Thinking John McEnroe

common health problems in elderly
Common Health Problems in Elderly

Life is short.
Cliché as it may be, it is a sad and dreadful reality.
And often, we make it even shorter. And quicker.  
Nobody to blame but us, our ignorant preferences and irresponsible choices, our lifestyle.
We are careless. We are thoughtless. We are reckless.

But we want to live longer. We want to beat common health problems in elderly.
60 years. 70 years. 80++ years. Higher, banker!  
We live to live longer. 30 capsules of vitamins and minerals. Stem cell. Maintenance drugs. And more.
Long live the kings and queens! Surgery. Another surgery. And another. Invasive. Painful. Very painful.
For the sake of beauty. And looking fresh. And feeling young. Just do it!

Quite ironic, isn’t it? “
People of the world, of the land of milk and honey, of the greener pasture, YOU
Make up your mind!  Make up your mind, NOW!
It is time to make a change.  Just relax. Take it easy.
It is never too late. It can be done. THY will be done.

GOOD NEWS.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people in the United States of America can expect to live longer than ever before.  Surprised?

CDC explains,

“The increase in the number of older adults in the United States is unprecedented. In 2019, 54.1 million US adults were 65 or older, representing 16% of the population—or more than 1 in every 7 Americans.  Nearly 1 in 4 older adults are members of a racial or ethnic minority group.  By 2040, the number of older adults is expected to reach 80.8 million.  By 2060, it will reach 94.7 million, and older adults will make up nearly 25% of the US population.”

Once you make it to the age 65, CDC’s comprehensive data suggest that you can live another 19.3 years, on average.  So that’s around 85 potential happy years for you. Potentially. Hopefully. Not bad at all!

SAD NEWS:  Unfortunately, life expectancy in the US, probably all over the world, fell in 2020 – 2021 driven by Covid-19 deaths.  Inevitable.  Unstoppable.  It is understandable. But it remains generally, ok.  We are fine, especially now that Covid-19 no longer really bothers, hurts, and affects us, or at least not as much as it did in the past two years. Life expectancy then would most likely improve in the next years and decades in the supposed post-pandemic era.

FACT: The longer life trend is evident and true even outside the US. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “People worldwide are living longer. Today most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond. Every country in the world is experiencing growth in both the size and the proportion of older persons in the population.”

WHO adds,

“By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over. At this time the share of the population aged 60 years and over will increase from 1 billion in 2020 to 1.4 billion. By 2050, the world’s population of people aged 60 years and older will double (2.1 billion). The number of persons aged 80 years or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050 to reach 426 million.”

We then have every reason to celebrate!  Now, we can gulp bottles of ice-cold German beer and devour the fattest, oiliest, and saltiest medium-rare ribeye as we exult this victory to a longer life! Party time!  Drinking time! Eating time! Back to the good old days! Back to our bad habits! STOP! Not so fast!

For many, especially our beloved senior citizens, for YOU, to stay healthy and to live longer actually mean and include carefully managing most common chronic diseases. Not just one, not just two, but usually an overabundance of chronic conditions in older adults. Again, it is not easy. But it can be done. It should be done. But you can’t be complacent. And it starts and should start with YOU.

According to WHO,

Common health problems in elderly include hearing loss, cataracts, and refractive errors, back and neck pain and osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, depression, and dementia. As people age, they are more likely to experience several conditions at the same time. Older age is also characterized by the emergence of several complex health states commonly called geriatric syndromes. They are often the consequence of multiple underlying factors and include frailty, urinary incontinence, falls, delirium, and pressure ulcers.”

And since we all age, we are bound to get sick. We can’t turn back time. As we grow older, chronic diseases will manifest one by one, whether you like it or not. We are not invincible. We are not unbreakable. But managing and maintaining a chronic disease is possible. It is not yet the end. Not that soon.

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA),

Age, family genetics, and gender make it nearly impossible for older adults to avoid becoming a chronic disease statistic. Eighty percent of adults 65 and older have at least one condition, while 68% have two or more. You probably have a parent or grandparent who is managing a condition right now, or perhaps you are managing one yourself.”

