Top 5 senior health concerns
As we age, we become more aware of our physical aches and pains, and that family medical history that we’ve been able to ignore for most of our lives starts to become something we’re much more inclined to pay attention to. We are living longer, healthier lives1, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have health concerns.
Happily, in many cases a few simple lifestyle changes can lessen risks and help us stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
5 common senior health concerns2
- Arthritis. An umbrella term for more than 100 different conditions that all cause joint pain, arthritis is one of the most common conditions that people over 65 find themselves having to cope with. We have some wonderful advice for those suffering with this condition. Coping tips include eating right and maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, watching for signs of depression, getting a good night’s sleep, using assistive devices when needed, and pacing yourself. Seeing your doctor regularly to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you is also an important part of managing this disease.
- Heart disease. As we age, heart attack risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol become more common and increase the risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Our ticker tips, which include staying physically active, eating a diet that is low in fat, reducing stress and following your doctor’s advice, can help reduce those risks.
- Cancer. Perhaps the most important way to fight cancer is to make sure it is caught early, since many types of cancer are now very treatable. If your doctor recommends screenings like mammograms, colonoscopies, skin checks or other screening measures, it’s wise to follow through. Obviously not all cancer is preventable, but staying as healthy as possible during treatment is an important way to help your body fight the disease. That means eating a healthy diet and staying as active as possible. For more information about physical activity and diet during cancer treatments, visit The American Cancer Society.
- Diabetes. A condition in which the body doesn’t properly process food, resulting in sugars building up in the blood, diabetes can cause very serious health complications. Our article on this disease that affects 24% of men and 18% of women over age 653 will help you determine your risk for developing it, and offers advice for preventing its onset. Making healthy food choices, losing extra weight, staying active, and eating plenty of fiber and choosing whole grains are some of the healthy changes you can make.
- Depression. In addition to the way depression can make you feel emotionally, it can also affect you physically by lowering your immunity. It’s important to know that depression is more than just feeling a little sad every once in a while. It’s a deep despair and hopelessness that the sufferer cannot control.4 The good news is that help is available if you or a loved one is struggling with depression. Visit HelpGuide to read about the signs and symptoms of depression, and visit your doctor for a treatment plan. Staying in touch with friends and family and reaching out to make new social connections can help seniors cope with life changes and loneliness that can sometimes trigger depression.
The golden years can be joyful ones, but it is important to keep a close eye on your health and be proactive about taking good care of yourself to make sure those years are as happy as possible.
For more tips on living a healthy life as you age, read our article that gives some great advice on how to live long and prosper.
414005E CAN/US (08/16)