Common Senior Health Problems to Watch For

Common Senior Health Problems to Watch For

Age does not have to define your choices, and certainly shouldn’t be the determining factor in your health. There’s no reason to assume your active lifestyle has to slow down, but getting older can be accompanied by certain senior health challenges.

Seniors are more vulnerable to certain medical issues, but being proactive about your health can make a big difference. Focusing on your overall well-being can be easier than you may think. Try to stick to the following heart-healthy habits:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Stop smoking
  • Take advantage of preventive care services from your medical professional, such as wellness visits, screenings, tests, and vaccinations

Recognize the Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of death in seniors include heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of certain conditions can lead to early detection and effective treatment.

  • Heart Disease: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can be attributing factors to heart disease in men and women over the age of 65. See your doctor regularly for tests and screenings, and be aware of changes in how you feel. Discuss any changes, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, numbness, and/or light-headedness with your physician.
  • Cancer: When detected early, many forms of cancer can be treated. Make sure you are taking advantage of annual wellness visits with your physician and stay on schedule with suggested cancer screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin checks.
  • Respiratory Illness: Chronic lower respiratory diseases can include COPD, bronchitis, and emphysema, and can raise the risk of pneumonia.

Be Aware of Changes to Your Physical & Mental Health

Many people assume that aging comes along with certain aches and pains, but it’s important to acknowledge any discomfort, as it might be an indication of a more serious disorder. Arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes are all health issues for seniors that introduce themselves with symptoms that are easy to brush off as merely a part of getting older. Pain in joints, the need to urinate more often, extreme fatigue, back pain, or even loss of height can be indications of a more serious disease and, left untreated, could cause long-term adverse effects on your health.

Senior mental health issues are often overshadowed by physical ones, but should be considered as important to your overall well-being. Be aware of any changes in your mental health, and discuss any signs of depression, anxiety, or dementia with your doctor.

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