Most Common Health Issues in Seniors

Seniors health issues man on bench

When age catches up

People tend to dedicate a good part of their lives working, toiling hard, struggling, making money so that they can spend their old age comfortably. And then one day through this endless routine of working more and more, someone notices the tinge of gray in their hair, wrinkles have begun to form on the face, the stamina and physical energy to work is not as much as it used to be. Then strikes the realization that age has already caught on and that old age is going to come pretty soon too.

Many a times, people dread the thought of getting old, of retiring from work, of being dependent on someone else due to age and many other things which happen during old age. Aging is a natural and normal phenomenon. It will affect a person as the person chooses to be affected. It can be a good memorable period or the one filled with worry, illness and tensions.

The feeling of losing independence

With advancing age, it becomes more and more difficult for people to fend for themselves independently. This is the time when they rely more on their children, grandchildren and other family members. It is a general observation that this dependency affects aged people greatly. It takes a greater toll on people once they have retired from their jobs. Suddenly they find a lot of free time and not much to do. The idea of being dependent on others could play with their psychology and may lead to problems like depression, stress, anxiety.

Old age will lead to degeneration of all body tissues gradually. Bones and joints are no exception to it. Aged people often develop complaints of knee joints which could affect their mobility. They may be dependent on others to drive them around. They might need to use a walking stick or in severe cases could even be wheel chair bound. This deepens the feeling of dependency.

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Change in food habits

Everyone makes numerous diet plans and resolutions, but generally people end up gorging on their favorite snack in the end. As the 50s and 60s are crossed however, the digestion is not as good as it used to be. That extra cup of coffee, one more helping of ice cream cannot be digested well.

Appetite reduces greatly and only little food can be eaten at a time. Changes in eating schedules are not tolerated well. Problems like acidity, difficult digestion of food, constipation may arise. People often have a tough time facing and accepting all this.

When memory does not cooperate

The sweet old lady who never failed to distribute sweets to all the children playing in the garden, may forget her routine one day. Grandparents may get confused when calling their grandchildren and may end up mixing the kids’ names. This is observed commonly in elderly people. It occurs due to progressive degeneration of brain tissue. Other associated complaints may be, slight tremors of hands or body, occasional feeling of being confused, needing a little more time than usual to comprehend what is being spoken or what is happening around.

Evasive sleep

Sleep cycle changes a lot with advancing age. Elderly people often complain that they are not able to sleep for long hours at night. Their sleep may get disturbed easily and then there is difficulty in falling sleep.

Old men often feel the need to pass urine again and again specially at night. This is due to swelling of the prostate gland. It is a common occurrence. These things often leave the elderly people in an irritated state of mind.

How to enjoy a carefree old age

When there is any change in life, it becomes difficult initially to accept them. The same applies to old age. All the issues described above, begin and develop gradually as age advances. It often happens that old people give in to these issues as routine age related complaints and do little for it. However, with increased awareness, advanced medical science and modern technology, it is possible to overcome these issues and live a happy and healthy life.

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Natural changes which occur in the body with advancing age cannot be stopped or reversed. But the choice whether to suffer because of them or not is dependant on each individual.

The elderly should try and mix with people their own age. This provides them a platform to share their mutual concerns and troubles. It will give a feeling that there are others going through similar changes in life. If they feel too depressed or stressed, they should seek professional help. Counseling sessions with psychologists can help them recover. It is also the duty of family members to be more supportive and patient with the elders during such trying times.

They should inculcate appropriate changes in their lifestyle. Regular physical activity, as much as is easily possible should be performed. Food items that are heavy to digest should be eaten in lesser quantities. Elderly people can start maintaining a diary to write down things, if they feel they are getting more forgetful.

In absence of any existing health condition too, it is advisable for old people to visit their doctor at regular intervals for complete physical examination and health check up. Certain investigations like blood tests, X-Rays, scans help in determining the onset of any disease which can progress to be troublesome. Early detection of these diseases can help in treating them promptly. These tests can be done at a well equipped diagnostic center or hospital.

If any known disease is present, the elderly are advised to continue medicines for the same. If they cannot keep a track of their medicines due to forgetfulness, they can ask some family member to do the same, or write it somewhere.

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