Poor lifestyle choices and the natural ageing process make older adults more prone to developing a variety of health conditions. Many are preventable by reducing the risk factors. Families can play a vital role in encouraging their senior loved ones to stay healthy. Here are some of the most common illnesses found in the elderly.
1. Cardiovascular Disease
The National Heart Foundation of Australia reports that cardiovascular disease causes more than 40,000 fatalities each year. More than 550,000 adults over the age of 65 are hospitalised due to heart and vascular conditions. The issues seniors develop include heart failure, heart attacks, irregular heart rates, and hypertension. Older adults can reduce the risk and often alleviate an existing cardiovascular condition by adopting a healthier diet, getting plenty of exercise, and getting a good night’s sleep each night.
In Newcastle, senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the carers at Home Care Assistance, your ageing 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 socialise regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Older adults often develop various types of cancer that affect the breasts, gastrointestinal system, reproductive and respiratory systems, or blood. In 2014, cancer was the leading cause of death in older Australian adults. Health practitioners recommend that seniors reduce the risk by switching to a diet of lean meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants to fight cell damage caused by free radicals. Older adults also need a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise each week and should avoid regular alcohol consumption.
3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
The Australian government reports that COPD is the third most common ailment among seniors. The group of conditions includes asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Seniors with allergies should take over-the-counter or prescription medications to minimise seasonal or indoor triggers. Smokers need to quit the habit before permanent damage occurs. Adults over the age of 65 should also get annual flu and pneumonia vaccinations as recommended.
4. Alzheimer’s Disease
The World Health Organization reports that Alzheimer’s caused more than 10 percent of the deaths in Australia in 2017. Statistics indicate that more than 340,000 seniors have the disease. Several risk factors are thought to encourage the development of Alzheimer’s, including genetics, diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and bad habits. Altering lifestyles may delay Alzheimer’s formation. Researchers also recommend regularly engaging in mentally challenging activities. Australian scientists are currently studying the effects of ultrasound therapy, which has been shown to remove amyloid-beta plaques while stimulating waste-removing microglial cells.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Newcastle seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.
Diabetes Australia reports that nearly two million people in the country have type 2 diabetes. If not properly treated, the disorder could lead to cardiovascular issues, dementia, and limb amputations. A healthy diet, routine exercise, and maintaining an appropriate weight are vital for diabetes prevention.
6. Pneumonia and Influenza
The immune system’s diminished ability to fight microbial infections leaves older adults more susceptible to serious cases of the flu. Colds and the flu may also progress to pneumonia. Annual vaccinations are highly recommended. Seniors can also prevent illness by washing their hands throughout the day and avoiding people who are exhibiting symptoms of a cold or the flu.
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 home care. Newcastle families can rely on expertly trained carers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while ageing in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customise a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (02) 4089 3000 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.