Disability and disease are more likely to affect elderly adults than any other segment of the population. Chronic illnesses in particular are very common in those over the age of 65, with more than three-fourths of that age group reporting that they have one or more in their lives. When a senior gets a diagnosis of a chronic condition, they may worry that they will lose their independence and their ability to live in their own home. However, chronic conditions definitely do not mean an end to an elderly person’s independence.
What is a Chronic Illness?
Chronic illnesses are those that are not caused by bacteria or viruses, cannot be cured by modern medicine and never go away. The symptoms of chronic conditions can often be managed to a point where they don’t interfere with daily life. In other cases, the symptoms are serious enough that they prevent the senior adult from engaging in everyday living tasks. They can significantly affect their quality of life and in extreme cases, they can lead to complete dependence on senior care assistance and family caregivers.
Around three-fourths of all elderly adults in America over the age of 65 are living with at least one chronic illness. Some of the most common chronic conditions in the elderly include arthritis, glaucoma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Early diagnosis of the condition can certainly lead to immediate treatment and a minimization of symptoms. Lifestyle adjustments and proper medication can also slow down the progression of the chronic illnesses.
Treating Chronic Conditions
Chronic diseases are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, most chronic illnesses are treatable when managed by a doctor or medical team. When the symptoms of chronic diseases start to interfere with daily activities, seniors can look into many different tools and resources available to allow them to still live in their own homes. The bottom line is that a chronic illness doesn’t automatically mean that it’s time for the nursing home.
As mentioned, an early diagnosis is a big step in getting an elderly adult the proper treatment they need. Adjusting the diet can also help with some chronic illnesses like arthritis and diabetes. Exercise and weight loss will always help the body function better with a number of chronic illnesses such as high cholesterol, arthritis, and heart disease. There are many ways that seniors can reduce the impact of the symptoms of chronic health issues on their daily lives, including occupational and physical therapy, senior care assistance programs, meal delivery services and more.
Even though the risk of chronic disease and disability does increase with age, it doesn’t mean that elderly adults have to automatically sacrifice their independence. With an effective support group and close medical treatment, seniors can enjoy living in their own homes for many years to come.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Greece NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
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