What are the most common mental and Physical Ailments Age 60 Plus?
The risk of having health issues increases as you age. There are many normal signs of aging at 60. You may experience some of these signs of aging at 50.
Here are Some Common Physical Ailments Age 60 Plus
Arthritis is probably one of the most common health problems we may have to deal with as we age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.3% of people aged 45 to 65 years old in the U.S. have reported doctor-diagnosed Arthritis. This increases to 49.6% for people aged 65 years and older.
The risk of arthritis heightens with age. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on the CDC’s website, the prevalence of arthritis is significantly higher among women.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis?
Arthritis can be tricky as it can cause pain to any part of your body. In some cases, arthritis pain lasts for a few hours, sometimes days, and could lead to a chronic condition.
You may need to consult your doctor when you start to feel the following symptoms:
- Stiffness in your joints.
- Joints are swelling.
- Joints are tender, and you feel pain when you touch your joints.
- You have problems moving your joints.
- You feel warmth and redness in your joints.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, consult with your doctor right away.
What are the Most Common types of Arthritis in People over the Age of 60?
Different types of arthritis require different treatments. Since they all involve pain, it is best to check with your doctor for proper evaluation.
This type of arthritis is one of the most common Physical Ailments Age 60 Plus. This is the condition wherein the cartilage starts to wear down.
The cartilage acts as a pad in the joints, so when it wears down, pain starts to set in. This type of arthritis usually comes with age, and there are no particular triggers.
Usually, your doctor may prescribe you with Acetaminophen or other pain relievers to alleviate the pain caused by your osteoarthritis. Most medications for this condition can be bought over the counter. However, some need your doctor’s prescription.
For osteoarthritis in the knees, losing weight is most likely going to help you relieve some of the pain. In some cases, doctors may require shots in your joints to ease the pain. Surgery may be needed in severe cases. Of the physical ailments age 60 plus this is the one many of us can avoid or help by being pro-active.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Your body attacks the lining of your joints as if it were defending you from the disease. The pain you are experiencing is due to the inflammation of the joints caused by this condition. The pain and swelling usually last for hours.
In some severe cases, the pain is so intense; you can’t even move. Rheumatoid Arthritis usually occurs in the ankles, feet, knees, hips, shoulders, wrist, neck, elbows, and fingers.
What’s interesting about this condition is that once you have Rheumatoid Arthritis in one place of your body, you are likely to have one on the other side as well. This condition can also affect your nervous system, heart, and blood vessels.
People affected by this condition usually get tired fast, and they often have a fever. Although it affects both men and women, this condition is more prevalent in women.
You may try over the counter pain relievers to help alleviate the pain. However, in some cases, your doctor may require you to take anti-rheumatic drugs to help slow down the damage caused by the condition.
This type of Arthritis is a reaction to an infection somewhere in your body. Symptoms of this condition include inflammation of the joints, inflammation of the urinary tract, and pink eye or conjunctivitis.
Antibiotics are generally used to treat the infection, causing the inflammation. Your doctor may also require you to take anti-inflammatory medicines.
Most people who have experienced this condition consider it the most painful type of arthritis. Gout happens when uric acid forms in the spaces between your joints or connective tissues. This results in heat in the joints, swelling, and pain.
Gout appears typically in the big toe, but it can also appear in the knees, ankle, wrist, and hands. The area affected by gout generally turns red or purple, and you will notice the skin tightening as if getting pulled.
You will know if you have gout!
Lifestyle change helps in alleviating the pain associated with this condition. If you have gout, it is recommended to stay away from anchovies, dried beans, gravy, liver, peas, and shellfish.
Losing weight is also recommended.
Don’t drink alcohol. Also, before you take any blood pressure medications, consult with your doctor as it can affect your gout.
In general, your doctor will discuss the possible triggers of your gout, and you will be advised to avoid them. To reduce the swelling, you may be prescribed corticosteroids.
Although the incidence of this disease increases with age, it is not considered as a natural part of the aging process.
What are the Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of Dementia. If you or your loved ones are experiencing the symptoms outlined below, you may need to contact your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
It’s normal to forget some events or occasions. However, if it becomes more frequent, it may be a sign that you have Alzheimer’s. If you notice that you or someone keeps asking the same questions and continually needs to be reminded of everything, you must consult a doctor right away.
Struggling to solve simple problems and making plans.
If a person is struggling to develop and follow a plan of action, this can be an indication of Alzheimer’s. If you notice yourself struggling to do your monthly bills or your checkbooks, you need to see a doctor.
