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What are Chronic Diseases and why are Elders at Risk

August 31, 2016

Elder Care in Belmont CAElder-Care-in-Belmont-CA

Chronic health conditions are common among elderly adults, affecting more than 70 million adults over the age of 50. Anyone who has an elderly parent, family member, or spouse has probably heard the term “chronic diseases,” but may not fully understand what it means. According to AARP, it is defined as “ongoing, generally incurable illnesses or conditions that require ongoing medical attention.” Someone with a chronic illness may lose the ability to accomplish even the simplest task and may need additional help from a home care provider. These health conditions can take a toll on the physical and mental health of the elder, but knowing more about this term can help you understand what an elderly loved one with a chronic disease is going through.Risk FactorsThe biggest cause of chronic health conditions continues to be age. A little less than half of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 have at least one chronic condition, while nine out of 10 adults over the age of 75 are affected by it. Although age is a big factor in developing this condition, it is not the only one. Other risk factors include:
  • Low income
  • Being of African American or Hispanic descent
  • Alcoholism or tobacco use
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of exercise
 How Chronic Conditions Affect Their HealthChronic diseases do not affect just one part of the body. A wide range of diseases are included in this term, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Adults with one chronic disease most likely have another one, even if it has not been properly diagnosed yet. Although only 20 percent of adults over the age of 50 have one chronic condition, while approximately 32 percent have between two and four. These illnesses can drastically alter how the elder lives their life. Some areas that are affected are:
  • The need for assistance with basic activities, like bathing, feeding, and toileting
  • Being unable to stand for long periods of time and finding it difficult to walk
  • An increased need for an elder care provider
  • An increased possibility of being hospitalized
 Common Chronic DiseasesElderly adults are at risk for numerous health conditions as they get older, but there are some that they are at a higher risk of. Here are some of the most common chronic diseases to be aware of.
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Mental problems
  • Dementia
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
Chronic diseases are not to be taken lightly. Encourage your loved one to get regular checkups from their doctor in order to get treated for any diagnosed medical condition early on.  

If you or an aging loved one are looking for elder care in Belmont, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care. Call today!

Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990

San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777

Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990

  Source: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/health/beyond_50_hcr_conditions.pdf

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