Understanding Common Senior Health Issues
As we get older, we unfortunately become more prone to health issues, many of which can stem from family history, lifestyle, or simply advanced age itself. Additionally, many of these factors can play a key role in raising the risk of certain common senior medical conditions.
Luckily, we do have at least some control over our own health and fate. By simply making smarter, healthier choices, and utilizing a high-quality Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan that works for our specific needs, we can give ourselves a much better chance at a long and happy retirement.
Let’s review some of the most common health issues that seniors often encounter, what we can do to prevent them, and how making smart healthcare choices can help us age more gracefully.
It’s common to associate at least some degree of memory loss with aging, but conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are another matter entirely. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about one in nine people aged 65 or older (approximately 11 percent) are currently living with symptoms of Alzheimer’s, which can often lead to concerns over safety and self-care.
In order to prevent the dangers associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia, it is important to recognize the early warning signs of the disease, which may include significant memory loss that disrupts daily life, increased difficulty with problem solving, familiar tasks becoming a struggle, social isolation, and new or worsening problems with motor skills such as speaking or writing.
Oral and Dental Health Issues
Another common side effect of aging is oral and dental health issues such as tooth loss, gingivitis, bacterial infection, chronic oral dryness, and cavities. According to the CDC, about 25 percent of adults over the age of 65 have no natural teeth remaining as a result of one or more of these common oral health issues.
To combat this issue, proper oral care is essential. Be sure to see your dentist regularly for proper teeth cleanings, routine check-ups, and any necessary dental implants or denture fittings. A high-quality Medicare Advantage plan may even help you pay for some or all of these healthcare costs.
Decreased Bone Mass and Bone Density
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, nearly 54 million adults over the age of 50 have a lower-than-average bone mass, and nearly all adults over the age of 80 regularly struggle with arthritis.
Unfortunately, bone and joint issues are practically unavoidable once we reach a certain age, but it is always better to ensure that your bones and joints last as long as possible. You can do this by eating a healthy, balanced diet, and by exercising to the best of your ability in order to maintain strength and dexterity for as long as possible.
Vision and Hearing Challenges
Similar to oral and dental health issues, vision and hearing challenges may also arise as you age. In fact, age-related eye issues such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma regularly affect millions of older adults, while experts estimate that around 43 percent of individuals who experience hearing loss are older than 65.
The best way to prevent these issues is simply to maintain regular vision and hearing screenings and make any recommended lifestyle adjustments to help stave off the problem.
Heart Disease and Diabetes
Chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes are some of the most common health issues facing seniors today, especially in the United States. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for individuals aged 65 or older, and it is estimated that approximately 25 percent of people in this age group are also living with type 2 diabetes.
As with any chronic condition, the sooner you know that you are at risk, the sooner you can begin to take the necessary steps to prevent these conditions and better manage your vitals, like blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
What Can I Do to Help Prevent Common Senior Health Issues?
As we get older and our risk of developing health problems increases, it is especially important to have a plan in place for what to do if things progress beyond what we are capable of handling. Luckily, there are thousands of great resources available for seniors that can help them live their healthiest, most sociable, and most productive lives.
One such resource is MedicareInsurance.com, which employs hundreds of friendly, experienced, and licensed insurance agents who can help you take a look at your Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan and take a deeper dive into what’s best for you. This may include helping you research and compare other Medicare options available in your area. Simply contact MedicareInsurance.co, at (800) 950-0608 today to get started!