There are certain conditions and ailments that understandably hog the headlines, with serious issues like cancer, alzheimer’s, diabetes and arthritis at the forefront of medical concerns, but there are some other elderly health concerns that definitely warrant a conversation.
Anyone suffering from a swallowing disorder such as dysphagia for example, could find some things easier when they take a product like Thick-it. There are also other ailments and health concerns that need to be addressed and talked about, like alcohol abuse and poor oral health.
Living with dysphagia
Dysphagia needs to be identified and treated where necessary, as it can sometimes be an indication of a more serious medical condition.
Difficulty with swallowing is known as dysphagia and although it can happen to you at any age, it is more common in older adults. Suffering from dysphagia will mean that you will be taking more time and effort moving food or liquid from your mouth and down to your stomach.
You or may not experience some pain with the condition and in a some instances, it can make swallowing become impossible. It is not always that easy to pinpoint dysphagia immediately, as you can suffer from difficulty swallowing when you eat too quickly or don’t chew your food sufficiently.
The clue would be a persistent problem with swallowing and if you also experience weight loss or if regurgitation or vomiting, it is advisable to see your doctor and get the symptoms checked out as soon as possible.
The risk attached to a fall
There is little doubt when you look at hospital admission data collected by CDC, that your risk of suffering a fall, gets higher as you get older.
The figures equate to about 473 in every 10,000 men and 767 per 10,000 women classed as elderly, finding themselves experiencing an unscheduled stay in hospital as a result of suffering an injury from a fall.
Most falls tend to happen in the home and there are numerous tripping hazards that present a potential danger everyday, which is why you need to appreciate the risk of falling and take steps to reduce the odds of becoming a victim.
Elderly people living in their home for as long as possible, need to make some adjustments so that their property is made safer and addresses a number of potential tripping hazards. This means installing some grab rails, and making sure that slippery floors and rugs are addressed, so that they don’t end up sending you to hospital with an injury.
Problems with alcohol
Substance abuse is never an easy issue to talk about or tackle, but it if data collated by the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions is a reliable indicator, it is a subject that definitely needs to be confronted.
The study suggests that as many as one in five people who are aged over 65, will have had an alcohol or substance abuse issue at some point in their lives. There are a number of obvious concerns about this trend, but one of the biggest concerns must be the impact it can have on your overall health, especially when you consider the potential impact it can have in relation to any regular medication you are taking, creating an unfavorable cocktail in your system.
Substance abuse in seniors is certainly a clear and present danger for a worrying large number of us, and it warrants plenty of attention.
Depression can be an extremely debilitating condition for anyone at any age, but it can actually be an even deeper problem in old age.
Somewhere between 15-20% of Americans who are aged over 65 have had some sort of brush with depression. Not only is this psychological condition damaging to your mental wellbeing, but an unfortunate repercussion of depression is how it can easily compromise your ability to be able to fight infections and illness.
Never suffer from depression alone. It is always better to seek professional treatment and find some potential solutions such as in increase in physical and social activities where possible.
Healthy teeth and gums
Enjoying good oral health is not just about enjoy a healthy smile and being to eat properly.
As many as 25% of adults over 65 have no natural teeth remaining, so aim to protect what you have with regular checkups and remember that as you age, your mouth is likely to get drier, which unfortunately encourages cavities.
Good oral health is a key component to enjoying a better quality of life in your senior years.
There are many elderly health concerns that don’t always get talked about as much as others, but they can all have an impact on your life, so always try to be aware and vigilant.
Cerys Baxter works in a care home, a job she has been in ever since leaving school. She loves hearing stories from the older generation and is a caring soul, much loved by the residents.