Osteoarthritis is the most common age-related joint disease that affects more than 80% of people older than 55 years of age. Arthritis of the knee and hip joints can make daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, and self-care, particularly difficult. Quality of life is therefore reduced, physically, emotionally, and socially.
Throughout life, there is continuous remodeling of bone, as bone is being lost and renewed. However, due to aging, more bone is lost than renewed, resulting in lower bone density than normal. This makes bones thin and weak, especially in wrist, spine and hip. Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut warning signs for osteoporosis until your loved one suffers from a fracture or has a noticeable stoop and change in posture.
One of the most common eye conditions in the elderly are cataracts. The most common type of cataracts are age-related, called senile cataracts. This happens when the lens in your eyes, which used to be clear, becomes cloudy due to the degradation and clumping of proteins. Over time, this cataract worsens, and you will require surgery and an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) in place.
Memory loss in the elderly can be age-related or can be due to other reversible conditions, such as malnutrition, anxiety, depression, and medications. In some instances, it can progress to dementia. However, there are ways to prevent and cope with memory impairment. These include physical and mental exercises, sufficient sleep, stress management, and a healthy diet.
A recommended therapeutic target of <150/90 for elderly patients may seem too lax, but this supports the finding that a lot of these patients are taking too many medications for blood pressure without additional benefits in morbidity reduction. Instead, this adds unnecessary cost, compounds the risk for medication errors, and can result in adverse effects such as orthostatic hypotension.
Even though the novel coronavirus is a health risk for everyone, most studies now show that the elderly population is more at risk. This is likely due to a weaker immune system and the presence of comorbidities. Some of our older loved ones have remained either isolated in nursing facilities or in their own homes, while some have been sent back to relatives for care due to the coronavirus outbreak. Wherever your loved one is, here are a few tips to help you care for them during this pandemic.
The word ‘home’ conjures feelings of warmth and family. In times of great stress, sickness, and anxiety, there is a need to be taken cared of. And at the same time, nothing is more reassuring than being at home. Thankfully, modern medicine allows a lot of services to be delivered to the patient in the comfort of his or her own house.