As seniors grow older, the risk for a number of health concerns increases. While family history, lifestyle, and health history all play a role in determining which diseases and conditions might affect your senior loved one, gender can also be an indicator. Women over the age of 65 should especially watch out for the following 7 health concerns.
1. Heart Disease
More women die from heart disease than any other health condition. Your loved one should take measures to keep her blood pressure and cholesterol under control. If there is a family history of heart disease, she should visit her doctor for regular checkups. Losing weight, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol consumption, eating a diet low in sodium and saturated fat, and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can help senior women keep heart disease at bay.
A professional caregiver can encourage your loved one to eat healthy and exercise regularly. When considering senior home care, Centennial, CO, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
By age 65, senior women should start thinking about osteoporosis and its effects on the bones. A bone density scan can help your loved one find out if she is at risk for the disease, which can lead to limited mobility, falls, and broken bones. Make sure she gets plenty of calcium in her diet, exercises regularly, and takes vitamins or medications her doctor prescribes to enhance bone health.
At least half of all senior citizens over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with arthritis, and women are more prone to it than men. A healthy diet, exercising regularly, cutting back on smoking and alcohol, and taking supplements can minimize symptoms. However, if your loved one experiences debilitating pain because of arthritis, talk to her doctor about various medication and treatment options.
Approximately 21 percent of women over the age of 65 have some type of cancer. It’s the second-leading cause of death for senior women. If caught early enough through screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies, it can be treated with promising results.
Caring for a senior with cancer can be challenging and overwhelming at times. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Centennial, CO, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
5. Alzheimer’s Disease
Research suggests one in nine adults over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease. Women are twice as likely to get it than men. While there is no sure way to keep Alzheimer’s at bay, you can help your loved one lower her risk by making sure she gets plenty of sleep, eats several fresh fruits and vegetables each day, and gets at least 30 minutes of exercise. Maintaining a social life, working on hobbies, playing games, and learning new activities like sewing or a foreign language can help as well.
Nearly 41 percent of women between the ages of 65 and 74 are considered obese, putting them at risk for a number of diseases. Much of this has to do with lack of mobility and activity. Encourage your loved one to exercise, even if her mobility is limited, and to eat a balanced diet limiting her sugar and salt intake.
Depression affects women nearly twice as much as men. Loneliness and isolation may play a role in the development of depression in older women, as can lack of activity and socialization. Make sure your loved one maintains relationships and goes on outings regularly, even if she needs to be accompanied. If you do not see positive changes in her mood, talk to her doctor about medication. Long-term depression can weaken the immune system.
Depression can be a sign of dementia in seniors. Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Centennial, CO, dementia home care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to slow the progression of dementia, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care. Call 303.957.3100 to speak to a knowledgeable Care Manager who can help tailor a care plan to match your loved one’s needs.