7 Common Elderly Health issues and ways to manage


Ageing is a natural part of life, but it often brings along several health issues. Awareness of these common elderly health problems, along with effective management strategies, can significantly enhance the quality of life for those over 60, as well as their loved ones. In the following article, we’re going to explore 7 common health issues in the elderly, alongside effective strategies that can be used to manage them. Let’s take a look.

1. Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease, encompassing conditions like heart disease and stroke, is a prevalent issue among older adults, and is often associated with lifestyle factors such as poor diet and a lack of regular physical activity.

How to mitigate and manage cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases can be managed and mitigated by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle: this means regular exercise and a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and reducing your alcohol intake. You should also attend regular health check-ups as you get older; you can even go for free cholesterol checks at your local pharmacy or Boots.

2. Cognitive decline

Cognitive decline, including conditions like Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, tends to be a common worry for older adults and their loved ones; cognitive decline can include any issues with memory, communication, attention, and thought processes, and can often make communication difficult. 

How to manage cognitive decline

Although there's no definitive cure for cognitive decline, some medications can slow its progress. Mental stimulation, physical activity, a balanced diet, and social engagement may also help maintain cognitive health. While private health insurance does not cover psycho-geriatric conditions, having access to high-quality care and prompt GP visits can help improve overall the day-to-day lives of those experiencing cognitive decline.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis, a condition causing joint inflammation and pain, is common in the elderly, and can significantly impact mobility and overall quality of life.

How to treat arthritis

Management of arthritis often includes pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications, but physical therapy and regular low-impact exercises like swimming or walking can also be beneficial.

4. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by reduced bone density, making bones fragile and prone to fractures. Osteoporosis tends to be especially prevalent among older women, and can be diagnosed via a DXA (often referred to as DEXA) scan.

How to manage osteoporosis

Preventing and managing osteoporosis involves ensuring adequate intake of calcium and Vitamin D, engaging in weight-bearing exercises, and avoiding lifestyle habits that contribute to bone loss, such as smoking and excessive alcohol.

5. Respiratory diseases

Respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, can become more common and severe with age, often leading to significant disability and dependence.

How to manage respiratory diseases

Respiratory conditions can be managed through medications that help open airways and reduce inflammation. Pulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle changes like quitting smoking are also crucial components of management.


6. Increased cancer risk

As we age, our risk of developing cancer increases. This is due to a multitude of factors, including the accumulation of exposure to carcinogens over time, as well as the decreased efficiency of DNA repair systems in our cells.

How to Manage Increased Cancer Risk

Regular screenings for various types of cancer, such as breast, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer, are crucial for early detection, so make sure to keep on top of all your routine screenings, and try to avoid rescheduling them where possible. 

Aside from attending all regular screenings, leading a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, avoiding tobacco, and limiting alcohol, can also help reduce the risk of developing cancer. 
If you’d like further peace of mind when it comes to mitigating and managing cancer, opting for over 60 health insurance can be a great way to supplement NHS care. With a private medical insurance policy, you’ll be covered in the event that you receive a cancer diagnosis, and you’ll be able to have your treatment in some of the best hospitals in the UK. Not only does this mean enhanced comfort and shorter waiting times, but many private facilities may be able to offer new, experimental cancer drugs and treatments that aren’t yet available widely on the NHS.

7. Vision and Hearing Loss

Sensory impairments, notably vision and hearing loss, are common among older adults, and these changes can often significantly impact communication, independence, and overall quality of life.

How to manage vision and hearing Loss

Regular eye and hearing tests can detect problems early and help manage them effectively. Using aids such as glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids can also improve quality of life significantly - but don’t forget that maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle can also contribute to preserving sensory health.

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