10 Challenges for the Aging

As we age challenges will come up that will try to affect our growth and continued development. Having a strategy in place to deal with challenges as or before they arise, can help to minimize the negative effects they can have on your life. There are 10 aging challenges that have been isolated by the University of Texas Medical School, Division of Palliative Medicine that one should prepare for, for the least negative effect.

Depression

Elderly people are impacted by depression at high rates. As they age, constant challenges present themselves and to some of them, they are extremely overwhelming. It is important to know the common signs of depression so one can more easily identify any problems and seek help where it is needed.

Functional Decline

There are numerous changes that occur in the body as one ages. Loss of muscle mass, overall strength, and changes in balance can affect a persons day to day habits. This interruption or realization that changes have to be made in lifestyle is not always easy for some elderly adults to accept. Modifications and steps to prevent a rapid decline should be implemented at a person current status to ward off issues as they age.

Abuse and Neglect

More often than not the elderly have to rely on others to care for them and support them. Abuse or neglect by their caregivers is an all too common issue in today’s society. Also the elderly individual themselves may neglect there own care due to issues such as being depressed. It is import to know the signs of elderly abuse so you can be an advocate for those you love.

Caregiver Burnout

Caregivers are essential to many older Americans ability to remain and live independently. Caring for the elderly is not an easy job, it is very hard and demanding work. Workers must make sure they are remaining healthy and not becoming victims of burnout an exhaustion. This is an easy situation to rectify, individuals just need to recognize the signs that a change is needed.

Exploitation Financially

All of us have to be aware of scam artist out to take advantage of us, and our finances, but this is particularly true for the elderly. Elderly people normally require more assistance with their finances and are more trusting so they become the ideal victims to a predator. It is better to error on the side of caution. One should not overlook or by pass any strange or unexpected financial changes, and be overly cautious on who they trust concerning their finances.

Polypharmacy

Polypharmacy is a term used for when an individual is on many medications at one time. Elderly adults are high candidates to be seeing multiple doctors for various problems, when ends up with many prescriptions. Some of the doctors may prescribe medications without knowledge of the what the patient is currently taking. This can cause medications to cancel out the intended effects of the drug or cause harmful drug interactions. Patients should always carry a current list of their medications with them when they go visit another doctor, so the correct prescriptions can be dispensed.

Disease

Since many diseases are preventable it is important to start now in working to prevent or manage any disease be it single or multiple that the patient may be experiencing. Disease can affect ones overall ability to function as well as cope with the everyday pressures of life. Good management or prevention is the key to minimizing diseases effects in your life.

Death and Dying

Facing the reality of death and dying is apart of everyday life, and especially when one is aging. We are faced with our own mortality as well as that of our family and loved ones. It is best to have an approach to death that is healthy and tolerable for you as you age.

Falls

Many things such as vision problems, loss of balance and muscle weakness can contribute to the elderly experiencing falls. It is critical to assess ones home and frequently visited environments for unsafe areas and ways to prevent falls.

Dementia

Many elderly people will have bouts with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For the suffers of these conditions the ability to function in the world can become tedious. It is important to know the onsetting signs of these conditions to help to offset the decline of ones mental health.

Sources: University of Texas Medical School, Division of Palliative Medicine