COMMON PROBLEMS IN OLD AGE

There are certain medical problems which are very common in old age as discussed below:


Alzheimer's Disease

  • Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder and a slow and gradual disease that begins in the part of the brain that control the memory.
  • It affects a greater number of intellectual, emotional and behavioral abilities. There is no known cause for this disease.
  • As a person grows older, he is at greater risk of developing Alzheimer's. After 60, the risk is one in 20, but after 80, it is one in five."
Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused by inflammation of the joint lining in synovial (free moving) joints.
  • It can affect any joint, but is more common in peripheral joints, such as the hands, fingers and toes. RA can cause functional disability, significant pain and joint destruction, leading to deformity and premature mortality.
Osteoarthritis

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common from arthritis. It is a chronic, irreversible and degenerative condition ranging from very mild to very sever. It is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in joints, which causes affected bones to rub against each other leading to permanent damage.
Heart Diseases

  • Hypertension has been called the "silent killer" because it usually produces no symptoms. Untreated hypertension increases slowly over the years. Hypertension can cause certain organs (called target organs), including the kidney, eyes, and heart to deteriorate overtime.
  • The WHO (World Health Organization) estimate that in 2006, 3 millions people die of cardiovascular (CVD) disease such as heart disease and stroke in India, heart disease is the single largest cause of death in the country.
Diabetes

  • Diabetes in old age is a serious sickness.
  • Old people in fact are more prone to suffer from diabetes primarily because of lack of movement and work.
  • Yet another difficulty is reduction in weight of the elderly, since they cannot be made to undergo hard strenuous exercises.
  • The old age people are more prone to developing various complications. 
Stroke

  • There are 15 million people who have a stroke each year. Stroke is the second leading cause of death for people above the age of 60, and the fifth leading cause in people aged 15 to 59 years.
Urinary Incontinence 

  • About one-third of women and 10% of all men above 60 years have incontinence. Incontinence is the loss of control over urine and fecal elimination. This means that people lose control over their bladder and bowel movements and cannot control the excretion process. 
Social Isolation 

  • Isolation may be a choice, the result of a desire not to interact with others.
  • May also be a response to conditions that inhibits the ability or the opportunity to interact with others.
  • causes of isolation:- Loss of work role, Health problems i.e. impaired hearing, diminished vision and reduce mobility, Feeling of rejection, Feeling of unattractiveness,


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