Overweight and Obesity
Being overweight can dramatically increase your risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer and a host of other problems. There are many practical guides that can help you learn how to control your weight put out by the National Institute of Health.
Say no to tobacco for better health. It is the single largest and most preventable cause of health problems in the United States today. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests that getting support from your physician is one of the most effective steps toward quitting.
Most of the time substance abuse refers to drugs and alcohol use. Often times we don’t associate drug abuse with seniors, but just like young people, the elderly abuse legal and illegal drugs. Drug abuse always leads to serious health problems. Additionally, seniors may accidentally mix medications and alcohol when they shouldn’t. Due to stereotypes and stigma, many medical professionals do not ask seniors about potential substance abuse problems.
Unhealthy Dietary and Exercise Habits
Research shows that being physically active can reduce the risk of certain diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It also relieves depression and improves mood. Lack of activity is much more likely as we increase in age, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many local community programs that have exercise and walking programs. Along with exercise, eating habits are also critical to maintaining optimum health. Eating foods that are rich in nutrients and eating a balanced diet is part of a successful health regimen.
Because the subject may be uncomfortable to address, it may not get the attention it deserves. Up to 15% of Aids cases in the United States were people over the age of 50. Also, seniors are less likely than younger people to use condoms. This combined with the fact that our immune systems get weaker as we get older increases the risk of contracting HIV. It’s often overlooked because HIV symptoms and the symptoms of aging are similar. Both cause fatigue, dementia, swollen lymph nodes and weight loss.
Many people may be surprised to learn that dementia is not a normal part of aging for the majority of seniors. The most commonly known form of dementia is Alzheimer ’s disease, although there are many different types of dementia. It can be caused by taking the wrong medications, disease, poor vision or hearing, infection, diabetes and renal failure among other things. Another common form of mental illness for seniors is depression. If left untreated, depression can have devastating effects.
Falls are the leading cause of injury among the elderly. 1 in every 3 seniors will suffer a major fall each year. There are many effective strategies to reduce the risk of falling. Exercise to increase strength and improve balance are both good strategies.
Pollution can affect anyone, but it’s especially harmful to the elderly. Smog, polluted water sources, mold and other pollutants can wreak havoc on our health. According the US government, a higher proportion of elderly citizens live in areas that pose environmental risks.
Not receiving regular influenza vaccinations can put seniors at risk. Pneumonia and influenza are in the top ten leading causes of death for seniors in the United States. Pneumonia is a serious infection that is prevalent among older women.
Access to Health Care
As we age it’s more important to keep a close eye on our health. Seniors that don’t monitor their health care seriously are at a disadvantage. Many people simply don’t have frequent access to healthcare when they should.