As a caregiver, your loved one’s health is your number one priority. By learning how to notice the common health problems of older people, and taking measures to get care before they develop into something serious, you can provide your loved one with the best possible care.
Here are the most common health conditions your loved one may face.
Weight & Obesity
As you age, your risk of becoming overweight increases significantly. Not only does your metabolism slow down, but people also tend to become less active. Being overweight increases the risk of a number of health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and a number of cancers. If you are caring for someone who is elderly, encourage him or her to remain as active as his or her health permits while also focusing on good nutrition to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
Mental Health Concerns
Dementia and depression are two common mental health issues that plague the elderly. It’s important to know that dementia does not have to be part of the aging process. In fact, many elderly people are able to enjoy life free from dementia. This common mental health issue can be caused by a problem with medication, poor nutrition, and underlying health conditions. If you notice dementia signs, talk to a mental health practitioner right away to get the help your loved one needs.
Depression is another common problem. Older adults who are facing the reality of people around them dying, younger family members moving on with life and the loneliness that comes from being a senior citizen can all lead to depression. To help a loved one with depression, first get medical help, then focus on adding social events to their life to ensure that they are getting enough interaction with others.
This disease can cause no symptoms early on, which makes it hard to spot. Yet it causes a myriad of related health problems. It can cause loss of hearing and vision, poor wound healing, a higher risk of infection and a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Routine blood work can help rule out diabetes, but you must know what signs to watch for. Confusion, increased sleepiness, foot pain, changes in weight, poorly healing injuries, or depression can all be signs of diabetes.
Approximately 90 percent of Americans will develop hypertension or high blood pressure. That risk increases with age, and hypertension can cause strain on the heart and arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, hypertension causes no symptoms, and many people are not aware that they have it until a more serious condition occurs. To ensure your elderly loved one is not at risk, monitor blood pressure regularly, either at home or with the help of a doctor, who can provide guidelines.
The greatest risk factor for cancer is age, and older adults are at the highest risk. While some types of cancer are obvious, others grow slowly over time and may not be discovered until they are life-threatening. To avoid this scenario and improve the chances of an early diagnosis, which improves the chances of successful treatment, talk to your loved one’s doctor about screening and testing for various cancers.
Helping you through the process
Sometimes health concerns can make assisted living a necessity. Oasis Senior Advisors can provide you with support and guidance when you feel it’s time for your loved one to move to assisted living. We offer resources for seniors and their families, so you can feel confident in your senior housing selection.