The Aging Population And Diseases
The Aging Population And Diseases. It is estimated that there will be 80 million elderly (age 65 or older) living in the United States by the time the year 2030 rolls around.
Diseases that are common in those aged 65 and older are those diseases that are associated with the deterioration of body systems. Diseases that can occur in those in the 65 and older group are:
Arthritis Cancer Diabetes Heart disease High blood pressure Lung diseases Stroke Diseases such as Parkinson's are more commonly seen in those over 65, though it can occur in those that are younger as can certain cancers and types of diabetes.
Although some of these diseases listed may occur in those under age 65, a higher occurrence of these diseases tend to occur in persons aged 65 and older. It also becomes more likely that you will suffer from more than one disease as you enter that over 65 age group.
Statistics show that in this age group, 30% have 3 or more chronic diseases. These multiple diseases can complicate diagnosing as one could mask symptoms of another during times of stress like when fever exists. It may become difficult to treat multiple diseases as there may be times when treatment for one disease may be counter indicated in another one.
Healthcare professionals often have difficult decisions to make regarding what the best treatment plan will be for those who have multiple diseases that are chronic and potentially life threatening. Certain medications cannot only cancel out the effectiveness of another one, but one may have dangerous side effects when mixed with another medication.
This is why it is so important for all healthcare providers to know what all the medications the patient is taking including those prescribed by another provider or medications that are over-the-counter. Pharmacists are required to be more diligent about checking for counter indications between medications that the patient has been prescribed to be sure to catch any problems that the providers may have missed or have not been made aware that the patient is taking.
They also are taking preventive measures to stay healthy and detect diseases. They are screened regularly for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancers, depression, prostate cancer and diabetes with its many complications. Poor health does not have to be a part of the aging process. There are effective ways to prevent or delay chronic conditions like arthritis, depression, osteoporosis, and urinary incontinence.
There are some diseases that can impair the ability for the person to be able to function adequately at home to the degree that the quality of life decreases. In cases where the inability to function equates to the inability of the person to care for him or herself adequately, then other arrangements must be made. Usually a family member or friend can give minimal assistance with meals, shopping or errands and even daily dressing and bathing requirements.
When help is not available or the care requirements are greater than can be handed by these persons it may become necessary to enlist the aid of paid healthcare professionals like a visiting nurse or healthcare aid. Recovery from disabilities in those under age 85 is as high as 1/3 of those afflicted and usually occurs in those who have good nutrition and are able to move around.
Exercise your brain. Keeping your brain young and healthy can have a major affect upon the quality of life you can expect as you age.
Home health care (hiring someone to come into your home to provide services) can be in the form of homemaker services like cleaning, meal preparations and yard work, medical treatments such as diabetic testing and injections or blood pressure monitoring, and physical therapy. As the aging population increases in the U.S., healthcare and other services for this age group will come to the attention in a more dramatic fashion for those who make program decisions and governmental policy for services senior citizens require.
Healthy Aging Issues Today