Community Blog

What to Do about Common Problems in Aging Seniors

By Ketan Patel

The body changes as we age and many seniors suffer the effects of shrinking bones and muscles, memory loss and increased susceptibility to disease and infection. Here are some problems that are common in older folks and often affect people in the 60’s and 70’s as well.

Urinary Incontinence

  • Problem

Some seniors have serious difficulty controlling their bladder, and the situation has a tendency to worsen with age. Urinary incontinence can affect men and women alike and may be caused by urinary tract infections or constipation. In men, an enlarged prostate can be the culprit, and in women childbirth and a hysterectomy can be the cause.

  • Solution

The solution to urinary incontinence, of course, depends on the cause. Unfortunately, changes that come with age like an aging bladder muscle with decreased capacity to store urine can make matters worse. If urinary incontinence is due to a bladder infection, medication can help. There are also medications to treat bladder spasms, but they may be harmful to brain function. Avoiding coffee, chocolate and spicy food like chili peppers may help.

Pain

  • Problem

Persistent pain is a common problem for seniors. In fact, some people estimate that around half of adults over the age of 65 have pain every month. Pain in seniors can indicate an emerging health issue or a chronic health problem that is not being managed properly.

  • Solution

The opioid epidemic has been in the news recently, and in many states, laws are changing to weaken access to the drugs that may cause addiction. At the same time, some states have legalized medical marijuana which has been shown to lessen the pain for some ailments. However, solutions that do not involve medication can also be effective in some cases. Exercise, physical therapy and psychotherapy along with over-the-counter medications may help. However, some NSAIDs like ibuprofen can be risky for aging seniors.

Memory Problems

  • Problem

Aging seniors may suffer from memory problems ranging from increased “senior moments” to full-scale Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. A proper evaluation can reveal the cause of the memory problem as well as the extent. Decreased brain function may have a treatable cause. The problem may arise as a side effect from medication or a thyroid issue.

  • Solution

To prevent memory problems from occurring, seniors can try avoiding some risky medications like those used for anxiety, vertigo, insomnia, over-active bladder, and allergy. The stress of hospitalization for elective and other surgeries can add to memory problems. Recent studies show that Alzheimer’s can be considered Type 3 Diabetes. A healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and whole grains with a limited amount of salt, sugar and processed food can help, as well as social connections and exercise.

Senior In-Home Care

An in-home caregiver can help your loved one with the Activities of Daily Living to continue to live independently. Home Helpers of South Shore is owned and operated by a compassionate healthcare professional with a strong understanding of the needs of aging seniors. Contact Home Helpers to develop a detailed Care Plan customized for their needs to help your aging loved ones remain at home in familiar surroundings for as long as possible.

Please fill out the form on the left and we will get in touch with you about setting up in-home health care or call us at 781-585-1244 to determine the plan that is right for you.

We serve the following communities:

Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman