Long-term medical conditions currently affect around four million older people in the US. This is set to rise because of our ageing population. In fact, experts predict that by 2030, around seven million older people will have some form of long-term medical condition.
The ageing population and the increased prevalence of long-term medical conditions have had a huge impact on the NHS. Falls are the biggest cause of emergency admissions for older people and significantly impact long-term outcomes, especially for those who suffer from a medical problem.
Common Medical Conditions in Older People
Advances in healthcare have helped people in the world live longer than ever before. As a result, medical conditions have become a more pronounced part of older life. On the other hand, it is becoming less of a challenge to live with these medical conditions. Therefore, older people are now in the best position ever to manage them on a day-to-day basis.
It’s important for us all to understand the most common medical conditions, so that we are more prepared to deal with them if diagnosed. This includes understanding the condition itself, its symptoms, and the treatments available. Furthermore, we should understand how to prevent common illnesses and how to live with them.
Here’s our guide to the most common medical conditions that tend to affect older people.
Arthritis is the breakdown of tissue inside the joints. It can restrict movement in the joints and cause pain and inflammation. Arthritis is very common in the US, affecting more than 10 million people of all ages.
Hypertension – or high blood pressure – is incredibly common. According to the NHS, more than one in four adults in the US have high blood pressure but many won’t even realize it. The only way to find out is by having your blood pressure checked.
Noticeable symptoms of hypertension are rare. In fact, the only time someone will notice symptoms of hypertension will be when their blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels. This is known as hypertensive crisis. Symptoms for this include severe headaches and anxiety, chest pain and an irregular heartbeat.
Asthma occurs when the body’s airways are sensitive to allergens and become inflamed. This inflammation can cause a painful and frightening attack, which causes the airway muscles to tighten and narrow, making it hard to breathe.