physical activity, healthy weight, adequate sleep, limited alcohol consumption, and no smoking help to reduce the risk of CKD.
- Heart failure. MedlinePlus reports that heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. “Common causes of heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is more common in people who are 65 years old or older, African Americans, people who are overweight, and people who have had a heart attack”, according to MedlinePlus.
- Depression. Depression is not a normal part of aging, and has been identified and a treatable medical condition, according to the CDC. Seniors ages 65 and older are at an increased risk for experiencing depression. A senior with depression tends to experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, overeating, appetite loss, thoughts of suicide, and persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment. Health problems, loneliness and isolation, reduced sense of purpose, fear, and recent bereavement can contribute to an aging parent’s depression.
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. “Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases”, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia include:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure.
- Confusion with time or place.
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
- New problems with words in speaking or writing.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
- Decreased or poor judgment.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities.
- Changes in mood and personality.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease. Having COPD makes it hard to breathe. MedlinePlus reports that smoking is the main cause of COPD.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside
Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is the name you can trust in Corona, Norco, Riverside, Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar for personal home care. Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. Synergy HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. Synergy HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at http://www.synergyhomecare.com/agencies/ca/corona/ca18/. The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 951-280-9808 and [email protected]