Senior Health Care

8 Diseases That Most Affect Seniors

Senior citizens are often afflicted by some of the same diseases. Not all senior citizens will be affected by serious illnesses, but chances are that many of them will experience them at some point. Here are some of the eight most common diseases affecting senior citizens.

  1. Arthritis: Arthritis is a disease that causes pain and inflammation in the joints, whether it is the knees, elbows, or wrists. There are many different forms of the illness, but most seniors tend to be afflicted with osteoarthritis. There is no precise cause for arthritis, but it is believed that it can occur due to numerous factors, including previous injuries to the joint, age, or infection. At this point there is no cure, but there are medications and treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms.
  2. Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become weak and brittle. It predominantly affects elderly women, but it is also found in men as well. The disease can cause people to break their bones if they fall and it will be more difficult for them to heal from the accident. Some medications can help treat the illness, but it is recommended that patients improve their nutrition and take vitamin D and calcium to increase bone density and strength.
  3. Heart Disease: Heart disease affects millions of seniors and it is listed as one of the most common causes of death. It is a condition that affects the circulatory system and causes the heart to struggle to circulate blood. The condition is often caused by clogged arteries because the patient probably had a poor diet that included lots of fat and cholesterol. Medication can combat some of the symptoms, but it does often require the patient to reduce their fat intake and perhaps pursue some type of exercise program.
  4. Pneumonia: Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause inflammation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People of all ages are vulnerable to getting pneumonia as it can be spread like a cold or can be caused by inhaling certain chemicals. Seniors tend to have a more difficult time recovering from the illness and it can even be deadly in some cases. There is a vaccine for pneumonia and there are medications available to treat it as well, but it is essential that people go to the hospital as soon as they think they have it because it is harder to treat in its later stages.
  5. Parkinson’s Disease: Parkinson’s disease is an illness that causes the nervous system to gradually degenerate. It can afflict people of all ages, whether they are young and old, but it is usually found in older people. Symptoms of the illness can include tremors, difficulty speaking, walking, and fatigue. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, but some medications and treatments have shown some promise.
  6. Diabetes: Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood glucose levels as well as insulin resistance and deficiency. It can affect anyone, but it is more common in seniors, especially type 2 diabetes. Some symptoms of the illness can include excessive thirst, hunger, fatigue, and weight loss. The disease can be caused by a combination of weight gain, hereditary, and environmental factors.
  7. Cancer: Cancer is caused by abnormal cell growth in the body that continues to grow. Anyone can get cancer and it affects children, adults, and seniors. There is no exact cause for the illness, but is believed that is caused by both environmental and hereditary factors. There are treatments and surgeries for cancer, but there is not a precise cure at this point.
  8. Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes the brain to forget how to complete essential functions like swallowing, speech, and movement. It is very common in senior citizens, but it has been found in younger people on some occasions. It is a degenerative disease that occurs gradually when the patient begins to forget things or stop recognizing people that they know. Most people with Alzheimer’s disease do not realize that they have the disease and it usually starts in a very subtle way. It is unknown what the cause is, but it is believed that intellectual stimulation can help fight the illness. Medication is available for the illness but there is no cure.