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7 Common Health Risks for Older Women

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, older women are prone to a number of health conditions.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality non-medical home care. Oklahoma families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Here are seven common health conditions aging women are susceptible to.

1. Arthritis

Arthritis affects almost half of all seniors over the age of 65, and it often diminishes their quality of life. By working with a physician, older women can get the medical interventions needed to maintain their health. Despite the discomfort, staying active helps keep joints functional. 

2. Heart Disease

Approximately 33 percent of women lose their lives to heart disease. Women are twice as likely than men to die within a year after a heart attack. Nearly 66 percent of fatal heart attacks occur with no previous complaints of chest pain. Nausea, difficulty breathing, and jaw pain are some of the symptoms of heart disease in women. Proper diet, routine exercise, and maintaining an appropriate weight are vital for keeping the cardiovascular system healthy. Older women should also have routine health checkups. 

3. Cancer

Nearly one-fourth of female deaths occur secondary to cancer. Breast, cervical, and lung cancers are the leading causes of death in women. Early detection and treatment can increase the chances of survival. Women are at greater risk if they have a family history of cancer. 

4. Stroke

More women die from strokes than men. Although women experience fewer strokes, they are often more likely to end in fatality. Women should know the risk factors for stroke and make certain lifestyle changes to ensure cardiovascular health. Following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and giving up smoking can boost heart health.

5. Osteoporosis

Once a woman becomes 30 years old, her body focuses on maintaining existing bone tissue by making repairs when needed. Older women can keep their bones strong and prevent fractures by adding calcium to their diets and engaging in weight-bearing exercise. Bone density testing determines overall bone health and the possible need for prescription medications. 

6. Depression

Women are twice as likely to experience depression as men. Hormonal changes, chronic illness, and loss of loved ones or independence are some of the many reasons behind depression in senior women. Common symptoms include changes in diet, social behavior, sleep patterns, or mood. Family members can reduce risk factors by staying in touch with their senior loved ones. Encourage your loved one to participate in community groups or volunteer. Pets make great companions and help elevate mood. 

Chronic depression, feeling of isolation, and unhealthy lifestyle choices are some of the many causes of dementia and memory loss in aging women. In some cases, depression could indicate the onset of cognitive decline. For some seniors in Oklahoma, dementia home care is essential. Regular mental stimulation helps slow the progression of the disease, supervision reduces the risk of dangerous behaviors, and compassionate companionship is a wonderful solution for alleviating the symptoms of dementia.

7. Autoimmune Disorders

Diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s are some of the many autoimmune disorders that affect more women than men. However, receiving a proper diagnosis is sometimes difficult when symptoms are vague. If your loved one complains of unusual symptoms, accompany her to a healthcare provider and ensure she is properly evaluated. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Oklahoma families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. If you need a break from your caregiving duties, call Home Care Assistance at 405-285-4191 today.