Preventing & Managing the 10 Most Common Chronic Diseases

The biggest factor contributing to your residential assisted living business’ bottom line is senior health. Your senior’s health and longevity will keep them in your home longer and display to your community that your care is excellent. Are there steps you can take to fight these most common senior diseases?

When seniors who are in need of help with activities of daily living transition into residential assisted living homes, many of them suffer from common conditions.

According to the National Council on Aging, there are ten common chronic conditions that impact people over age 65.

When caregivers are able to provide quality care that lends to longevity and health, it benefits the residents and the bottom line of your assisted living home. Quality care keeps beds occupied, and your business secures a great reputation in the community.

So, what are the most common diseases and their steps you can take to fight them in residential assisted living?

10 COMMON CHRONIC CONDITIONS FOR SENIORS OVER AGE 65

  1. Hypertension or High Blood Pressure 58%
  2. High Cholesterol 47%
  3. Arthritis 31%
  4. Coronary Heart Disease 29%
  5. Diabetes 27%
  6. Chronic Kidney Disease 18%
  7. Heart Failure 14%
  8. Depression 14%
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia 11%
  10. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 11%

RAISING AWARENESS FOR HEALTHIER SENIOR LIFESTYLES

The information provided by the National Council on Aging helps raise the necessary awareness to help older adults stay as healthy as possible.

Unfortunately, 80 percent of seniors have at least one chronic health condition. Even worse, 68% have two or more conditions. Fortunately, seniors in residential assisted living can manage current symptoms and reduce the risk of developing more conditions, despite statistics.

In order to raise awareness, the following content explores remedies for the top 10 chronic conditions that impact senior living.

REMEDIES FOR THE 10 COMMON CHRONIC CONDITIONS

  1. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure is a serious condition often called the “silent killer” because it has no symptoms. It damages blood vessels and increases the risk of conditions like stroke and heart attack, which can sometimes be fatal.

Ways to prevent or reduce high blood pressure:

  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Reduce stress
  • Limit salt and alcohol intake
  • Exercise daily
  • Check blood pressure regularly
  1. High Cholesterol Affects

When the body has too many bad fats, arteries get clogged and cause heart disease.

Ways to prevent or reduce or manage high cholesterol:

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol consumed
  • Stay active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat less saturated and trans fats
  1. Arthritis Affects

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease where the cartilage progressively breaks down. It causes swelling and inflammation which leads to pain and stiffness. Severe chronic arthritis pain can cause seniors to make unwanted lifestyle changes.

Ways to delay the onset of arthritis and manage symptoms:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid joint injuries
  • Stop smoking
  1. Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is caused when plaque builds up in the arteries leading to the heart. It restricts blood flow and causes complications like blood clots and heart attacks.

Ways to prevent or manage coronary heart disease:

  • Limit saturated and trans fats, sugar, and salt
  • Sleep 7-8 hours each night
  • Reduce stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop smoking
  1. Diabetes

Diabetes results from high glucose levels in the blood. This can also happen when the body doesn’t make enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar seriously damages the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, gums, teeth, nerves, and blood vessels. As a result, it leads to health conditions like heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve problems, gum infections, and amputation. People with diabetes are also more likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at an earlier age.

Ways to prevent and manage diabetes:

  • Eating a healthy diet and talking to the doctor about alcohol consumption
  • Exercising regularly – 30 minutes, 5 times/week to keep blood sugar levels in check and control weight
  • Losing 5-7% of body weight if diagnosed with pre-diabetes
  1. Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease causes a slow decline in kidney function over time. It causes an increased risk of heart disease or kidney failure.

Ways to prevent or reduce chronic kidney disease:

  • Reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Stay current on screenings for early detection and treatment
  • Take prescriptions
  1. Heart Failure

Heart failure is when the heart becomes weakened, can’t pump as efficiently, and can’t supply enough blood and oxygen to the entire body. This can cause changes in the heart muscle that cause fatigue, light-headedness, nausea, confusion, or decreased appetite.

Ways to prevent or manage heart failure:

  • Decrease risk for coronary heart disease and high blood pressure
  1. Depression Affects

Depression causes persistent feelings of sadness, emotional numbness, anxiety, sleep problems, concentration and memory problems. It can change the appetite or weight in seniors. Ultimately, depression can result in the loss of interest in activities.

Ways to prevent or manage depression:

  • Stay connected with people
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and highly processed foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Talk to the doctor about treatment options
  1. Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. It’s the most common type and accounts for 60 – 80% of all dementia cases.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a collection of cognitive symptoms. It’s caused when the brain is damaged by diseases like Alzheimer’s, many small strokes, or brain injuries.

Alzheimer’s and other dementias cause memory loss and difficulty thinking or problem-solving that interfere with everyday life.

Ways to reduce the risk of dementia:

  • Exercising regularly, both the body and the brain
  • Staying engaged in life and maintaining social connections
  • Getting good quality sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  1. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is a disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It makes it hard to breathe and causes shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness.

Ways to prevent or manage COPD symptoms:

  • Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke, chemical fumes, and dust
  • Taking prescribed treatments
  • Getting flu and pneumonia vaccines
  • Remaining as active as possible

HEALTH AND LONGEVITY IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS

When seniors in residential assisted living live longer healthier lives, your residential assisted living home will stay occupied. Providing quality care allows owners and operators to do good and do well.

The Residential Assisted Living National Association is a great resource for helping your business provide best practices.

At RALNA industry leaders can get legal support, group discounts, useful blogs and so much more. Click to learn more about free memberships and quality senior care and wellness.

Preventing, managing and reducing the risk of common chronic conditions amongst seniors is a sure way to provide the level of quality care the industry needs.

Take Your Impact to the Next Level

Get access to resources that help you fill your home fast and elevate standards of care while growing a profitable and sustainable business. You are not alone in your quest to help others!

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Suite 107-605
Tempe, AZ 85284

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