What Health Problems Can the Elderly Experience?

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Many young people have a negative perception of what it will be like to enter the later stages of life. There is an assumption amongst many that old age entails an increasing number of medical problems and the potential for feelings of loneliness to take hold if a senior citizen starts to feel isolated.

Whilst it is true that the elderly can experience worsening levels of health because of general old age, it is a fact that millions of senior citizens lead fulfilling and happy lives. With the advances in modern medicine, serious illnesses that were often life-threatening can now be effectively treated, and there is an increased likelihood of surviving serious health problems, thanks to improved medical care.

This article describes three key health problems that the elderly may face in later life and how they can be managed.

Stroke

As people age, and enter the later stages of life, the risk of experiencing a stroke can be increased. A stroke is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when there is bleeding in the brain or a blockage in a vessel supplying the brain with blood.

Whilst any age group can experience a stroke, it is far more likely to occur in the elderly, as their vessels may not be as healthy and general vascular deterioration may have taken place over a period. Strokes can cause paralysis, difficulties in speech, and problems with memory.

Thankfully, if a stroke is identified quickly, and the patient receives timely medical interventions, a full recovery is possible. Stroke survivors may receive forms of physiotherapy and speech therapy to regain these functions. Some stroke patients have difficulties swallowing because of the condition.

This is known as dysphagia. Thankfully, the effects of dysphagia can be managed by using food-thickening agents produced by companies, such as Simply Thick organization. These gel-based products help to make pureed foods and beverages thicker and, therefore, make them easier to consume.

Reduced Mobility

Older people may start to experience reduced levels of mobility as they enter the final stages of life. It is common for the elderly to have lower levels of bone density, as the body produces less bone as it ages. In addition, muscle tone may reduce because of less physical activity in old age.

Reduced mobility can lead to an increased risk of serious injury if a person falls over, as bones are less strong, and fractures can be more common results of falls. Today, a range of mobility aids, such as Zimmer frames and the installation of grab rails on toilets and baths, can minimize the risks of injury in elderly people who have reduced levels of mobility and muscle strength.

Memory Issues

It is common in later life to sense that your memory is not what it once was. Senior citizens may experience difficulties in remembering once-common facts, such as the birthdays of their relatives or who is currently in power in politics.

Whilst memory levels degenerate over time, they tend not to be severely problematic to an elderly person’s standard of living. Only when severe forms of memory loss occur, such as dementia, there is a significant risk to a person’s safety and well-being. Today, music therapies are effective in helping patients with severe memory issues and can lead to improved standards of living.