Old aged people make up 12% of the population worldwide today, and this number is going to rise to 22% by 2050, according to the experts at the World Health Organization (WHO). Aging and getting into your golden years is not just about relaxing in your retirement home, collecting the pension every month and enjoying the later years of your fruitful life in bliss. This is because getting older brings with it some problems regarding your health that should be noted before you reach that stage of your life.
This is why it’s important for you to note down the seven most common health problems faced by old aged men and women so that you and your loved ones can avoid or prepare for them so that you have a comfortable and healthy life.
1. Constipation And Decline In Bladder Control
A widespread problem with growing older is that the body doesn’t work as smoothly as before, leading to health problems like constipation and decreased bladder control which can affect your daily life. This problem can occur if you don’t eat a balanced diet while struggling with other chronic health conditions.
According to the experts, if you want to avoid this bladder control and constipation problem, it’s suggested that you maintain your weight in the ideal range, exercise on a regular basis and maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet. Doctors should also be consulted if these problems occur as they can provide effective medical treatments for constipation and weaker bladder control.
2. Falls And Physical Injury
The leading cause of physical injury in old aged is by falling, with one senior dying every 29 minutes due to a fall. Getting older comes with its own set of problems include a decline in bone density and bone strength. This decrease in bone density results in brittle bones which are more prone to breaking. Aging also reduces the strength and flexibility of the muscles, making seniors more prone to losing their balance which leads to falls and physical injuries.
You can significantly reduce the chances of physical injuries as you get older by increasing your physical exercises, becoming better educated on how your body works and how it is affected by aging, as well as making some practical modifications to your home that make it easier for seniors to move about.
3. Spread Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
You may be surprised by this fact but according to the CDC report in 2013, elders over the ages of 50 accounted for 21% of AIDS cases occurring in the US. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are more likely to pass between seniors as they are less likely to use sexual protection like condoms. Elders also have a weaker immune system which gives them a weaker protection against contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
While aging can affect sexual performance for both men and women, it doesn’t severely impact sex drive and sexual desire. So, the best way to have an active sex life as you get older is by protecting yourself and your partner using condoms because STDs don’t differentiate between the young and elderly.
4. Major Health Diseases
Major health conditions are very common in old aged men and women with 92% having at least one and 77% having at least two chronic diseases. These can include heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer.
The best way to avoid having major health diseases is by keeping yourself as fit as possible, going to the doctor for regular checkups and eating a well-balanced diet. Weight gain has also been a concern for many, according to experts, who mention that obesity increases the chance of having major health problems in seniors.
5. Decline In Cognitive Abilities
There is a cognitive decline as people age and get older. This cognitive decline affects the person’s thinking, learning and remembering abilities with the most common brain problem in seniors being dementia. According to a new study, 47.5 million men and women have this degenerative brain disorder, and this number is said to triple by 2050.
The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. According to the experts, there is no cure for dementia, but medications can be prescribed to help manage dementia.
6. Sensory Problems
Hearing problems and vision impairments are some of the most common sensory problems that seniors over 70 face today in the US. According to a recent poll, one of every six seniors has their vision impaired while one of every four seniors has this problem with their hearing.
To way to treat sensory problems is by using aids like glasses and hearing aids which have helped improve the vision and hearing of millions of users around the world. There are also innovations being discovered every day which helps improve the usability and effectiveness of sensory aids.
7. Mental Health Issues Like Depression
The WHO has found that for people over the age of 60, more than 30% suffer from a mental health disorder with the most common being depression with a rate of 7% in seniors. However, the problem with mental health problems is that they are often ignored, undiagnosed and untreated which can lead to significant problems including suicides. In the US, over 18% of the deaths by suicides occur in seniors.
Many mental health issues including depression can be treated with treatment from a doctor, improving living conditions, getting support from family and improving their lifestyle.
For most men and women, these are the seven most common health issues faced when growing older. However, you should also be aware that you can delay and avoid these health problems by following a healthy diet and exercise routine as well as avoiding mental stress and having regular checkups with the doctor. You should also establish a support system with your family and doctors so that you can deal with any problem that crops up quickly with minimal fuss and worry.
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Michelle is the senior most expert who writes for this website. After completing her graduation and 10+ years of practice, Michelle has been involved and known for a lot of her philanthropy work. Michelle loves spending time researching and writing her papers. She occasionally writes for us and we are extremely proud to have her as one of our editors.