Struggling to complete familiar tasks.
Concentrating becomes a difficult task for a person with Alzheimer’s. Day-to-day activities that require critical thinking become difficult. If you struggle to remember a path that you usually take, you have to see a doctor as you may have Alzheimer’s.
Trouble determining place or time.
People with Alzheimer’s usually lose track of time and are unable to explain how they got to a specific place and why they got there in the first place. Planning events also become increasingly difficult as the disease progresses.
You or a family member might experience trouble reading, unable to judge distances, or unable to determine colors. These are also symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Mood swings and personality changes.
You will notice that a person with Alzheimer’s experiences mood swings and changes in personality. These moods include the following:
Often, Alzheimer’s patients are easily irritated, especially when something happens that is outside of the usual routine.
You will also notice that people with Alzheimer’s withdraw themselves from work activities, social events, or hobbies that used to be important.
They also have difficulty carrying out a conversation as they often struggle for words and forget their lines of thought.
A person with Alzheimer’s also loses the will to stay clean. If you notice someone who refuses to bathe regularly or refuses to change clothes frequently which is uncommon, it can be a sign of the disease.
There is no known cure for this disease. However, some medications are available to help manage behavioral symptoms and slow down the progress of the disease. Cholinesterase inhibitors may be prescribed for early to moderate cases of this disease.
Of all the Ailments Age 60 Plus this one is very hard on the care givers, especially family members.
Loss of Hearing (Presbycusis)
This condition is a common ailment at age 60 and above. Gradual Hearing Loss or presbycusis is common as we age.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans (20 percent) report some degree of hearing loss.
What causes hearing loss?
As you get older, the tiny hairs inside your ears start to deteriorate. These hairs are responsible for processing sounds that enter your ears. As these hairs deteriorate, the way your ears process sound gets affected.
Aside from hearing loss, you may also experience changes in your hearing, such as:
- Inability to follow a conversation in a noisy area.
- Failure to distinguish certain consonants especially the high-pitched ones.
- Some sounds appear to be louder than the others.
- Voices sound muffled.
Can hearing loss be reversed?
Once the hair-like cells in your ears known as cilia get damaged, it is permanent.
However, in some cases, some treatments can help restore your hearing or reverse your hearing loss partially.
For seniors, treatment options for hearing loss may include:
- Hearing aids
- Assistive devices such as speech to text technology or telephone amplifiers
- Speech-reading training where you are trained to pick up visual cues to determine what is being said
- Proper methods on how to prevent excess wax in the outer ear
- Cochlear implants
If you have someone in the family that has the condition, your risk is higher as it is thought that this condition is hereditary.
Personal Note: My Father had a 90% hearing loss in one ear. In 2018, I noticed it seemed to be harder to hear the TV. I was turning the sound up, and my husband was saying how loud it was. I mentioned it to my Doctor at my annual physical, and she suggested I have a hearing test.
I went right away and I suppose I should not have been surprised at the results. Yes, my hearing was declining. So what could I do? The only real issue was that sounds were muffled. The audiologist confirmed that without clarity, some sounds would be harder to hear. She made a suggestion that worked like magic. Turn up the treble on my TV and radio sound. All of a sudden, I could hear what the people were saying.
I have since passed this tip on to many friends. It did work like magic.
Cataracts, Glaucoma, and Other Eye Conditions
As you approach your senior years, your eyesight starts to degenerate. This is because your eyes are no longer able to produce tears as much as it did when you were younger. As a result, your retinas start to thin, and the lenses in your eyes start to turn yellow and become less clear.
A cataract is the most common eye condition in older adults. It is characterized by the formation of a cloud-like substance in the lens of the eye. It may not affect your vision early on, but as it progresses, it can change your vision and your day to day activities.
Can you treat cataracts without surgery?
At the early onset of cataract and other eye conditions, prescription glasses or contact lenses usually help for better vision. Wearing anti-glare sunglasses, using brighter lighting at home, and using magnifying glasses for reading or other actions can all help alleviate the symptoms of cataract. However, if it goes in the way of your daily activities and affects your productivity and everyday life, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Summary of Mental & Physical Ailments Age 60 Plus
Aging does not necessarily mean you will undergo all those conditions listed above. You can prevent these common ailments at age 60 plus from affecting you by eating healthy, exercising, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and staying active.
I am not giving you medical advice. Please see your doctor for medical attention. Don’t use the internet to self diagnose. If you are in pain, please go to the emergency room or urgent care facility.
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