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Need to Know

Senior Health Watch: 4 Common Medical Conditions in the Elderly

There are many health conditions that come with being a senior citizen.

Here are four old age health problems to look out for and possible ways and means to prevent them.

According to WebMD, three-fourths of adults aged 60 and older are overweight or obese. Obesity triggers not only type 2 diabetes but cardiovascular disease, breast and colon cancer, gall bladder disease, and high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to preventing these complications. Low-impact exercises, such as water aerobics, walking, stretching, and gardening, can help prevent these chronic diseases in the elderly. Moreover, they may also help boost moods and serotonin levels.

Osteoporosis and Falls
Osteoporosis literally means “porous bones.” About 44 million people in the United States are at risk for this potentially debilitating disease, which is responsible for 1.5 million fractures (broken bones) annually. For senior citizens especially, falls can lead to premature death, if not other serious health complications. Exercises such as walking and weight lifting can strengthen bones and prevent these falls.

Arthritis is formed over a lifetime due to spurts of harsh, redundant activities. For women especially, years of wearing high heels can cause arthritis in the knees. Arthritis is far-reaching, affecting nearly half the senior population; it is a leading cause of disability. In order to prevent and control its spreading, avoiding overuse and exercise is key. The mentioned exercises can work, as well as stretch.

Memory Loss
Memory loss functions much like arthritis. Years of multitasking, overuse, and stress can affect the brain, causing memory loss. Though it is a common belief that memory loss is inevitable, there are ways to prevent and control it. Heart health is very much connected to brain health, states WebMD because the same blood vessels that go through the heart go to the brain. Essentially, maintaining the former will help the latter. In addition, limiting multitasking will stop brain overload, and keeping up with current events and reading will keep one mentally active. This is the equivalent of physical exercise for the brain.

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