Senior Health (cont.)
What are the most common diseases and conditions seniors face as they age?
Medical problems in the elderly can involve any organ system in the body.
Most conditions result from decreased function or degeneration of the involved
Most commonly encountered medical conditions in seniors based on organ system
are listed below:
osteoarthritis (inflammation of joints due to wear and
tear), osteoporosis (bone loss),
gout, loss of muscle mass, fractures.
- Hormonal: Diabetes (impaired control of blood glucose),
dysfunction, high blood cholesterol, slower overall metabolism.
- Neurologic: dementia (Alzheimer or other types),
strokes, poor vision, hearing impairment, balance problem.
- Visual: macular degeneration,
cataracts, diabetes and
hypertension related eye disease.
- Cardiovascular disease:
congestive heart failure,
heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation),
high blood pressure (hypertension),
atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of blood vessels) and
peripheral vascular disease or peripheral artery disease (poor blood flow as a result of
narrow blood vessels).
- Lungs: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), loss of lung volume.
- Kidneys: poor kidney function (kidney or renal disease) from
diabetes and hypertension.
- Skin and Hair: hair loss,
dry skin, itching, infections.
- Cancers: prostate, colon, lung,
breast, skin, bladder, ovary, brain,
pancreas, only to name a few.
- Bone marrow and immune system: inability to produce sufficient blood cells
- Gastrointestinal: stomach ulcers,
diverticulosis (small pockets forming in
the wall of colon), colon inflammation or
colitis from infection or ischemic
(poor blood flow) , swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) , constipation, bowel
- Urinary: urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, difficulty urinating.
- Oral and dental: gum disease, dry mouth, loss of teeth, poorly fitting
- Infections: urinary tract infection,
pneumonia, skin infection,
colon infection (diverticulitis, colitis).
- Psychiatric: depression,
anxiety, sleep disturbance,
- General problems:
fatigue, general deconditioning, forgetfulness,
medication side effects, diminished appetite, weight loss, falls.