As a person grows older, they become increasingly susceptible to infections and disease. If you have a loved one who is beginning to age, you will likely have to provide care for their illnesses.
Many illnesses are common among the elderly:
Cancer is a notorious disease that causes tumors to grow within the body. Although it is becoming increasingly common at any age, it is especially common in the elderly population. When people grow old, they may experience many different types of cancer. The most common types include breast cancer, leukemia and colon cancer.
If you’re caring for a loved one with cancer, you will want to consider different options for care. Some may require frequent hospital stays or an in-home nurse. Others may require access to a 24hr GP. This gives them access to a doctor who can answer medical questions or concerns at any time.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are extremely common forms of illness in the elderly population. Dementia typically begins mild and continues to progress as a person ages. Although memory loss is the hallmark sign of dementia, individuals may also experience mood swings, personality changes, and difficulty making decisions.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia, you will likely want to continue changing the level of care as they progress. At first, you may be able to care for them with simple daily home visits or phone calls. However, as their dementia becomes more severe, they will likely need 24-hour care.
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Strokes are extremely common as individuals age. During a stroke, the blood becomes blocked from accessing parts of the brain. Symptoms of an active stroke may include slurring speech, drooping facial features, or confusion. Following a stroke, an individual may experience memory loss, difficulty speaking, or difficulty moving their limbs.
Symptoms may appear in a range of mild to severe. Although symptoms may improve over time, some are permanent. Those who experience severe strokes will likely need more intensive care.
4. Heart Attack
Similar to a stroke, during a heart attack, a clot or leakage prevents blood from accessing certain parts of the heart. Heart attacks may be fatal, especially in elderly populations. Symptoms of a heart attack include chest pressure and tightness. Those who are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack should immediately seek medical attention.
Following a heart attack, elderly patients require monitoring and care. If you have a loved one who experienced a heart attack, their long-term effects may include heart failure, shortness of breath, or depression.
5. Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is extremely common in elderly populations. Individuals with hearing loss may have difficulty hearing soft noises or understanding speech with background noise. This can cause significant social isolation. Hearing loss can stay consistent over time or become worse with age.
However, there are many different treatment options for hearing loss. Hearing aids are now made to be small and discreet. Depending on the type and severity of hearing loss, each hearing aid can be adjusted to increase hearing abilities.
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and tenderness in the joints. Individuals with arthritis typically begin with mild or intermittent pain which increases with age. During arthritis, the joints swell or may contain damaged tissue.
If you have a loved one with arthritis, they may not require intensive care unless the arthritis is extremely severe. Although they may experience difficulty with daily physical tasks such as putting on shoes or cleaning the house, those with arthritis do not experience any cognitive difficulties related to the illness.
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Diabetes is common across ages and genders. However, as a person ages, it becomes more common and symptoms become more aggressive. During diabetes, a person’s body maintains a high level of sugar over an extended period of time. The resulting symptoms may include weight changes, excessive thirst or hunger, and frequent urination.
For those who don’t experience memory loss or other cognitive difficulties as they age, diabetes can be easy to manage. Monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels is essential. However, those with additional cognition difficulties may need additional care.