Aging and Health: Concerns For Seniors
Aging causes physical and mental deterioration that cannot be reversed but may be managed. Seniors naturally lose bone and muscle mass, and such a loss leads to common chronic problems such as arthritis. Additionally, mobility becomes limited as a result of weakened muscular and skeletal systems. Mobility aids such as wheelchairs, canes and walkers are often prescribed to aging individuals who struggle to stand upright and walk independently.
Physical degeneration in seniors is usually prevalent in the spinal column. The familiar hunched posture in the elderly is caused by a condition that is medically known as kyphosis. This type of problem occurs as the spinal column loses its natural curvature and extends excessively. There are some remedies that can manage kyphosis such as bracing devices that are worn around the chest. However, it may be nearly impossible for seniors to prevent such a natural condition that affects posture.
Seniors are also at an increased risk of losing function in the mind. There is an array of mental problems that usually become moderate to severe with age. Dementia is perhaps one of the most common mental problems in the elderly. Alzheimer’s Disease is another major condition that significantly impairs cognitive abilities. Both of these conditions lead to memory loss and other serious symptoms that include psychiatric instability.
On the topic of psychiatry, seniors are also susceptible to developing anxiety and depression due to gradual changes in lifestyle. When the body becomes impaired and inactive, the brain also slows down and loses its daily function. People who have trouble living independently become depressed because they can’t longer do basic daily tasks. Some seniors might even feel embarrassed by having caregivers at home.
The possibility of living in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities also leads to depression and anxiety in seniors. Aging individuals may become scared, paranoid and upset about starting a new life outside the comfort of their own residences. It is crucial that family members and friends provide seniors with emotional support for transitions into nursing homes and other similar venues. Even spending just a few days in a physical rehabilitation center can be detrimental to the mental stability of people.
Seniors become more vulnerable to health problems with each day, so it’s important to visit primary care doctors and other specialists routinely. Additionally, a list of all prescription medication taken by a senior should always be on hand for visits to hospitals and other health care facilities.