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5 Rare Conditions Affecting the Elderly

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There are several well-known conditions that are known to develop in the elderly, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. However, there are also quite a few lesser-known diseases that affect this age group. Jefferson County caregivers discuss 5 of these rare conditions and offer tips on how to prevent or treat them.

1. Atrial Fibrillation

Severe cases of heart arrhythmia are sometimes referred to as atrial fibrillation. This unique disease can either be a chronic condition that slowly develops over the years or an acute condition that occurs after a heart attack. Seniors who have high blood pressure or any other serious issues with their cardiovascular system should speak with a doctor about their options for blood pressure medication. 

2. Ischemic Colitis

Also called atherosclerosis, this disease generally impacts seniors who have developed cardiovascular conditions in the past. In the most severe cases, ischemic colitis can be fatal if a blood clot dislodges from a vein and enters the heart. To prevent long-term atherosclerosis, seniors should immediately seek out treatment if they develop heart arrhythmia or chest pains. 

3. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

This condition can be extremely dangerous for seniors because it increases the risk of falling. Unlike other forms of vertigo, BPPV typically occurs when an individual moves his or her head or body in a certain way, such as bending over suddenly. Maintaining good posture while standing, sleeping, and sitting can reduce the risk of BPPV symptoms.

4. Degenerative Disc Disease

In a healthy individual, the discs along the spine act as shock absorbers whenever they move. This rare form of arthritis damages the discs and makes it difficult for the spine to absorb minor impacts. Staying at a healthy weight is generally viewed as one of the most effective ways to prevent degenerative disc disease and all other forms of arthritis. 

5. Elderly-Onset Crohn’s Disease

Though many people think of Crohn’s as a common disease among younger adults, thousands of seniors are now being diagnosed with this unique condition every year. Medical professionals know very little about why this disease occurs and how it can be treated. Most doctors agree genetics play a role in Crohn’s disease, but flare-ups can be controlled with various treatments such as massages, acupuncture, and acupressure sessions.

To learn more about senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of in-home senior care. Jefferson County seniors can count on our dedicated caregivers to encourage them to follow a nutritious diet, exercise on a regular basis, and make other healthy lifestyle changes. For more information, please call one of our qualified Care Managers at (303) 987-5992 today.