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5 Health Challenges Associated With Aging

Aging is a natural process that people can experience in different ways, depending on their lifestyle, health status, genetics, and environment. Getting older can have some telltale physical signs such as the graying of the hair and wrinkling of the skin. With age, some people experience hearing loss, a decline in vision, and other health risks associated with aging.

To combat health issues and retain a healthy weight and physical ability, some people may try to remain physically active as they age, and incorporate activities such as walking, jogging, and swimming into their daily routine. 

In addition to getting regular exercise, some people maintain a healthy diet and eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources as they enter older adulthood. Many people limit or avoid foods high in salt and saturated fat. Other healthy practices include getting adequate rest and sleep, practicing effective stress management, and avoiding behaviors like smoking and using other tobacco products, or consuming alcohol or other substances in excess.

While maintaining a healthy diet and getting quality sleep has a crucial impact on the blood vessels and heart, some health conditions occur with aging regardless of what measures people take to prevent them. Examples of some health challenges associated with aging include heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the primary cause of death for adults in the United States. Risk factors for cardiovascular issues include high cholesterol and high blood pressure, known as hypertension. The likelihood of living with these risk factors and others increases with age and may cause strokes and heart attacks.

Arthritis

American adults are likely to experience arthritis pains. This health condition, characterized by joint inflammation, can be painful and debilitating, often causing some seniors to become physically inactive.

Osteoporosis

Another health condition that could lead to immobility is osteoporosis. Having low bone mass puts older adults at an increased risk of harming themselves if they fall or slip. Someone who has such an accident and incurs a fracture or break could end up experiencing a diminished quality of life.

Cancer

Unfortunately, cancer can strike anyone at any age at any time. Cancer is the second leading cause of death for American adults over 65 years old. Detecting and treating cancer early enough enables seniors and people of all ages can improve their quality of life. Having cancer screenings, such as colonoscopies, mammograms, and skin tests early on can make cancer easier to treat and manage.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a health condition that, unfortunately, no ounce of prevention can cure. Alzheimer’s facts from the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation detail this neurodegenerative disorder, the most commonly diagnosed form of dementia. This condition impacts an estimated six million people living in the United States, a figure that researchers expect to triple by 2050. 

Characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease include the progressive wasting and death of brain cells, and impaired learning and memory. People with Alzheimer’s disease could lose the ability to have conversations, respond to stimuli in their environment, or perform everyday activities. The cognitive impairment caused by this disorder can negatively impact an older adult’s self-care and safety.

When older adults endure the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other health challenges that affect their safety and well-being, one option for them is to consider receiving treatment and care at a rehabilitative facility, such as Autumn Lake Healthcare. Autumn Lake Healthcare, a healthcare center in Pikesville, MD, offers residents a safe, nurturing environment that promotes wellness and healing. Staying in such a center, residents can receive individualized care, support in discussion groups, religious services, nutritional dining options, and enjoy an aesthetically pleasing landscaped courtyard, outdoor walking path, and more. 

Consulting healthcare professionals and following a care plan that encourages wellbeing can benefit people as they age.

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