Top Health Concerns for Seniors Over 70
It is no secret that we’re more at risk for certain medical conditions as we age and that we should be aware of the health concerns for seniors in their 70’s. Heart attack, stroke, dementia, and chronic pain are simply more likely to occur in older individuals than in younger. In addition to these conditions, other problems such as insomnia, under nourishment, balance disorders, and memory decline develop in individuals in their 70’s even if they are relatively healthy.
Top Health Concerns for Seniors Over 70 & What To Do About Them
Establishing certain behavior patterns can increase the chances of getting adequate sleep in order to reduce insomnia.
- Make sure the bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable.
- Turn off the TV or other stimuli at least an hour before bedtime in order to signal to the brain and body that it is time to rest.
- Take a warm bath or listen to soothing music to wind down.
Declining abilities to smell and taste often discourage eating in those over 70. Grocery shopping and cooking can also be challenging.
- Discuss with a family member the option of accessing community programs that deliver nutritious meals.
- Fiber supplements, when taken properly, can offset slower digestion.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among seniors. To decrease fall risk:
- Use a walker at all times.
- Remove loose rugs that can contribute to tripping.
- Install bars or railings in bathrooms.
- Use a lift chair to assist in standing.
- Have outside steps replaced with ramps.
Lack of Exercise
Balance, digestion, memory, and strength are all positively impacted by adequate exercise.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about beginning an exercise program. Investigate exercise programs that are designed especially for seniors.
- Determine the activities you would enjoy most, such as walking, swimming, or gardening. Make sure that either a friend joins you or that you wear a fall notification device in case of emergency.
Seniors living alone or experiencing varying degrees of mental and physical decline face many issues that impact their abilities to stay safe. From driving accidents to fire/smoke incidents in the home to mental and physical abuse and incidents of theft and fraud…..the list of safety hazards can be daunting.
- Make sure a geriatric specialist is part of your care team. In addition to knowing how to best treat age-related health issues, they know how to detect signs of safety compromise.