Being healthy is something that is important to so many of us. Regardless of our age, gender, or occupation, being in tip-top condition at all times is paramount and gives us one less thing to worry about in this often worrisome world.
At the same time, it is worth understanding that there are often health conditions that can strike at a moment’s notice, which often come as a shock. While no one likes being in this position, having a basic understanding of these conditions and how best to manage them will make the overall process a lot easier to navigate.
What’s more, when wanting to know more about common health conditions, it is also worth remembering that they tend to differ based on our age; you are more susceptible and at-risk to certain health conditions based on your age.
Suppose you are in the position where you are caring for an elderly relative, either through your own choice or not; you might want to know more about the types of health conditions and ailments they could experience moving forward and how best you can manage them. If that is the case, you have found yourself in the right place at the right time.
Detailed below are some common conditions that your elderly relative might experience and how you can treat them. No matter where you are based or how elderly your relative is, read on for more!
This health condition affects a vast majority of the population and remains the leading killer of adults over 65 in the United States. A chronic senior health risk, we understand that this is a difficult one to diagnose at home, for the risk factors are increasingly common.
High cholesterol and blood pressure are significant contributors to the risk of developing heart disease but can also be conditions that are easy to turn a blind eye to. While it is easy to bury your head in the sand, you should do your utmost to avoid this and seek treatment wherever possible.
That being said, there are things you can do at home to minimize the risk of your elderly relative developing heart disease, including exercising regularly, eating a healthy and nutritious diet, as well as getting a decent night’s sleep.
Particularly when looking after an elderly relative, it is easy to implement a routine that incorporates these elements. At the same time, it is worth remembering that you should respect the boundaries of your relatives and refrain from pushing them too far out of their comfort zone. The last thing you want is to upset them in any way or be at the receiving end of a sharp tongue!
No matter your age, looking after the overall health of your kidneys is critical. Contributing significantly to the cleansing of your blood, this vital filtration system within your body plays a crucial role in ensuring you are healthy.
However, as we begin to age, the effectiveness of our kidneys and the way they work naturally begins to decrease, leaving us susceptible to more illnesses and infections over time. Elderly people, in particular, are at a higher risk level of developing kidney disease, so this is undoubtedly something you should be aware of moving forward.
Kidney disease can be managed in numerous ways, including drinking enough fluids and urinating whenever you need to; holding in urine for prolonged periods of time can significantly increase the chances of a urinary tract infection developing.
Furthermore, certain medications that are often associated with the elderly can contribute to kidney disease and the development of hyponatremia. This condition occurs when the concentration of sodium in the bloodstream is low. There are various causes of low sodium, and you should make an effort to understand what these are and what you can do to prevent them.
Osteoporosis and Arthritis are incredibly common conditions, but more so within the elderly. According to the National Institute on Aging, Arthritis is the most common condition affecting those over 65, often leading to bouts of discomfort and pain and a lower quality of life.
Concerning Osteoporosis, this is a condition that develops over time and can strike at any age. Leading to weakened bones and lessened bone density, those with Osteoporosis are at a higher risk of getting a broken or fractured bone. As falls are commonly associated with those who are elderly, this is also something worth considering.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis can be managed in various ways, mainly through implementing a medication and treatment plan to treat any pain and discomfort associated with the conditions while also encouraging movement.
Much like when encouraging your elderly relative to remain active and mobile as a means of preventing heart disease, you should remember to go at the pace of your relative and not to push them out of their comfort zone. Particularly if they are recovering from a broken or fractured bone, you will want to take extra care; it might even be worth consulting with your physician to distinguish an exercise plan that works.
There has been a particular focus on our mental health and wellbeing since the first whispers of the pandemic, and this is something we feel confident is set to continue as we move forward. While your elderly relative might possess a stiff upper lip and not want to admit they might be struggling with their mental wellbeing, this is something that affects a vast majority of elderly people.
Particularly when it comes to loneliness, this is something that affects a lot of elderly people. While not a mental health condition in itself, feelings of loneliness can lead to feelings of depression and other such emotions.
Naturally, like other emotions, it can be challenging to know how best to tackle this and how to manage them moving forward. That being said, there are several actions you can take when looking after an elderly relative, to minimize the chances of them feeling this way and to help them should they be experiencing feelings of depression and loneliness.
Firstly, while it might be difficult to do, opening up a discourse and starting conversations around their feelings is a great place to start. From here, you can distinguish how they are feeling and what is on their mind and make an effort to determine whether there is a direct cause of these feelings.
At the same time, you can talk with your elderly relative about whether there is anything, in particular, they need to combat these feelings. Most of the time, it does not have to be anything big, and it can even be you spending a bit more time with your relative doing what they love. After all, it is the small things that make a big difference!
Should you establish these feelings are a bit more significant, nothing stops you from speaking to a registered physician about your relative. They can help you find the right course of action while putting your relative’s best interests first. Whether this is a form of talking treatment or medication will differ based on the severity of the emotions your relative is experiencing. While we recognize this is only a handful of conditions your relative could experience – and there is nothing to say they definitely will – we hope it has shed some light on the types of conditions that could impact them at any point. Knowing the best course of action when faced with these conditions and more will make the overall process run that bit smoother. Go forth with the knowledge that you will be making a difference to your relative’s overall quality of life.