04 Oct Most Common Health Concerns in the Elderly
If you have aging parents, the one thing you will want to be aware of is the most common health concerns that plague the elderly. While there is no way to definitively say who will suffer from any one of these diseases or conditions, they are most common among the elderly. For this reason, and because the elderly may be prone to memory lapses, it is important that you find a way to communicate with their primary health provider to ensure that everything is as it should be.
With HIPAA in effect, you may need to get their approval to speak with their doctor or if they’ve been declared incompetent, the proper authorization from the courts would be necessary. At any rate, these are the health concerns you should be on the lookout for, as they truly are most prevalent in the elderly.
Vigilance Is Imperative
Unless your elderly parents are living in the home with you, it may be almost impossible to look for the little signs that could be indicative of an impending heart attack, for example. Since it is important to know what to look for and what to do if you spot the warning signs, you have a couple of options. If moving your parents in with you is not an option, you may want to seek on-site skilled nursing services like Bella Terra senior living has available 24/7. It can’t be reiterated enough just how important it is to know the most common health concerns and how to spot them.
The 10 Most Common Health Concerns to Be Aware Of
Once again, just because these are the most common conditions and diseases that strike the elderly, it doesn’t mean that your parents will suffer any one of them. However, it pays to know that these are the most common to be aware of. They include:
- Heart disease.
- Alzheimer’s and/or dementia.
- Respiratory diseases.
- Pneumonia and/or influenza.
As you can clearly see by that list, some are life-threatening such as heart disease, and others can lead to life-threatening events. For instance, a person suffering from diabetes can live many years if it is managed well. However, what about if your aging parents have some degree of dementia and forget to manage their insulin? This could put them into diabetic shock and that, alone, can have life-threatening consequences.
It May Be Up to You
As difficult as it is to face the fact that your parents are getting up there in age, it may be up to you to ensure they have a quality of life, either free from disease or managing their conditions well to mitigate their suffering. Some elderly people don’t like to face the fact that they are getting older, so they will avoid or deny the telltale signs of disease. It may be up to you to help them get the help they need, and if a residential placement is your best option, that’s the direction you should take. Just as you depended on them all those years ago, they may now depend on you.
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Last Updated on October 4, 2022 by Marie Benz MD FAAD