With age, certain chronic and long-term diseases become more and more common.
Especially if your family has a history of health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems, you can be at higher risk than others.
Here are some of the leading diseases in the elderly and their warning signs.
1. Heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in adults over the age of 60. Heart disease can include congestive heart failure, heart attack and heart arrhythmia. Because these heart problems can cause the heart to beat irregularly and inefficiently, blood circulation can be extremely dangerous. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, improper diet and lack of exercise are linked to heart disease.
Especially if your elderly senior is experiencing tightness of chest, is suffering from extremely high blood pressure or has irregular pulse, it is important to monitor heart health daily to ensure that your parents aren’t at risk of serious heart problems.
2. Cancer. The second leading cause of death among seniors, there are multiple forms of cancer. Due to the nature of the disease, cancer is significantly more common among the older population, meaning that it is important to monitor health. Although symptoms can vary among different kind of cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor about any changes in your body that may seem irregular to you. If you have a history of cancer in your family, make sure to mention that to your doctor.
3. Stroke. Strokes can be caused by either a blood clot or a blockage that cuts off blood flow to a part of the brain or by hemorrhage. Strokes are particularly harmful because of the extensive damage that they tend to cause; usually causing damage or death of brain tissue that can lead to paralysis, speech disorders, swallowing problems, and even immobility. Strokes can be a result of high blood pressure and diabetes, therefore putting such patients at greater risk.
4. Pneumonia. Pneumonia is the fifth highest killer in older adults, causing extensive difficulty in breathing. Especially during winter flu season, older adults should be aware of catching pneumonia. Especially if your elderly parents are struggle with other chronic diseases, their risk of pneumonia can be higher. Signs of pneumonia are trouble breathing, excessive phlegm in cough, flu-like symptoms, and a lower than normal body temperature in elderly.
5. Diabetes. The most common form of diabetes found in senior adults is type two diabetes. Unfortunately, this form of diabetes can lead to a weaker immune system and increases risk for stroke, heart disease and overall circulatory problems. Additionally, recovery of wounds and injuries will take longer to recover and respiratory infections like pneumonia are more likely and more severe. Make sure to talk to your doctor about managing blood glucose levels.