Living the golden years today is very different than before—they’re better. The average life expectancy of Australians has been increasing over the years, and now it has passed 84 years for women and 80 years for men.
That is great, celebration-worthy news, but that does not mean the some major health threats, such as Alzheimer’s and heart diseases, are going away. While the average life expectancy is increasing, still, do not be too complacent about keeping your heart, brain, and bones in shape.
The first step is to know which of the conditions you should watch out for, so you can prevent them before they even happen.
As you age, your bones become thinner and weaker. This may cause osteoporosis, in which your bones can easily break even when you’re doing simple movements. The worse part of this disease is that it has no symptoms. The best thing you can do is to get some help, either from a family member or from a home care aide, for everyday chores.
Most seniors, especially women, are at risk of suffering from urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control. Women are most likely to have the condition, as their pelvic muscles become weaker. Men, on the other hand, are also likely to have this condition if they have enlarged prostate glands—another thing that comes with aging.
Arthritis is the number one condition that affects most people older than 65. This happens when the cartilage and the fluid in the joint weakens, making the bones rub and scrape against each other. According to a recent study, arthritis is the second leading cause of disability in Australia — those who are severely disabled cannot even engage in basic activities.
It may cause chronic pain, so check with the doctor, ask for a personalised activity plan, and treatment options. Get a helper at home as well—the extra help is something you will really need.
These things are a reality you will eventually face. It is important to understand them, know how to treat them, and know how you can live with them.