Once 80% of seniors age 65 and older are diagnosed with at least one chronic condition, and nearly 70% living with two or more, it’s important to learn the best ways to manage the chronic diseases that are impacting the older adults in your life. THE MEDICAL TEAM’s in-home care experts are skilled and experienced in helping seniors live life to the fullest, even when chronic conditions are a factor, and offer the following helpful information for the most common ailments.
Hypertension: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is prevalent among seniors. Hypertension can lead to a heart attack or stroke, so it’s important to closely follow doctors’ orders to stabilize blood pressure levels, including taking medications exactly as prescribed, reducing intake of salt and alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress.
Arthritis: Aching discomfort in joints caused by the inflammation of arthritis can be minimized through regular exercise (aerobic, strengthening, and stretching) at least five times per week for at least 30 minutes. It’s also important for those with arthritis to quit (or never start) smoking, and to lose excess weight to reduce pressure on the knees.
Heart Disease: Heart disease results from blocked arteries that prevent an adequate supply of oxygen to be delivered to the heart, and affects nearly a third of older adults. Recommendations to maximize heart health include minimizing stress, sleeping at least 7 hours each night, engaging in cardio exercises, and following a diet low in saturated and trans fats, sugar and salt. Additionally, those at risk for or diagnosed with heart disease should never smoke.
Alzheimer’s Disease: While the jury is still out on exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease and the memory and cognitive problems it involves, researchers do believe there are some steps we can take to slow or even prevent the onset of the disease, such as remaining physically and mentally active, sleeping at least 7 hours per night, and following a healthy diet.
COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is linked to the lung irritation most often caused by smoking. The top recommendation to avoid getting COPD or slowing the progression of the disease is to quit or never start smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke and other lung irritants. Those with COPD should follow doctors’ orders closely, and be sure to get flu and pneumonia vaccines as directed.
Chronic disease management is a key part of improving overall health and wellbeing and reducing hospitalization among older adults. To learn additional coping techniques for these or other chronic conditions of aging, contact the professional home care providers at THE MEDICAL TEAM. We’re always happy to share resources to improve quality of life for seniors, and to offer skilled and customized in-home care services to help older adults live life to the fullest.
Contact us to learn more about our senior care solutions in New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas and the metro DC area.