Common Senior Health Issues

Two old man having good conversationThere are many concerns for children of aging parents. Many seniors may experience some type of memory loss, mood swings or diseases that limit their mobility. When you approach your fifties, the body begins the process of breaking down. For active, healthy seniors it can mean more aches and pains. However, for seniors with a sedentary lifestyle daily tasks, a sudden jolt to the body or a minor slip and fall can lead to serious consequences.
Listed below are a few of the common health concerns that many seniors will face as they grow older:

Slip and Fall

A sudden slip and fall can cause serious damage to a senior at a weakened state. A fragile body, such as that of a senior, is more susceptible to sustaining injuries of the back, wrist, leg, and hips if they fall. In many cases, it could end up as just a minor sprain requiring a taping of the affected area. But, in many more, a serious fall can cause a fracture or even a break requiring back or hip surgery. Luckily, there are ways to avoid the scenario playing out on you or a loved one. Supplying the body with the proper nutrients like calcium-enriched foods, vitamin D supplements and a sufficient amount of exercise 2 to 3 days per week can keep the bones dense and less likely to break.

Weight Gain

Excessive weight on the body is bad for all age groups. Unfortunately, due to the natural aging process and reduced metabolism, many seniors experience an increase in their weight after the age of 50. If you don’t change your eating habits and activity levels early on you may end up carting around more than 50 lbs. Not only is this hard on seniors who already have difficulty getting around due to conditions such as arthritis, but the additional pounds can also cause serious illnesses that can affect the heart and blood pressure. This can increase your chances of acquiring diabetes, heart disease or even a stroke. In addition, the extra weight can also make it difficult to move about easily. This puts you at an increased risk for a slip or fall or stress on the joints, which can lead to a sprain or the need for major surgery with a long and risky recovery.

Degenerative Disc Disease

While degenerative disc disease is common in adults in the 40 to 55 age group, many seniors can experience serious pain and reduced mobility due to the later stages of the disease. Early on you may experience stiffness, but as it progresses you can lose flexibility and elasticity, as well as the absorption of the shock to the body with movements making it hard to complete normal daily tasks such as walking or standing for any length of time. Since the spine supports the body, this can also cause seniors to become prone to slips and falls.

Fortunately, many people respond positively to non-surgical treatments that often ease the stress on the body and reduce the level of pain. However, if medications and treatments don’t work, there are surgeries available.
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are felt regardless of age. Eating whole grains, calcium-enriched foods, vitamin D supplements and reducing your intake of red meat and things like processed foods, can keep your body strong into old age. In addition, getting in even a low-level form of exercise 2 to 3 times each week will prevent a minor slip or fall from turning into a major deal that can lead to a prolonged healing process.