Family caregivers have the responsibility to watch out for their elderly relatives and help them out physically and emotionally. As people age, they are more likely to develop age related health challenges. Sometimes, the elderly people are aware of the changes and have no problem asking for medical help. Other elderly people may be in denial that they are showing symptoms of age-related health issues. Then, its up to caregivers, with the help of home care assistants, family members, and others, to take note of the symptoms in their elderly loved one and make arrangements to get them to their doctor.
Family caregivers should be familiar with some of the most common senior health challenges so that they will be able to recognize when their loved one needs to get some professional help. Here are some of the most common chronic conditions that appear with age.
Almost a quarter of all elderly people are living with diabetes and it is an impactful disease that can seriously affect their lives. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to other health problems, illness, and even death. Early warning signs of diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, and itchy skin. Diabetes can be identified with a simple blood test given by a doctor.
Oral health is often overlooked by seniors and family caregivers alike. In order to keep the mouth and teeth healthy, its important to get regular checkups and take care of daily hygiene. Some seniors may need help from a home care assistant for grooming and hygiene needs. As seniors lose their teeth, the dentist can work with them on their options.
More than half of seniors deal with some form of arthritis and it can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling in one or more joints, such as the fingers, knees, or shoulders. In the early stages of arthritis, its critical to start working with a doctor to create an activity and treatment plan to slow down any deterioration.
The same virus that causes the chicken pox also triggers shingles in adults. One third of elderly people will develop shingles, which is a painful rash that erupts along the nerve endings. Early symptoms include tingling, itching, and eventually severe pain on the back, shoulder and sometimes the chest and face. Once the shingles have erupted, theres not much to do to prevent it, just treat it. The good news is that there are vaccines available to reduce the risk.
Pneumonia and influenza affect elderly people much more seriously than in younger adults and can even cause death for some. Thats because their immune systems are weaker and cant resist the germs and infections as well. Seniors can minimize the risk or even avoid it altogether by getting an annual flu shot as well as a pneumonia vaccine.
If you or an aging family member are considering professional home care in Brookhaven, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.