A chronic illness is a long-term health condition without complete resolution. Typically, chronic diseases are associated with disability, handicap, and loss of autonomy. When an elderly person develops a chronic illness, it is typical for additional medical complications to arise. These complicate medical care further and sufferers may require long-term medical and nursing care.
What are some of the illnesses among American senior citizens that persist over time? You can help your parents and elderly relatives with their needs if you learn about the nature of the most common chronic diseases associated with aging.
Loss of hearing acuity
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders report the presence of presbycusis in one in three persons aged 60 and above. Presbycusis is a gradual loss of hearing acuity due to medication, head trauma, infection, or secondary to tumor growth. Hearing loss causes disruption in routine leads to greater dependence on caregivers and family members.
If hearing loss starts to affect the daily activities of your loved one, Legacyretire.com says it’s probably time to consider assisted living.
Arthritic conditions and osteoporosis
Due to changes in the joint and in bone mineralization, elderly men and women experience limitation of movement due to pain and stiffness. The most common arthritic condition in the elderly is osteoarthritis. Some older persons lose independent mobility altogether if the joint changes are severe. Meanwhile, demineralization of bone increases the risk for fractures in people diagnosed with osteoporosis. More women are diagnosed with osteoporosis than men are, but the problem may arise in both sexes.
Mental health issues
Mental illnesses greatly affect the quality of life and independence of American seniors. There are different forms of dementia and the causes vary as well. One of the most discussed of these is Alzheimer’s disease. Upon diagnosis of dementia, the family must be prepared to provide support and see to the needs of their loved one, and avail special care programs if necessary.
Many older persons with chronic disease can benefit from the services of a senior living community, which are staffed and equipped sufficiently. Family members and relatives must make the effort to understand these conditions so they can provide the right kind of support and intervention.