As people age, they become more susceptible to ailments and diseases due to their aging bodies and systems. Even individuals who have maintained excellent health for most of their lives are likely to experience at least some of the most common ailments associated with the natural aging process. It is especially important to take genetics into consideration when planning for possible age-related ailments that may affect you or a loved one. If you currently have any relatives or loved ones who are suffering from age-related ailments, here is some information that may help you understand their condition a little bit better.
Alzheimer’s disease is a fairly common ailment associated with old age and is typically diagnosed when the individual is around 75 years of age. Symptoms typically start to appear approximately three years before the disease is diagnosed in most individuals. When a person suffers from Alzheimer’s, their mind deteriorates and stops functioning at a more rapid pace than their body, which can cause them to lose their awareness, perception of reality, and ultimately become incoherent.
Alzheimer’s is a slow-developing disease that begins with very minor problems with memory and ultimately results in severe brain damage. On average, patients who have Alzheimer’s disease live 8 – 10 years after their initial diagnosis.
Some people mistakenly believe that dementia and Alzheimer’s are interchangeable, but they are different. Alzheimer’s and other brain conditions can lead to dementia, which is a condition that is caused by certain changes in brain function and may include the following symptoms:
Becoming easily lost in places that should be familiar
Frequently becoming disoriented about places, times, and people
Asking the same questions over and over
Neglecting personal hygiene, nutrition, and safety
Inability to follow directions
Depending on the cause of the dementia, it may or may not be reversed.
The term “angina” refers to a particular type of chest pain that is fairly common in older individuals. The pain stems from an insufficient supply of blood to the muscles of the heart. In most cases, angina is caused by coronary artery diseases, including hypertension, aortic stenosis, atherosclerosis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, in rare cases individuals who have healthy arteries can also suffer from angina.
Common symptoms of angina include pressure, burning, tightness, or aching behind the breastbone. In some cases, these sensations may also spread to the jaw, neck, arms, and back. Individuals who experience these symptoms should immediately sit down and rest to see if the symptoms dissipate after two or three minutes. If they persist longer than this time, a nitroglycerin tablet should be dissolved beneath the tongue, and an ambulance should be called if the symptoms persist for 15 minutes or longer.
Because elderly people often become inactive, they can develop bed sores as a result of lying or sitting in one place for too long. Bed sores start with a reddening of the skin that doesn’t go away within 30 minutes after pressure is relieved from the area. Bed sores should not be massaged or rubbed, since this can make the problem worse. When bed sores develop, it is important to relieve pressure from the area and have the sore treated by a doctor.
While there are many ailments associated with old age, proper nutrition, physical activity, and awareness of symptoms can help individuals learn how to avoid certain conditions and effectively deal with any ailments that a loved one may develop.
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