Most Common Chronic Conditions in Older Adults:

Common Chronic Conditions in Older Adults
Common Chronic Conditions in Older Adults

Number 10: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Eleven percent of older adults were treated for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a chronic disease in elderly that includes two main conditions— Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis. COPD makes it hard to breathe and causes shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness.

Number 9: Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

11% of older adults on Medicare were treated for Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease in elderly is one specific type of dementia—a condition that causes memory loss and difficulty thinking or problem-solving to the point that it interferes with everyday activities. Dementia is not a normal part of aging and is caused by changes in the brain over time.

Number 8: Depression in Elderly

40% of older adults sought treatment for depression – a treatable medical condition that is not a normal part of aging. Depression causes persistent feelings of sadness, pessimism, hopelessness, fatigue, difficulty making decisions, changes in appetite, a loss of interest in activities, and more.

Number 7: Elderly Heart Failure

14% of older adults were treated for heart failure—a condition that occurs when the heart cannot adequately supply blood and oxygen to all the organs in the body. The heart might become enlarged, develop more muscle mass, or pump faster to meet the body’s needs, causing you to feel tired, lightheaded, nauseous, confused, or lack an appetite. The best prevention of Heart Failure is to follow a doctor’s recommendations to decrease your risk for coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

Number 6: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

18% of older adults were treated for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or a slow loss in kidney function over time. People dealing with CKD Stage of 3, 3b, 4 have an increased risk for developing heart disease or kidney failure.

Number 5: Diabetes in Older Adults

27% of older adults were treated for diabetes – a disease that occurs when your body is resistant to, or doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is what your body uses to get energy from food and distributes it to your cells. When this doesn’t happen, you get high blood sugar, which can lead to complications such as kidney disease, heart disease, or blindness. Chances of having diabetes increases after age 45.

Number 4: Ischemic Heart Disease (or Coronary Heart Disease)

29% of older adults were treated for ischemic heart disease – a condition that is caused by a build-up of plaque that narrows the arteries leading to the heart. Narrow or blocked arteries decrease the amount of oxygen-rich blood delivered to the heart. This can cause other complications like blood clots, angina, or a heart attack.

Number 3: Arthritis in Seniors

31% of older adults were treated for arthritis—an inflammation of your joints, which causes pain and stiffness and is more common in elderly women.

Number 2: High Cholesterol

47% of older adults were treated for high cholesterol – a condition that occurs when your body has an excess of bad fats (or lipids), resulting in your arteries getting clogged, which can lead to heart disease

Number 1: Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

48% of older adults were treated for hypertension – a common condition that involves both how much blood your heart pumps, as well as how resistant your arteries are to the blood flow. When your heart pumps a lot of blood, and you have narrow arteries which resist the flow, that’s when you get high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. The danger of hypertension is not only that you can have it for years and not know it, but it can cause other serious elderly health conditions, like stroke and heart attacks.

We are all prone to old age health problems but How can we prevent diseases in old age?

YES YOU CAN!  Aside from a plethora of effective but expensive maintenance drugs, a complete change and overhaul of lifestyle choices and habits can help YOU avoid or manage old-age related health risks.

Quit drinking. No more alcohol. No more beer. Maybe just a sip of wine.  
Quit smoking. Forget nicotine. Save your money. No to second-hand smoking.   
Avoid salty, sweet, and oily food.  Ban junk food. Ban sodas. Go green, leafy, and fruity. Eat healthy.
Lose weight. Watch out for the calories. Just eat right. No to bloating.
Exercise. Run. Jog. Hit the gym. Play ball. Play tennis. Think John McEnroe.

Again, think John McEnroe. 63 years old.
Or Robert de Niro.79 years old.
Or Al Pacino. 82 years old.
Or Helen Mirren. 77 years old.
Or Jane Fonda. 84 years old.

You want to learn to live a longer life like them?  Call TelevisitMD now!

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