What Are the Most Common Geriatric Health Concerns?
As our lifespans continue to grow longer, so does our need for quality health care. And older adults are at risk for very specific health problems. Typically, these symptoms are referred to as geriatric syndromes with each having a unique treatment approach.
Seeking professional guidance from a doctor who specializes in geriatrics can help you maintain or treat these conditions so you can continue to enjoy your independence and a high-quality life for many years to come.
Here are some of the most common geriatric health concerns and what you can do about them:
#1 - Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one killer of people 65 years or older. What's worse, as you continue to get older, your risk of developing heart disease increases. The good news is, there are many things you can do to both prevent and treat this disease.
Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, poor diet, and many others. But, with help from a geriatrician, you can significantly lower your risk by ensuring your heart is as healthy and happy as the rest of you.
#2 – Arthritis
Although it is usually not a life threatening condition, arthritis can severely affect one's quality of life due to the pain and stiffness it causes. This joint condition affects nearly 50% of all adults 65 and older but, with the right treatment plan, you can continue to stay active and maintain your good health despite being diagnosed with arthritis.
#3 - Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the cause of death for 1 in 9 people over 65 years old. A chronic and progressive condition, Alzheimer’s disease is incredibly difficult to diagnose and treat.
Dementia, a broader term used to refer to a variety of cognitive impairments – with Alzheimer’s being one of them – can impact a person's ability to perform everyday tasks and live a normal life.
While living with dementia is not easy for the patient or their loved ones, having a compassionate and highly-skilled medical team can make a huge difference in how successful a treatment plan is.
#4 – Falls and Balance Disorders
With falls being the leading cause of injuries in older adults, it is vital that you understand the risk factors so you can mitigate them as best as you can. Some of these risk factors include but are not limited to:
- Vision problems
- Gait and other balance disorders
- Side effects from medication
Staying healthy and strong can help ensure a full recovery if you do end up being injured in a fall. You can also check your home for certain safety hazards and eliminate them if possible. If you suffer a fall, be sure to seek medical attention and talk to your doctor about how you can prevent injuring yourself in the future.
#5 – Depression
Affecting as much as 25% of older adults, depression is a serious threat to the senior community. Not only does it affect your mental health, but it can also have devastating effects on your physical health as well.
If you think you might be suffering from depression, reach out to your physician or a mental health professional who can help you navigate what is oftentimes a debilitating condition.
Tri-County Medical Clinic provides state-of-the-art geriatric care in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Contact our compassionate team of medical professionals today to schedule your first appointment.