While we aim to avoid illness, about 80% of adults and older live with at least one chronic health condition, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Chronic diseases do more than cause symptoms; they affect mental health and limit the activities of seniors. Let’s look at ways elder care in Philadelphia can help seniors manage the most common chronic health conditions.
The Most Common Chronic Conditions Affecting Seniors
According to the NCOA, the most common health conditions seniors are likely to face as they age include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. Doctors prescribe medications and treatments to help manage these conditions. Seniors can also make lifestyle changes to help ease symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.
High Blood Pressure
In addition to medical treatments, seniors can do three things to help manage high blood pressure:
- Monitor blood pressure at home and keep readings to show your doctor (a home caregiver can help monitor blood pressure throughout the day).
- Limit consumption of salt and alcohol.
- Maintain a healthy weight (losing 10 pounds can significantly reduce blood pressure)
High cholesterol can be dangerous for seniors, leading to the risk of heart disease and heart attack. However, you can do a few simple things to help control your cholesterol:
- Cut out saturated fats and trans fats from your diet.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat foods with heart-healthy fats like avocados, salmon, and nuts.
Arthritis is painful and can lead to limited mobility. In addition to treatment, consider,
- Acupuncture treatment to help reduce arthritis pain.
- Applying heat or cold to aching joints
- Getting plenty of rest
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Fortunately, in addition to medical treatments, you can take steps to improve your health outcome:
- Cut saturated fats and trans fats from your diet.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep at night and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
- Manage your stress, as this will reduce your chance of a heart attack.
Diabetes is common in older adults. The type of diabetes you have will affect the type of treatment your doctor prescribes. Whatever type of diabetes you have, these tips will help you manage and live healthier:
- Check for cuts, blisters, and swelling daily, and notify your doctor if sores don’t go away.
- Brush and floss your teeth daily.
- Test your blood sugar often (a caregiver can help you spot patterns in your blood sugar result to help you plan diet and activities)
In-home caregivers can help seniors monitor symptoms, keep up with medications, and plan meals and activities to help manage any health condition.
Are You Looking for Elder Care in Philadelphia?
Angels on Call is here for your family. Contact us to talk about your loved one’s needs and set up a free in-home consultation.