Senior Health Issues that are Preventable 

Preventing Senior Health Issues

Many senior health issues are preventable to a significant degree.

The wisdom that comes from a life well lived also comes with a higher risk for injury, illness, and disease. If that sounds depressing, look at the bright side. Eight of the nine leading categories of death and disability are preventable.

If you begin making good lifestyle choices, you can slow, stop, or reverse many of these conditions; and the sooner you begin, the better your chances of avoiding them altogether.

In most cases, the preventative measures are simple lifestyle habits that we all know are healthy for both our minds and our bodies, such as:

  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Strength training
  • A nutrient-dense diet
  • Reasonable daily activity level
  • Proper hydration
  • Adequate sleep patterns

You may add some fun activities that are healthy for your mind, such as learning and trying new things so that your brain continues to develop pathways that both maintain and strengthen cognition skills.

Let’s get more specific by looking at a few of the most preventable senior health issues.


Complications of Obesity

According to the United Health Foundation, 14-32% of adults over the age of 65 are obese. The exact percentage depends on where you live, with Hawaii coming in at the lower end and Louisiana, Michigan, and Ohio coming in at the higher end. If you consider the number of people between 40 and 65 who are obese and those who are drastically overweight and close to obesity, these percentages go much higher.

Obesity is known to lead to life-threatening diseases and illnesses, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type II diabetes
  • Certain cancers, including breast and colon
  • High blood pressure
  • Gall bladder disorders
  • Osteoarthritis

You can get some or all of these senior health issues and problems without obesity; but, carrying excess fat is a major contributing factor for many seniors. Just by maintaining a healthy weight, you can significantly reduce your risk for every condition on this list.

How do you control your weight? Just go back to the healthy habits listed above. Pick one and start working to improve in that area. Over time, you will not only eliminate obesity, you will lower your risk of disease. There is no downside in making that choice.


Senior Health Issues with Cancer

This is one of those health risks and senior health issues that will stop anyone in their tracks. While there is no way to completely prevent all forms of cancer, you can drastically reduce your risks by taking a few of the following critical measures to protect your health.

  • If you’re a woman don’t take pap tests and mammograms lightly. Many women stop visiting their gynecologist regularly once they’re beyond childbearing years; but, gynecological care isn’t just about birthing healthy babies. It’s also about screening for cervical and breast cancer as well as other health problems that may not present noticeable symptoms without those exams.
  • Don’t avoid colonoscopies, prostate checks, and other screening procedures. Yes, there may be some discomfort, but they could also save your life with early detection of cancer or early warning signs.
  • Give up the cigarettes. Smoking is responsible for many cases of cancer in the lungs and mouth.
  • Seek treatment if you have problems controlling your alcohol consumption or if you use illegal drugs that destroy your immune system and leave your body vulnerable to cancer growths.


Loss of Hearing & Vision

Eye Health

As with many conditions, hearing and vision loss are things that are assumed to come naturally with old age, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you go in for routine hearing and vision tests and work closely with your doctor, you can prevent or lessen many hearing and vision conditions. Signs of trouble can be caught early, giving you time to correct your lifestyle or use medical intervention and therapies.

You may also prevent hearing and vision loss with some of these simple lifestyle tweaks.

  • Stay away from cigarettes.
  • Consume a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Take supplements rich in antioxidants as needed.
  • Avoiding loud noises, especially high volumes through earbuds or headphones.
  • Limiting the amount of time that you spend staring at a computer screen, television, or other electronic devices.

At this point, it’s obvious that many of the health risks assumed to be a given later in life are, in fact, preventable. It's your choice whether to gamble with your health or to invest in it.

Go back to the list of healthy lifestyle factors featured at the beginning of this page, and start your journey on the pathway to better health. You’re never too young or old to fight for a longer, independent, more comfortable, and productive life.


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