As people grow older, regular life tasks become challenging as the body begins ‘failing’ you. You begin to experience chronic medical conditions, which can be overwhelming for both your family members and caregivers. If this happens, it’s crucial to visit an experienced geriatric care specialist such as Kyle Scarborough, MD of Family Life Medical, who offers a considerate and unique approach for seniors.
A 2017 International Health Survey revealed that older people in the U.S. received very poor health services in terms of affordability, access, and timeliness. Nearly 22% percent of senior citizens had to spend $2000 out-of-pocket for prescription drugs. As people grow older, the length of stay in hospitals increases. Unfortunately, seniors in the U.S. end up in poorly built hospitals that do not cater to their needs. With halls that lack railings, hard to read signs, and chairs without armrests, seniors are forced to live with this injustice.
According to a 2019 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), once people get to 65 years, their need for long-term services and support (LTSS) increases. Additionally, LTSS services are more common in women, older adults that are not well educated as well as people of color.
Common Medical Conditions among the Elderly
· Late-life depression
As people grow older, they are at a higher risk of becoming depressed. Late-life depression occurs after the age of 65 and is prevalent in people with other existing physiological disorders.
Most seniors fail to report depression to their general practitioners because of the assumption that it’s normal for their age as well as limited understanding of late-life depression. As mentioned earlier, women experience depression more than their male counterparts, which is characterized by recurrent episodes.
Other risk factors include chronic conditions such as diabetes and endocrine disorders. Psychosocial factors such as loneliness, grief, and low socioeconomic status may lead to late-life depression.
Treatment includes employing self-help strategies such as volunteer work, joining a club, or taking care of a pet. Once you seek professional help, doctors will often recommend therapy and not medication.
This is because some antidepressants have been known to reduce bone mineral density among elderly patients.
Research shows that one in four people in the U.K. suffers from hypertension. They may not even be aware of it. Once you grow old, hypertension poses serious health risks caused by the straining of blood vessels.
So far, older patients with hypertension receive pharmacotherapy and are advised to practice a healthy lifestyle.
Studies reveal that cancer is the second leading cause of death in seniors. With over 200 cancer strains, the survival rate is lower among seniors. As a result, doctors do not recommend screening for people above 75 years unless they exhibit a long-life expectancy.
Finally, if you or anyone you know has gotten to the age where they require geriatric care, you must decide on the best care plan for them. This is especially vital now, in the face of the highly infectious Corona Virus. If you feel unsure about the best health plan for a senior loved one, seek help from a geriatric care specialist.