Top 10 Chronic Medical Problems in Older People

As we age, it becomes more difficult to stay healthy. According to the National Committee on Aging, 80% of seniors have at least one chronic medical condition; 68% have more than one.

What issues are seniors likely to have? Here are the top 10 chronic medical problems in seniors, as determined by Medicare records:

1. High Blood Pressure

Nearly 60% of seniors have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, a condition that can lead to heart attack and strokes. High blood pressure is called “the silent killer” because it does its damage while causing no symptoms.

2. High Cholesterol

Nearly half of seniors are being treated for high cholesterol, a condition that leads to heart disease. A lipid panel, which includes a breakdown of different types of cholesterol, should be conducted annually — and more frequently if your doctor suggests.

3. Arthritis

Nearly one-third of seniors, primarily women, suffer from arthritis, which can range from mild to debilitating. The best treatment: regular exercise.

4. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Almost 30% of seniors have a narrowing of the arteries that lead to the heart. CHD can lead to blood clots and heart attacks.

5. Diabetes

Almost 30% of seniors have diabetes, a disease that can lead to kidney disease, heart disease, and blindness. One’s chances of having diabetes increases after the age of 45. Diabetes is a serious disease, associated with a wide range of disabilities, from blindness to kidney failure.

6. Chronic Kidney Disease

Almost 20% of seniors suffer from loss of kidney function. The greatest risk factors for kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes (the Number 1 and Number 5 top chronic conditions, respectively). Chronic Kidney Disease can lead to heart disease or kidney failure.

7. Heart Failure

14% of seniors have heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to supply oxygen to the entire body.

8. Depression

14% of seniors are being treated for depression. It is thought that a much greater percentage is suffering, undiagnosed. Depression dampens quality of life by causing loss of interest and general feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

9. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

11% of seniors on Medicare are being treated for some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Dementia is a disease, and is distinct from the normal cognitive changes of aging.

10. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

11% of seniors suffer with COPD, an umbrella term that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

It may sound bleak, but it shouldn’t. Most of these conditions can be treated with therapeutic life changes, such as exercise, stress management, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking and alcohol, as well as with medication.

Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, takes a restorative approach to senior health, maximizing function and mobility in a positive and upbeat atmosphere. Conveniently located in scenic Lakewood, NJ, close to major medical centers and just minutes from area highways, our beautiful nursing home and rehab center is situated on beautifully landscaped grounds, and provides the comfortable and pleasant living experience that is essential to ensuring optimal clinical outcomes. We strive to create an environment and program that truly enhances quality of life, thus promoting recuperation, health, and well-being.

Our modern facility features spacious living spaces that are impeccably decorated and furnished. Our residents are pampered with the finest amenities, including free WIFI, flat screen cable television and state-of-the-art mechanical beds for individualized comfort.

At Atlantic Coast, our goal is to offer activities that stimulate both mind and body. We fashion each day’s recreation schedule with the primary purpose of encouraging social interaction and promoting physical health and fitness. To accommodate different interests and personal preferences, our Activities Director designs flexible schedules, with a variety of stimulating and engaging activity options.

Atlantic Coast’s long-term care program emphasizes a restorative approach, encouraging each patient’s potential to maximize function and mobility.

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