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8 Most Common Health Complications for Seniors: Prevention and Treatment

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: May 17, 2023
Last updated: December 29, 2023

Your body's function will inevitably shift as you hit your golden years. You will have physical limitations and become more susceptible to illnesses as your immune system weakens. Knowing the most typical health problems affecting seniors might help you plan for them and proactively address or avoid any potential problems. 

The prospect of developing health problems as you get older might be frightening. It's crucial to remember that several health issues are treatable and preventable. Here are the top eight health issues affecting seniors and advice on avoiding or managing them:

Heart Disease and Stroke 

For seniors, lowering their risk of heart disease and stroke is crucial. A balanced diet reduced in salt, simple carbs, and saturated fats will help you maintain good cholesterol levels. In addition to enhancing circulation and lowering blood pressure, exercise. 

To control excessive cholesterol or hypertension, your doctor could prescribe medication. Giving up smoking can dramatically decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. Surgery or a lifestyle change may be required in more serious situations. 

Over-the-counter prescriptions, such as Toprol XL, and if you want to save money on medications, there are Toprol XL Deals available to help.

Falling 

Falling is a significant concern for seniors, as it can lead to serious injury. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce the risk of falls and any resulting injuries. Ensure your home is free of tripping hazards, such as loose rugs or stairs without handrails.

It's also important to wear sensible shoes and use assistive devices such as canes or walkers when needed. If a fall occurs, seek medical attention immediately if there are signs of injury like swelling or excessive pain. Sometimes, a doctor may prescribe physical therapy or medication to treat pain.

Vision Impairment 

Sunglasses and protective eyewear can help lower the possibility of UV radiation or other injuries impairing eyesight. Regular eye exams and corrective lenses might help control symptoms if you already have impaired vision.

Some forms of visual impairment may occasionally be treated with prescription drugs. To lessen the chance of further decline, doctors may advise lifestyle modifications, including eating a healthy diet and quitting smoking if the cause of visual impairment is age-related. Surgery or laser treatments can be required in more severe situations. 

Hearing Loss 

Regular hearing tests can assist in identifying whether there have been any changes in hearing. The risk of future deterioration can be decreased by using earplugs in noisy areas and avoiding extended exposure to loud noises. 

Solutions are available to enhance your quality of life if you already suffer from hearing loss. These include cochlear implants, hearing aids, and assistive technology like amplified phones. Additionally, a doctor could suggest medication to assist in lessening the impact of hearing loss. 

Chronic Pain and Arthritis 

One of the best methods to both prevent and manage chronic pain is via exercise. Walking, yoga, and other low-impact exercises can increase mobility and lessen stiffness. You may control joint stress by maintaining a healthy weight with regular exercise.  

Medication may also be recommended if physical activity alone is insufficient to relieve chronic pain. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are over-the-counter drugs that can help ease pain and inflammation. More powerful prescription medications can be required if the pain disappears.

Diabetes 

Diabetes in older people can be prevented and managed with a balanced diet and frequent exercise. Complex carbs must replace simple ones, and added sugar consumption must be minimal. Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day might also be advantageous.

To assist in regulating blood sugar levels, medication such as insulin or oral antidiabetic medications may be administered. Routine blood sugar testing and monitoring are also crucial to detect any possible issues early on. To manage diabetes, lifestyle changes could be required in some situations. 

Mental Health Issues 

Seniors may find it challenging to handle mental health difficulties, but several strategies exist to control their mental health. Stress levels can be lowered by participating in activities that make you happy and receiving enough restful sleep. Exercise regularly improves mood and releases endorphins. 

You might find it helpful to talk to a counselor or therapist if you're experiencing anxiety or depression. Symptom management may sometimes involve the prescription of medication. Residential care can be required in the worst-case scenarios. Always keep in mind that asking for assistance is crucial. 

Urinary Incontinence and Bladder Problems 

Maintaining proper hydration and avoiding coffee and alcohol can help prevent bladder issues. Regularly performing pelvic floor exercises might also be beneficial. To lessen bouts, if the disease persists, medication may be recommended. Keep track of any changes in your urination patterns and inform your doctor about them. 

If the issue is more serious, an interventional surgery like transurethral prostate removal may be required. A catheter or stent may lessen urine incontinence in specific situations. The control of bladder issues may also be aided by managing stress and anxiety levels. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several methods for older citizens to avoid and treat conditions, including chronic pain, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, mental health problems, and urine incontinence. Maintaining excellent physical and mental well-being requires eating a nutritious diet and frequent exercise. 

If required, doctors may recommend drugs or other treatments to relieve symptoms. Remember that maintaining good health is necessary for living a happy and rewarding life.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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