How to manage illnesses of the elderly is about encouraging a healthier lifestyle and medical support for people living with age-related illnesses. Although advance in healthcare is improving longevity, health problems are now more pronounced in old age than before.
Therefore, it is important to understand how to manage illnesses of the elderly to help you identify the symptoms and get medical assistance whenever you need it.
Here’s our guide on how to manage illnesses of the elderly, particularly the most common conditions affecting people of old age.
Hypertension puts significant strain on the blood vessels, heart, and other vital organs such as the kidneys. As a result, people with high blood pressure are at higher risk of heart disease, heart attacks, dementia, kidney disease, strokes, and heart failure.
Here are some ways to prevent and manage high blood pressure:
- Eat healthily by avoiding foods high in saturated fat and sugar. Replace them with fruits and vegetables.
- Include exercise in your daily activities. You can start by walking regularly and then move onto jogging if you are able.
- Stop smoking since nicotine raises your blood pressure and heart rate. And if you smoke, quit for better health.
- Ensure you get your blood pressure checked now and again if you are over the age of 40s.
- Get medical help immediately if you have chest pain or feel unwell.
Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in a joint thereby restricting movement and increasing the risk of fall.
While there is currently no cure for arthritis, there are effective treatments that can help. For example, painkillers and corticosteroids will relieve the symptoms and slow down the condition’s progress.
Also, keep in mind that the risk of a fall increases if you have arthritis. Accordingly, try to make your living space safe. For instance, get rid of clutters around the house. Similarly, rearrange furniture to widen your space. And tie or tape loose wires and cables to the wall or floor.
Additional safety precautions include placing non-slip mats in wet areas, installing grab bars in toilets, and using shower chairs.
Mutations in your DNA cause cells in your prostate to start growing uncontrollably and abnormally until a tumor develops. If you have an aggressive type of prostate cancer, the cells may metastasize, or leave the original tumor site and spread to other parts of your body.
One of the biggest risk factors for prostate cancer is age as majority of the cases are diagnosed in men over 65.
The precise cause of prostate cancer is hard to determine. This is because multiple factors may be involved such as genetics and exposure to environmental toxins.
While some cases of prostate cancer are aggressive, most are not. But diagnosing and treating prostate cancer early can improve your chance of finding cure. Even men who are diagnosed in later stages can benefit greatly from treatment. These benefits are reduction or elimination of symptoms, suppression of cancer growth, and the extension of life.
Blindness Or Poor Vision
Blindness is caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), when deposits build up on the macular or by abnormal blood vessels developing under the macular.
Other common causes of blindness in the elderly are glaucoma and diabetes. As a result, treatment for your sight may include cataract surgery, eye drops, and laser surgery.
The reality is that an early diagnosis of potential blindness is vital, so seek medical attention if you notice any change to your vision. Then, of course, a regular eye test will ensure your eyesight is healthy, at least every two years.
As regards poor vision, it is essential that larger fonts are used to help you read better. For example, an option may be to enlarge expiry dates on food items and medication. As well as using phones or light switches with enlarged numbers or buttons. The use of magnifiers can help you with reading newspapers and other labels.
Good lights in the homes are essential, hence night lights along the stairways, bedrooms and toilets are useful. You can also increase your awareness of hazards by illuminating the edges of pathways and steps with fluorescent tape or paint.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia a progressive disorder that affects memory and overall brain function.
Are you worried that you or a loved one may be suffering from early signs of Alzheimer’s disease? If yes, then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. Alternatively, encourage your friend and family member to make their own appointment.
This is for the reason that your memory loss can be caused by several physical and mental conditions. Thus your doctor is in a better position to carry out tests to find the exact problems.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin for the body, or when the insulin produced doesn’t work correctly. Insulin is needed to move glucose out of the blood and into the cells, so it can be used for energy.
You should make lifestyle changes in order to look after your health if you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The three major areas that you need to make changes are healthy eating, weight control, and regular exercise.
Regrettably, these lifestyle changes may not be enough as Type 2 diabetes worsens with time. This means you may have to take medication to control your blood glucose levels.
The first medicine commonly used to help treat Type 2 diabetes is Metformin. This medication reduces the amount of glucose released into your bloodstream and makes your body’s cells more responsive to insulin. Health experts also advise you take anti-hypertensive medicine to control high blood pressure.
As a final point, you should have your eyes screened once a year to check for diabetic retinopathy. This happens if your blood glucose level is too high for a long period of time. If this condition is left untreated you may suffer sight loss.
Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens your bones, making them more fragile and more likely to break. It develops over time. Often, people have osteoporosis for months or even years before they get a diagnosis, or even notice any symptoms.
Although the ageing process is inevitable, there are ways to reduce the chance of osteoporosis and keep your bones healthy.
Here are some things that will help:
- Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are effective for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis. For example, walking, press-ups, and weightlifting are recommended.
- Calcium and vitamin D are important in the fight against osteoporosis. Examples of calcium-rich foods include dried fruit, yoghurt, tofu, and leafy green vegetables. Good sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, liver, red meat, oily fish, fortified foods such as fat spreads, dietary supplements, and natural sunlight.
- Stop smoking if you are a smoker. Smoking interferes with bone-building cells.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Cures for erectile dysfunction can include medication, surgery, lifestyle changes, or managing underlying health conditions.
Doctors recommend a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery when treating ED.
For healthful lifestyle changes, you should eat a nutritious diet and engage in regular physical exercise. Also important is to lose weight, stop smoking, and get adequate sleep. Similarly you need to manage underlying health conditions and limit or avoid alcohol.
On medications, doctors can prescribe medications for ED such as alprostadil to boost erection. Or administer testosterone replacement therapy. Most medications are safe for older adults, though it is advised to check compatibility with other medicines you are taking.
With surgery, penile implant has the highest patient and partner satisfaction of all ED treatments. This includes oral PDE-5 inhibitors and penile injections.
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