The lifespan of people all over the world is getting longer. In fact, most people can now expect to live into their 60s and more. Thus, it is expected that the world population aged 60 years and older is going to reach a total of 2 billion from the 900 million mark in 2015.
Health Conditions Of Elderly Population
According to the World Health Organization, the rapid increase in elderly population size changes the leading cause of death due to increased life expectancy. This would range from infections to chronic non-communicable diseases. Such conditions are chronic, such as arthritis, cancer, congestive heart failure, dementia, diabetes, and heart disease.
The leading chronic conditions to have the greatest impact on the aging population are cancer, heart disease, and stroke. These may have the greatest impact on the aging population, particularly in high-income countries.
Implications Of The Aging Population On Health Care
There is a prediction that by 2030, over 60% of this generation will be having more than one chronic condition. But managing such chronic conditions could also increase the financial demands on the current health care system.
While there is an increase in the aging population, cancer cases are also expected to increase from 17 million by 2020 to 27 million by 2030. Older adults are more prone to cancer, which is estimated to increase in the next 2 decades. Thus, managing cancer patients with unique needs will surely increase the demands in health care.
Normally, as the aging population increases, so will the burden of dementia. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Disease International has projected that there will be 115 million people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s by the year 2050. With such projection, older people with symptoms of Alzheimer’s could increase each year.
Reduction of such problems can be done by alleviating the symptoms associated with oxygen stress. Unlike cancer, dementia can be treated with much less aggressive effort. As a matter of fact, the simple use of CBD can help improve the brain functions negatively impacted by oxygen stress. With inflammation as the main source of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as agitation and anxiety, these can be reduced dramatically with proper management and patient care.
Increase In Falls
Among the most common causes of injury with the elderly, falls are also being projected as a challenge to the health care system. This is because baby boomers are living longer, remaining active, and possibly on medications that might lead to falls. In a report by the American Hospital Association, over a third of adults more than 65 years old of age fall each year.
People who are considered obese keep on increasing in number, which would have a negative impact on the overall health care system. Aside from being a risk factor for many health conditions, it also is very costly. As a matter of fact, patients who are obese cost approximately 34% in Medicare program in comparison with patients with normal weight.
It is expected that the number of Americans with diabetes is going to rise from 30 to 46 million by 2030. This is based on the report released by the American Hospital Association. Moreover, when one of each four boomers, fourteen million will be living with chronic disease.
Lifestyle Changes Seniors Need To Take
In order to maintain a healthy life for people of all ages, it is important to consider a balanced diet and participation in regular exercise. Seniors can do this by slowly imposing these actions to gain overall well-being.
Additionally, more diseases can be prevented if not slowed down as a result of a healthy lifestyle. Among the chronic conditions that can be addressed are arthritis, dementia, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis, among others.
Other essential lifestyle changes that can help to maintain a healthier life for seniors, other than diet and exercise, include but not limited to the following.
- Smoking cessation
- Brushing and flossing teeth once or twice daily
- Limiting intake of alcohol to only one per day
- Using skin moisturizer and sun protection
- Staying proactive in healthcare and participating in decision-making
- Reviewing list of medications with the doctor
- Get dental checkups once or twice in a year
- Going to a primary care doctor as a routine
- Following up with foot and eye doctor, particularly for people with diabetes
- Taking vacation
- Engaging in scheduled social activities
- Being aware of potential side effects of medication and drug interactions, which include over-the-counter drugs, alternative medicine and herbal
Caring for the elderly can be done by fulfilling the special needs and requirements unique for seniors. However, the form of care for older adults would greatly differ among countries, which is also subject to rapid changes.