Though older adults make up a relatively small percentage of the population, they account for a disproportionate share of healthcare expenses.
One way to help ease the burden on the healthcare system—and improve the health and quality of life of seniors—is through senior wellness care. This is a type of preventative care that focuses on detecting and managing health issues before they become more serious (and more expensive to treat). Here are five health issues that can benefit from senior wellness care:
This chronic disorder can make people vulnerable to complications like heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. Through senior wellness care, health providers can work with patients to develop a diabetes management plan that includes regular check-ups, lifestyle changes, and medication (if necessary).
High Blood Pressure
If left unchecked, hypertension can cause damage to the arteries, heart failure, stroke, and even death. Regular blood pressure screenings and medications (if necessary) can help seniors manage their blood pressure and reduce their risk of developing complications.
Early detection is critical for treatment and delaying the progression of this debilitating disease. Senior wellness care providers can screen patients for dementia through cognitive tests and brain scans (MRI or PET). They can also provide support and resources for patients and their families struggling with this diagnosis.
This disorder is characterized by low bone mineral density, which leads to bones that are weak and prone to fractures. A significant number of older people have osteoporosis or low bone mass—a number that is expected to rise as the population ages. One way to prevent or delay osteoporosis is through exercise and weight-bearing activity; another is through medication (if necessary). Regular bone density screenings can help senior wellness care providers catch osteoporosis early so that patients can take measures to prevent further bone loss.
These are one of the leading causes of injury among older adults—so much so that falls have been dubbed an "epidemic" among this population group. One way to prevent falls is through balance training exercises; another is by making sure the home environment is safe (i.e., removing hazards like loose rugs). Regular assessments by senior wellness care providers can help identify patients at risk for falls so that they can take steps to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Older adults face many unique health challenges, but senior wellness care can help ease some of those challenges by detecting health issues early and providing resources for prevention and management plans.