Chronic conditions in the elderly are illnesses and diseases that are not caused by a virus or bacteria and have no cure. They are triggered by age, genetics, and lifestyle choices for food and diet. While there are no cures for common chronic conditions for aging adults, many of them present symptoms that can be managed by medicine, physical therapy, surgery, changes to diet, and increasing activity levels.
Family members should try to learn all they can about the signs and symptoms of the most common chronic illnesses in the elderly. They, along with other family members, elder care assistants and doctors, may be the first to notice the warning signs in their elderly loved ones. When the chronic illnesses are diagnosed early on, treatments are more effective and the aging adult can possibly prevent the progression of the condition.
Here are the 7 most common chronic conditions that affect elderly adults in the United States of America, according to the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure: 58 percent of the elderly population.
- High Cholesterol: 47 percent of the elderly population.
- Arthritis: 31 percent of the elderly population.
- Coronary Heart Disease: 29 percent of the elderly population.
- Diabetes: 27 percent of the elderly population.
- Chronic Kidney Disease: 18 percent of the elderly population.
- Heart Failure: 14 percent of the elderly population.
Other chronic conditions that are also common in seniors include depression, osteoporosis, glaucoma, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Parkinson’s disease. The Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report that 80 percent of seniors over age 65 are living with at least one chronic illness, and 68 percent are living with two or more of these conditions.
Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic illness can cause elderly adults to worry. They may feel that the symptoms will prevent them from living independently, and that their quality of life will change drastically. Some seniors try to hide their symptoms or live in denial because they don’t want to invite such changes into their lives. However, catching chronic diseases early is the best way to effectively manage them. That’s why family caregivers are an important part of recognizing symptoms and facilitating help.
Both family caregivers and elderly adults with chronic illnesses can do their part and access all the available resources. There are many ways to enhance an aging adult’s independence and boost their quality of life, even with a chronic condition. From elder care agencies and community senior services to meal delivery programs and more, there’s a big support system that can help elderly adults and their family caregivers to live well despite a chronic illness.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Villanova, PA, contact the caring professionals at Reliant At Home Care today (610) 674-6860.