Alzheimer's disease is recognized as the most common cause of dementia (a disorder in which mental functions deteriorate and break down). An estimated 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, this number includes 5.1 million people over the age of 65, as well as 200,000 to 500,000 people younger than 65 who have early-onset Alzheimer's and other types of dementias.
Are you or a loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s disease? Learn more about neurological services and rehabilitation services at Lakeland.
Bones and Joints
As we get older, our bodies change. Muscle size and strength decrease primarily due to inactivity. Bone mass and density decrease, increasing the susceptibility to fractures. Tendons and ligaments become less elastic, making it easy to get overuse injuries. Joint inflammation and cartilage degeneration often occur due to arthritis.
The most common bone and joint issues as we age include:
Learn more about orthopedic services designed to keep your bones and joints healthy as you age.
Nearly 60% of all cancers occur in people over 65 years of age. Men, especially, have a higher cancer rate in their senior years than they do before age 60. The association of aging and cancer risk has to do with length of exposure to carcinogens, accumulation of genetic flaws over time, and decreasing strength of the immune system.
The good news is that you can take steps to reduce your risk and detect cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat. Click here to learn more about the most common types of cancer and explore the resources available at Lakeland to help patients and families.
One out of four Americans who are 65 or older have diabetes. If not properly managed, diabetes can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, kidney problems, vision problems, narrowing of the arteries, and foot problems. Fortunately, anyone living with diabetes can take steps to successfully manage the disease.
Click here to learn more about diabetes, including prevention and management tips.
Although the risk of heart disease and stroke increases with age, it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of getting older. There are steps you can take at any age to manage your risk factors and prevent heart disease. You can also learn how to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and to get help immediately — time lost is muscle lost in a heart attack.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
As men age, their erectile ability decreases. In fact, sexual function starts to decline at about age 40—so, at some point in their lives, most men will grapple with erectile dysfunction (ED). Whether it’s from psychological or physical causes or a combination of both, having a successful erection—something that was likely taken for granted—can turn into a challenge.
Are you or your partner facing ED? Talk to your doctor, as it could be a sign related to an underlying medical problem. Click here to learn more about this condition, including the latest in treatment options.
Incontinence and Bladder Problems
Incontinence, the ability to hold your bladder is an embarrassing problem, but it is also extremely common for older adults. At least 1 in 10 people age 65 or older has incontinence problems. Symptoms range from mild leaking of urine to uncontrollable wetting.
The conditions can be physically and emotionally difficult to deal with, but you shouldn't feel uncomfortable about talking to your health care provider. If you are suffering from incontinence and bladder problems, your healthcare provider can work with you to create a plan of action.
Click here to learn more about this condition, including the latest in treatment options.
Important life changes that happen as we get older may cause feelings of uneasiness, stress, and sadness. For instance, the death of a loved one, moving from work into retirement, or dealing with a serious illness can leave people feeling sad or anxious. After a period of adjustment, many older adults can regain their emotional balance, but others do not and may develop depression.
Depression is a common problem among older adults, but it is NOT a normal part of aging. In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more physical ailments.
As with many illnesses, getting treatment early is more effective and reduces the chance of recurrence. And because it often co-occurs with other illnesses in older adults, untreated depression may delay recovery from or worsen the outcome of other illnesses.
Talk about your feelings with your doctor. If you need immediate help or are considering harming yourself, call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.
Late-Life Depression Quiz
Older adults often suffer from depression needlessly because they fail to recognize its signs or are reluctant to talk with their health care provider about it. Learn more about depression in the elderly by taking this quiz.
While older adults can recover from most cuts, abrasions, and lesions, the wound healing process takes longer compared to younger populations. Additionally, older adults are more susceptible to developing infected wounds due to their weakened immune systems, which make it more difficulty to fend off potentially harmful bacteria.
The good news is that effect treatments can help heal wounds. Click here to learn about Lakeland’s team of dedicated wound care specialists who can help you feel better and get back to enjoying life.