7 Common Health Problems of Elderly People

Posted September 29, 2020 by in Health + Fitness
elderly couple walking

For many people, getting old is terrifying. Wrinkles, grey hair, and health concerns are all parts of aging that most people wish they could avoid.

Yet aging is a part of life, and as more and more of the global population gets older, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the challenges facing older people. By understanding the health problems of elderly people, you’ll be better prepared to keep yourself, or a loved one safe from harm.

Keep reading to learn about seven health problems of elderly people to watch out for. 

1. Unexpected and Sudden Falls

As you age, your bones shrink, and your muscles lose their strength and flexibility. It can throw off your balance, which in turn increases your risks of falling. The leading cause of injury among seniors is falling. 

As you get older, it’s important to stay active. Spend time each day moving and getting your blood flowing. You can also look around your house for areas where you can modify or move things around to decrease the chances of you hurting yourself. 

Certain medications can also make elders dizzy. If you take medication, make sure to know whether or not it affects your depth perception. 

2. Trouble Falling and Staying Asleep

As you get older, your body changes. It can also impact your sleep habits. Many elders find it difficult to fall asleep, as well as difficultly sleeping in.

Although a small decrease in the amount of sleep someone gets shouldn’t ring alarm bells, drastic or sudden changes should. You should also ensure that if your sleep pattern is different than before, you get enough sleep regardless. 

To fall and stay asleep, try practicing mindfulness and meditation. Studies have shown that both practices can clear your mind and allow you to drift off to sleep easier. Try starting small; 10 minutes before bed can be a good place to start.

3. Malnutrition 

Aside from changes in sleep patterns, older people can also experience dietary changes. If someone used to want to eat nonstop, they may be surprised to realize that their body needs less food than it used to. 

For the most part, older people require fewer calories than younger adults. Yet understand that there is a clear difference between eating less food and not getting the proper nutrients. 

Compared to younger people, elderly people require more nutrients and vitamins to stay healthy. That means that it’s easy to develop dietary deficiencies. Keep an eye out for signs such as a sudden loss of appetite or weight changes. 

4. Cognitive Health Decline

Cognitive health refers to a person’s ability to think, remember, and learn new things. As you age, your cognitive health tends to worsen.

One of the most common cognitive health problems that face elderly people is dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with over five million elderly people suffering from it in the U.S. Cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s can impact a person’s ability to perform simple tasks. 

Numerous studies have demonstrated different things you can do to reduce your chances of developing dementia. Make sure to stay physically and mentally active, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and socialize with others.

5. Dental Problems 

Oral and dental health is something that many older people overlook. Yet after a certain point, your teeth can reach a point of no return. Many adults over the age of 65% can no longer use their natural teeth.

Problems such as tooth decay and cavities can lead to other, more severe issues. You can have difficulty maintaining a healthy diet, suffer from low self-esteem, and also develop problems such as mouth cancer and gum disease.

Make sure that you make dental checkups a priority. A dentist will be able to identify and treat any problems. It stops them from developing further and getting worse.   

6. Bladder Issues 

Bladder issues are another problem that can affect certain elderly people. Different problems can cause bladder issues, making them difficult to diagnose. However, in some instances, the cause can be serious. Make sure to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s nothing major. 

Once your doctor identifies the problem, they should be able to resolve it. That means that although embarrassing, bladder issues are temporary. Check out this guide for women to learn more about what might be causing bladder issues, as well as how to get over them.

7. Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is not something unique to the elderly. People experience hearing loss throughout their entire life. However, by the time most people are older, hearing loss is clear.

Although not a health problem, it can be something that makes life frustrating and difficult at times. However, it doesn’t have to be. There are a variety of different treatments and options to boost your hearing. Schedule a visit to your doctor, and they can help advise you on the best course of action. 

Be Aware of These Health Problems of Elderly People 

As we age, our bodies age with us. Although some people show their age earlier than others, there several health problems that begin to affect all older people at some point. After reading this guide, you now understand seven different health problems of elderly people. 

Do you know any other health and social problems of the elderly? Let us know in a comment below!

If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips.