Four Health Threats to Over 55s: Treatments and Prevention

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When you start to approach 55, you may start to be concerned about the mental health issues that may affect you and your family as you age, and what you should do about these if they occur. The best way to combat these issues and even prevent many of these mental health issues from having a major effect on your life, is with pre-planning. 

This can help you and your family to come to terms with difficult decisions far before you yourself are unable to. 

Dementia/Alzheimer’s

5.7 million people in the USA are living with dementia. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can lead to a number of different symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty with language use and speech, mood swings and differences in your normal behavior, all of which can have an effect on your ability to carry out your normal daily tasks. Although you can prevent the onset of dementia throughout your life by stopping smoking, getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and staying mentally active through hobbies and social events, dementia is, unfortunately, not curable. 

If you begin to see the early signs of dementia, or are concerned about the condition, you should talk to your family about your care options in advance. Many people with dementia live in care homes such as that at https://www.bristolcarehome.co.uk to ensure that they receive the 24-hour care that they need to live full lives, and you should discuss your living arrangements with your family before you are unable to judge the decision yourself. 

Depression 

The lifestyle changes that occur during retirement and later in life, such as illness diagnoses, can cause depression in many older people. Depression affects 22% of men and 28% of women over the age of 65. Depression in older people can also be caused by grief for the loss of friends or a partner, and certain medications also make depression more prevalent in elderly people. 

Depression can make you feel sad, have a lack of energy and fatigued, and can physically lead to weight loss or sleep issues. If you believe that you have depression, it is vital that you seek the help of a doctor as soon as possible so that they can discuss treatments such as counseling or medication with you. 

Anxiety

Anxiety can also be a major issue for older people. It is often untreated in seniors, but you are at risk if you have had childhood trauma, if you have poor health, if you have experienced stressful life events in the past or present. There are many treatments for anxiety available, and these include talking therapies, lifestyle changes such as exercise, medication, and self-led courses. 

Memory Amnesia

Memory amnesia is common in older people, but is unlike dementia in that dementia is a broader term for a wide range of conditions that simply cause memory loss. Memory amnesia can lead to confusion and disorientation, and can either be recognized in retrograde amnesia, where you forget things from the past, or anterograde amnesia, where you lose the ability to form new memories. Amnesia can be treated through hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. You may also be able to regain memory through changes in diet such as increasing your vitamin B and thiamin, however. 

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