What Illnesses Are Common among Older Adults?

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Not every senior ends up with serious health issues, but general wear and tear, diminished immunity, and reduced physical strength can cause some illnesses to develop. Make sure to keep an eye out for these common types of senior health issues to help your senior loved one remain healthy. 

Cardiovascular Disease

This leading cause of illness among seniors encompasses a variety of issues, such as heart failure and heart attacks. Cardiovascular disease causes serious health issues because it keeps the heart from being able to distribute oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Fortunately, many causes of cardiovascular disease are avoidable. Seniors who exercise regularly, follow a healthy diet, and keep their blood sugar and blood pressure low are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

If your loved one needs help with exercise or maintaining a healthy diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.


Cancer may occur whenever a damaged cell mutates and grows out of control. It’s more common in seniors because aging cells are more likely to produce damaged copies. Things like eating antioxidant-rich foods can slightly lower the risk, but the most important thing with cancer is to catch it as early as possible. In general, any unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or pain is something your loved one should see a doctor about. 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Although this condition is most common among seniors who have smoked, it can occur in others just from years of exposure to pollutants or environmental irritants. COPD makes it difficult to take a deep breath or inhale enough oxygen, but symptoms are often subtle enough that seniors don’t realize they have it. Ask for a simple breathing spirometry test if you think your loved one may have COPD. 

Brain Damage

There are a whole host of health issues—including strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia—caused by damage to the brain. Living a generally healthy lifestyle, keeping blood pressure low, and avoiding situations that could result in head trauma can reduce the chances of developing these conditions, but brain damage isn’t always preventable. Being on the lookout for symptoms can help seniors get treatment as soon as possible. 


Diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly regulate blood sugar, so it builds up in the bloodstream and damages cells throughout the body. Seniors can lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and not eating excessive sugar. Those who do get diabetes need to carefully follow their doctors’ instructions to prevent complications.

Seniors with certain health conditions may find it difficult to prepare meals on their own, which may make it challenging for older adults with diabetes to follow the correct diet. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of respite care Potomac seniors can depend on.

Respiratory Infections

Issues like pneumonia and the flu are common among seniors because the immune system cannot fight off infections. It can be difficult for seniors to recover from pneumonia or the flu, but these issues are often preventable. Seniors can get vaccines to prevent pneumonia and influenza. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Potomac families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs professional care, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (301) 363-2580 today.