Eight Common Health Issues Seniors Face

February 24, 2024

The life expectancy of the average American is higher than it has ever been.

Make those extra years as healthy and active as possible by losing weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and exercising.

Doing these things may help ward off some of the eight most common health concerns for those over the age of 65.

1. Heart disease

This is the number one killer of people aged 65 and older. Issues that can progress as you age, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can contribute to the risk of heart disease. Getting enough sleep, controlling your weight and maintaining a healthy diet can all lower your risk.

2. Respiratory diseases

These include issues such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. They’re dangerous in their own right, but also make you more susceptible to pneumonia. If you have any of these ailments, using your oxygen correctly and taking the right medications can reduce your risks and improve your quality of life.

3. Arthritis

Many adults over age 65 are suffering from this painful condition. Staying active can help. Work with your physician to find an exercise regimen that works for you.

4. Alzheimer’s disease

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 7% of Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. While there’s no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia, keeping your brain active can keep you mentally sharp. Combine physical exercise with brain exercises such as puzzles and reading.

5. Osteoporosis

Because this condition can severely limit mobility, it can have far-reaching adverse effects, including the increased risk of a break due to a fall.

Participating in regular weight-bearing exercise, getting enough vitamin D and calcium, and avoiding smoking and alcohol will all go a long way toward keeping your bones healthy and strong.

6. Depression

Depression can lower immunity and make it harder for your body to fight off infection. Increasing activity and spending time with family and friends can boost mood and ease the symptoms of depression.

7. Diabetes

When diabetes is caught early, it’s much easier to manage and you’ll have fewer issues related to it when you’re older. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating right and getting physical activity will help keep your blood sugar under control.

8. Falls

Did you know your risk of experiencing a fall increases with each year of your life?

Experiencing one fall creates a slippery slope. Most falls happen in the home and involve everyday items, like rugs or slippery floors. Prevent falls by using rugs that don’t slip and using handrails.

Keep yourself healthy and safe

No one can avoid every illness or catastrophe, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risks, including having the proper health care. UROne Benefits™ can help you find the right coverage for your health insurance needs. Contact UROne Benefits™ today at 800-722-7331.

This post was originally published in February 2018; updated February 2024.