Old age related health problems
Old age is the last phase of a human’s life cycle. Old age is certainly bittersweet. As people gain wealth and respect in society and the burden of work and responsibilities reduce, most transition to a life of relaxation and enjoyment. However, seniority brings with it its own set of challenges in the form of geriatric health issues AKA old age problems. As the body begins to weaken, the natural immunity goes down as well, making otherwise healthy individuals prone to falling sick very easily. Old people have slower regenerative prowess and are easily vulnerable to disease, syndromes, and sickness as compared to younger adults. According to Wikipedia, ” The organic process of ageing is called senescence, the medical study of the aging process is called gerontology, and the study of diseases that afflict the elderly is called geriatrics. The elderly also face other social issues around retirement, loneliness, and ageism.”
There are also a host of issues that arise out of old age, which are the ones that we typically witness in our parents and senior individuals. These old age problems can be physiological, psychological, social, emotional and financial. The deterioration of both physical abilities as mental faculties are synonymous with old age. The manner in which one ages and well as the pace of the aging process is dependent on his/her lifestyle, the hereditary constitution of the individual as well as external, environmental factors.
Here are some of old age problems which are related to health.
Sleep apnea causes people to temporarily pause breathing during sleep. These pauses can range from a few seconds to a few minutes, causing imperceptible oxygen deprivation in the body and brain. This is shown to be a very common incident in senior individuals and requires immediate attention. While most of the time sleep apnea causes the person to wake up as a result of obstructed breathing and resume proper respiration thereafter, cases have been reported where sleep apnea caused death by asphyxiation because the subject failed to wake up.
Arthritis is an affliction of the joints that causes the loss of the cartilage and bone in movable joints of the skeleton. Old age is one of the major causes of this form of arthritis, also sometimes called osteoarthritis. The condition manifests in joint pain, immobilization of joints or sometimes severely reducing the range of motion of the joint. Arthritis is most effectively dealt with in its early stages so do not be dismissive if they complain about joint pain. A simple joint pain might be indicative of a more serious situation.
Dementia is often used as an umbrella term for a broad range of diseases affecting the brain. Dementia is a long term phenomenon and causes gradual loss of memory and cognitive ability. It can also give rise to emotional instability, mood swings, language issues, and lethargy. Dementia is most often characterized by Alzheimer’s disease. While dementia has no cure, early diagnosis can lead to an increase in quality of life with the help of symptomatic treatment. Use of assistive technology can also help a lot in allowing your loved ones to live the final years of their lives in peace and dignity.
Cholesterol plays a crucial part in the healthy operation of our body. Elevated levels of cholesterol pose a significant health risk, primarily of heart disease. High cholesterol can be caused by bad diet, obesity or other diseases such as diabetes but requires immediate redressal before the situation worsens.
Farsightedness, also called hypermetropia, is caused by the eye being unable to focus on objects at near distances. This is caused primarily by the ciliary muscles in the eye being unable to change the lens enough to view nearby objects clearly. One of the most obvious signs of the onset of age, hypermetropia is easily corrected with the use of glasses or lenses. However, until that is done, people from hypermetropia can suffer from blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, and discombobulation. Early diagnosis of hypermetropia as distinct from general tiredness of the eye is essential.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is the sustained elevation of blood pressure in arteries, the blood vessels that carry freshly oxygenated blood from the heart to the various parts of the body. High blood pressure significantly increases the chances of coronary heart disease, stroke, loss of vision, and kidney failure. High blood pressure is one of the most significant ailments found in senior citizens and requires consistent and regular medication to keep it in check to maintain health and normal living standards.
Apart from the aforementioned old age problems, the issues of economic insecurity and isolation plague senior citizens. They need all the love and care in the world at this phase of life and it is up to us children to repay their love.