What are the 5 age-related health problems and how can you prevent them?
1. Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: prevented with regular exercise and a diet that avoids fructose, alcohol, and unhealthy fats.
2. Arthritis: prevented with movement limitation, weight management, and steady exercise.
3. Osteoporosis: prevented by controlling weight, and managing the intake of alcohol, soda, acidic food, and nicotine.
4. Cancer: prevention of this means one must stop smoking and have regular gynecological exams (for women) and rectal exams (for men).
5. Cardiovascular Disease: prevention is done by the elimination of nicotine intake, the limitation of alcohol intake, regular exercise, weight management, and maintenance of a regular low fat and high fiber diet.
Old age brings many diseases to the elderly. This is the reason why several caregivers in Chicago have dementia aid services to ensure that the patients will receive proper care and comfort. Of course, their health services also include other illnesses. After all, such diseases are frequent once you hit your golden years.
As mentioned above, dementia is only one of the illnesses the elderly may experience. They could also encounter other types. Here are a few examples:
Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
For adults above 60 years of age, around 75% of them are obese or overweight and 40% have metabolic syndrome. Both diseases have been known to be related to diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer.
You can tell an elderly is obese, if they have these certain characteristics:
- 40 inch waistlines in men; 35 inches in women
- Triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher
- Cholesterol level less than 40mg/dL in men; 50 mg/dL in women
- Blood pressure levels of 130/85 or higher
- Fasting glucose level of 110 mg/dL or higher
Prevention of these sicknesses entails the following:
- More exercise
- Eating healthy fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids
- Completely avoiding trans fats
- Reducing alcohol and calorie intake
- Avoiding food with high-fructose corn syrup including:
- Breakfast cereal
- Low-fat yogurt
This affects more than 50% of all elderly and is the primary cause of their age-related disabilities. It is described by Sharon Brangman, a spokeswoman for the American Geriatrics Society, as old injuries or bad habits catching up with elders in the long run.
Prevention of this requires seniors to:
- Avoid overusing any limbs
- Do steady but regular exercise instead of high intensity workouts with long intervals
- Stop exercising if pain is felt
- Manage weight
Osteoporosis is seen in around 44 million adults over 50 years old with a higher presence in women. This condition makes the person’s bones thin, which make them prone to painful fractures. Because of this, falling can be catastrophic for the elderly; leading to disability or death.
Women, who bore children, are more prone to this condition because of the amount of calcium taken from their body in order to develop their babies.
To prevent bones from thinning out and losing mass, the following must be practiced:
- Elimination of smoking
- Limited alcohol intake
- High calcium and vitamin D intake
- Elimination of acidic food and soda intake
- Weight management
The risk for developing cancer increases along with age. The endometrial cancer rate is increased for women, while the prostate cancer rate is increased for men.
The only way to prevent them is to stop smoking and to have regular gynecological exams for women and rectal exams for men.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States and has been seen in 33% of men and women between the ages of 45 to 54. This rate increases along with the age group. Examples of CVD include:
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart failure
- Orthostatic hypotension
- Congenital heart disease
The Nurses’ Health Study was a research conducted in 1976 that studied 120,000 women aged 30 to 55 over the course of 14 years. It showed that women, who maintained a healthy lifestyle, were 80% less likely to develop CVD. They exhibited the following behaviors:
- Not smoking
- Only consuming 1 alcoholic drink per day on average
- Exercising for 30 minutes or more per day
- Maintaining their weight at normal levels
- Maintaining a low-fat and high fiber diet
These practices could be adopted today to combat CVD.
Another recommendation for prevention is getting the blood pressure under control. This can be done by taking the right medication and lowering salt intake.
These are only a few of the many age-related health problems your elderly loved ones could face. It is important that you encourage them to adapt healthy lifestyles as early as possible to avoid them.