Healthy Aging

The Healthy Aging Series is designed to help individuals who want to live healthy and active lives in their later years. Although genetics and environmental conditions impact longevity, diet, exercise and healthy habits play a significant role as well. The Healthy Aging Series describes the risk factors, prevention strategies and screening tools that can be used to reduce the likelihood of chronic disease. Tests and other examinations that are used by health professionals to make a definitive diagnosis are discussed, as well as critical questions to ask the physician to ensure that proper disease management can be practiced. Links to interactive tools are identified to prevent or manage chronic disease. Tips to prevent and manage chronic disease are outlined. Resources and voluntary health organizations are identified to provide more detailed information.

Alzheimer's Disease

Memory loss is generally not a normal part of the aging process. It is true that brain function slows somewhat as people age, but the inability to remember important facts is not normal. However, one in seven Americans age 71 and older has some type of dementia, and 2.4 million of them have Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly half of those age ...

Arthritis

Arthritis—whether it’s osteoarthritis, rheumatoid or gout—is probably the most common disease for seniors. Some kinds of arthritis are marked by intense pain and swelling lasting only a short time. The more common types of arthritis may cause less pain while still damaging joints. Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that pads the bones in a joint wears away and the ...

Cancer

Cancer is a complex group of diseases that affect various parts of the body, from the skin to internal organs to the blood. There are many different forms of cancer, each with its own pattern of progression and each with a different potential for early detection and treatment. The main thing that happens with cancer cells is that they grow ...

Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes is a leading cause of death in the United States for people over 75. About 20 percent of the people ages 65 to 74 in the United States have diabetes. People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, ...

Flu & Pneumonia

Influenza is the major cause of death due to infectious disease in the U.S. causing as many as 56,000 deaths per year. Severe pneumococcal bacterial infections result in death in 30 to 40 percent of elderly patients. The development of vaccines and antibiotics, improved hygiene, regulations for food handling, and treated water supplies have led to major inroads in preventing ...

Heart Disease

There are many types of blood vessel and heart diseases, a group of conditions referred to as “cardiovascular disease.” One of these, coronary artery disease, occurs when blood that carries oxygen to the heart is blocked by a blood clot or a build-up of fatty substances. This disease accounts for more than one-half of cardiovascular deaths, and about one-third of ...

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a silent killer. More than 26 million Americans suffer from kidney disease according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). The two major causes of kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes Individuals with a family history of these conditions or kidney disease may also be at risk and should get their kidneys checked. The main function ...

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone-thinning disease that makes bones more fragile. Fragile bones increase the likelihood of suffering a fracture of the hip, spine, wrist, or ribs. Osteoporosis is often thought of as a “silent” disease. This is because bone loss can happen without any signs. People really have no way of knowing their bones are becoming weak and fragile. The ...

Respiratory Disease

There are two major classes of respiratory disease that affect older adults, asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Asthma According to the American Lung Association (ALA), “the average adult takes 15 to 20 breaths a minute — over 20,000 breaths a day. To breathe, the respiratory system brings air into the body through the nose, throat, windpipe (trachea) and ...

Stroke

Stroke, also known as a cerebral vascular accident (CVA), is one of the leading causes of death in America. According to the National Stroke Association (NSA), an ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) or a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel (a tube ...

Unintentional Injuries & Falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least one-third of older adults in the U. S. fall each year, causing 18,000 deaths and 1 8 million emergency room visits. In fact, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U. S. Falls among older adults lead to injuries, such as hip fractures, ...