What Are the Common Diseases of Old Age?

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Most Common Diseases of Old Age in Portland, ME

As people age, they may be more likely to develop certain diseases. Fortunately, many age-related diseases can be managed so elderly people can enjoy their golden years. Here are some common diseases of old age and treatment options that are effective in minimizing the symptoms.

Osteoarthritis

While rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects people of all ages, osteoarthritis is more common in elderly people. It’s often the result of everyday wear and tear. However, it can develop years after joint injuries, such as those sustained to the knee, hip, or elbow. While most common arthritis treatments do little to reverse existing disease, medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, can reduce inflammation, diminish pain, decrease morning stiffness, and restore range of motion. In addition to taking medication, engaging in mild exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can also alleviate the symptoms of arthritic conditions.

Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to exercise and prepare nutritious meals on their own. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Portland, Maine, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Osteoporosis

This degenerative bone disease often affects older women who are past the age of menopause, and it’s usually the result of reduced estrogen levels. Although osteoporosis, also known as the “bone thinning disease,” is more common in older women, no one is immune from developing this disorder. Osteoporosis can raise the risk of fractures, so it’s essential that treatment be initiated as soon as possible. If your loved one has osteoporosis, his or her physician may recommend a calcium and vitamin D supplement that promotes bone health so the risk of fractures is diminished.

If your loved one needs help with maintaining a healthy diet or remembering to take supplements and medications, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Homecare service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Cataracts

Certain eye diseases such as cataracts are more likely to develop in seniors. Cataract formation makes the lens of the eye turn cloudy or opaque, which causes dim or blurred vision. Although an adjustment in your loved one’s eyeglasses prescription may temporarily enhance his or her vision, surgery to extract the cataract is usually a better option. Cataract removal is a simple procedure that involves the removal of the natural lens, which is then replaced by a plastic intraocular lens implant. This minimally invasive procedure is typically done on an outpatient basis, and the recovery period is short. If you believe your loved one might have cataracts, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for an examination and appropriate treatment.

Atherosclerosis

Sometimes called “hardening of the arteries,” atherosclerosis is a cardiovascular disease that develops because of plaque buildup inside the arteries. The narrowing of the coronary arteries due to atherosclerosis can raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. Conservative treatment options for atherosclerosis include aspirin to help blood flow more freely through the arteries, statin medications to reduce the risk of further cholesterol buildup inside the arteries, and medications to lower blood pressure. If your loved one experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in the left arm, dizziness, or numbness and tingling sensations, seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible. These symptoms may indicate an arterial problem that needs to be treated promptly.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Portland families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (207) 835-4849 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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