It’s estimated that 80 percent of men and women over the age of 64 have at least one chronic health condition. Close to 80 percent have two or more. Health conditions can make it hard to age at home without help from a caregiver.
The most common chronic diseases are:
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Heart Disease
Prevention is important.
The best way to prevent these conditions is by maintaining a healthy weight, eating the right foods, and getting plenty of exercise. Make sure your parents are seeing their doctor regularly. Beyond that, you should understand how to identify the common symptoms.
Symptoms to Watch For
Some of the common chronic health conditions are easy to identify. Others have no noticeable symptoms. Here are the things to know about each.
Alzheimer’s Disease –Watch for changes in common skills like remembering appointments and counting money at a store. Your parent may forget that he/she called you a few hours earlier. Asking the same question over and over is another sign.
Arthritis – Your parent will find joints like the knee, ankle, wrist, and fingers ache. After sitting down watching TV or getting out of the car after a short trip, the knees and ankles are stiff and have to loosen back up.
Cancer – Symptoms vary from one type of cancer to the next. Watch for weight loss, cysts and lumps, pain, appetite changes, and nausea.
Diabetes/Pre-Diabetes – Excessive thirst is one of the signs of diabetes. Pain and numbness in the extremities, blurred vision, slow healing cuts, and excessive hunger are other signs.
Heart Disease – Shortness of breath, chest pain, tiring easily, and having an irregular heartbeat are all possible signs of heart disease.
Hypertension – High blood pressure is one of the hardest to catch as there aren’t always signs. Regular checks of your parents’ blood pressure at the pharmacy and doctor’s office are the best ways to know.
Stroke – FAST is the thing to remember for a stroke. If the face droops, one arm won’t stay raised, and speech is slurred, those are key signs of a stroke. Don’t waste time. Call paramedics immediately.
Advocate for Your Parents
Go to the doctor’s office with them. After learning they have a chronic health condition, they’ll be shocked and may not remember everything they’re told. You are there with them and can remember everything for them. If you have questions, you’ll also be able to ask questions and get answers that help you process it.
Arrange senior care services so that they have the support they need at home. With caregivers, they have help with medication reminders, meals, housework, laundry, and appointment management. Call a senior care agency to make arrangements.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering hiring Elderly Care in Clear Lake Shores, TX, please contact the caring staff at Sheila’s Angels In-Home Care today at (281) 661-8808.