Thanks to new medications and surgical techniques, people are living longer. However, a 35-year-old body will be a very different body than a 75-year-old one. Many issues, both genetic and environmental, affect how we age.
The most widespread condition affecting those 65 and older is coronary heart disease, followed by stroke, cancer, pneumonia and the flu. Accidents, especially falls that result in hip fractures, are also unfortunately common in the elderly.
A lot of our elders are coping with at least one of the following conditions, and many are dealing with two or more of the following:
1. Heart conditions
Hypertension, vascular disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease are all risk factors for many adults as they age.
Heart disease affects 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.
What you can do
“Exercise, eat well, get a good night’s rest. Eating well means eating in a fashion that will allow you to keep a healthy weight with a well-balanced and healthy diet,” says geriatrician Marie Bernard, MD, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Maryland.
2. Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
The Alzheimer’s Association reports that one in nine people age 65 and older, which is about 11 percent, have Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s can have a significant impact on the safety of seniors, including issues of safety and self-care and the cost burden of care.
According to the American Psychological Association, 15 to 20 percent of Americans over 65 have experienced depression, which can lead to lower immunity and make it harder for seniors to fight off infections.
What you can do
Medication and therapy are great ways to combat depression. Increasing your physical activity may also help.
Seniors report spending just eight to 11 percent of their free time with family and friends, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. So spending time with loved ones may help you combat the