Older Adults

Aging is a natural part of life that presents unique challenges to overall health and well-being. These challenges include the high prevalence of recurring diseases and other physical disabilities.

With advanced age, there are also nutritional requirements, psycho-emotional concerns and other medical essentials that need to be addressed. Add to that are the availability or adequacy issues surrounding these healthcare matters, which cast a decisive influence on the quality of life in older adults.

A multifaceted approach to healthcare is required to prevent or manage a wide gamut of health issues in the elderly.

Older Adults

(Reference: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/408415_2)

Did you know there will be 70 million people aged 65 and above in the U.S. by the year 2030? This figure is twice the number of elderly adults in 1998. In addition, the average age of older adults has increased to 85 from 65.

Research also revealed that four out of five people aged 65 and above are diagnosed with at least one chronic disease. Being a diverse age group with unique medical requirements, older adults need a varied approach to healthcare that is focused on meeting their primary needs.

Health Concerns

(Reference: http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/most-common-health-concerns-seniors/)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that heart disease is the leading killer among adults aged 65 and above. In 2014, there were about 490,000 mortality cases. Contributing risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

In second place is cancer, having close to 414,000 mortality cases in 2014. With early screening and detection, cancer is treatable.

Osteoporosis is another common chronic disorder that affects older adults. This condition leads to limited mobility and eventually disability. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are about 54 million 50-year-olds in the U.S. suffering from low bone mass. By 2020, it is estimated that this figure will swell to 64 million.

Diabetes is another serious senior health condition, affecting about a quarter of the Americans aged 65 and older. In 2014, about 54,000 died from the disease.

Heart disease, diabetes and cancer share a common contributing risk fact: obesity. In the U.S., around 36 percent in men and 40 percent in women within the 65-and-above age bracket are obese, which places them at a higher risk for other health disorders like gallbladder disease and hypertension.

Long-Term Planning

(Reference: http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/most-common-health-concerns-seniors/)

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elderly persons who made it to 65 years old can live for another 19 years. With a careful diet, a dynamic lifestyle and active management of chronic diseases, older adults can lead a healthy life.

Cutting down on tobacco use and alcohol consumption can go a long way toward improving one's health. For the obese or overweight, shedding excess pounds contributes to avoiding health risks associated with advanced age.

For the Caregiver

For older adults, getting a caregiver offers convenience. There are many advantages in having another person to help in dispensing the special medical and other needs of the elderly.

Here are some of the responsibilities that caregivers offer:

Caregivers may be engaged in a regular capacity or an on call basis. These people are very helpful in providing care and support, especially in older adults suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Home, Health & Hospice Care

Through home care, the special needs of the elderly are closely attended to and provided. Home healthcare is particularly beneficial for older adults who are chronically ill, physically disabled or recovering from a medical condition.

Home care services include:

Assisted living is a viable option for older adults who may require assistance in day-to-day activities but not on a full-time basis. It's an less expensive alternative to nursing home care.

Medicare Part D

People aged 65 and older may be eligible under the U.S. government's health insurance program known as Medicare. It covers four major parts:

Medicare Part D is the insurance program that some of the expenses of prescribed medicine. It is intended to protect the elderly from the impact of high costs of prescription drugs or unexpected pharmaceutical bills. It is not designed to cover all costs, as the elderly will pay a portion of the prescription expenses.

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