According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a lot of the sickness, disability and potentially death associated with chronic conditions can be avoided by taking preventative measures earlier in life. As we celebrate National Senior Citizens day on Sunday, August 21st, let’s look at how some of these conditions can be prevented.
Below are 4 common chronic conditions for seniors and ways to avoid them:
- Type 2 Diabetes. This is the most common type of diabetes. Although some factors that cause diabetes are out of our control like age, ethnicity or family history, there are other factors that we can control. Those include being overweight, and having high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as lack of exercise, smoking and stress.
By changing your lifestyle to a healthier one – eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising more often and stop (or never start) smoking –hopefully you can keep your weight under control and diabetes at bay.
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2014 almost 36 million people across the globe had some type of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Although there is no cure, there are things you can do to help ward off dementia including: keeping your brain active by learning a new language, playing games like Scrabble or Sudoku, or card games; reducing stress, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthier diet.
- Eye Disease. This may include glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Although each of these diseases has their own set of risks, there are a few common ones that can help you reduce the risk of getting these eye diseases. They include: eating healthy and exercising regularly to reduce the chance of getting diabetes; stop (or never start) smoking; keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check; and knowing your family history of eye disease.
- Osteoporosis. Bone loss can lead to being unsteady on your feet, falls and fractures. Getting regular exercise, such as yoga, walking, aerobics, climbing stairs, running and strength training can help keep your bones strong. Risk factors to avoid that contribute to bone loss include: excessive drinking, cigarette smoking, and drinking cola (more so than other carbonated soft drinks).
You should see a common theme with these conditions; eating healthy and exercising regularly can help to reduce a person’s risk of each of these chronic conditions that affect seniors. Although there are many other contributing factors to each one of these conditions, it is not too late to make some simple changes to your diet and exercise routine so your senior years are happy and healthy ones!
At Assisting Hands® Home Care, our skilled caregivers will make sure the seniors in our care are eating and exercising appropriately. Whether you need someone to be with your loved one during the day, in the evening or overnight, our at home care can accommodate your needs. You will have peace of mind knowing that they aren’t home alone when they need help with medication, fall prevention, personal care, eating or other needs.