The baby boom generation is defining the significance of healthy aging.
As baby boomers get older, they’ll have to deal with the obstacles of aging. Age is a risk factor for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. This means living a healthy lifestyle is essential.
Members of the baby boom generation, the 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964, are now in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Many are well into retirement or are just entering Medicare and are still working.
While the chance of acquiring chronic health problems rises with age, the basic causes of many of these disorders begin earlier in life.
Research has shown that people who eat well, exercise regularly, and avoid tobacco use can greatly reduce their chance of acquiring many of the chronic health diseases we generally associate with aging.
Baby boomers face a number of health challenges.
The top ten health issues of the baby boom generation are as follows:
Diabetes type 2
The number of adults with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This corresponds to the aging of the US population as well as a rise in obesity rates. Obesity is one of the most significant risk factors for diabetes.
Diabetes raises the risk of significant health issues. These include high blood pressure, eyesight loss, liver illness, neural damage, cardiovascular disease, foot problems and amputation.
Diabetes and its associated risks can be addressed with lifestyle changes and good medical care.
For both men and women over the age of 60, heart disease is the leading cause of mortality. After the age of 45, the risk skyrockets. The most prevalent type of heart disease and the leading cause of heart attacks is coronary artery disease. This is when the arteries that transport blood to the heart constrict or become blocked.
Some risk factors, such as your age or family history, are uncontrollable. However, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by modifying what you can control.
People who avoid tobacco, control their blood pressure and cholesterol through exercise and a low-fat, low-sodium diet, and maintain a healthy body weight have a much lower risk of developing heart disease.
The good news is that cancer-related death rates are dropping rather than growing. This suggests that the chances of surviving cancer are considerably higher than in the past.
As we get older, cancer tests are more commonplace to detect tumors in their early stages, possibly before symptoms appear. Many cancers are connected to dietary and lifestyle choices. It is critical to make appropriate dietary choices, exercise, avoid tobacco products, and maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of cancer.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression can occur at any age. However it most commonly develops in adulthood.
Depression, particularly in middle-aged and elderly people, can co-occur with other major medical disorders. Amongst these are diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. These problems are frequently exacerbated when depression is present..
It is critical for both doctors and patients to understand that depression is not a typical part of the aging process. Unfortunately, many patients are uncomfortable discussing depression. Many people believe that seeking assistance is a show of weakness. Accepting that you require assistance is critical. Your primary care physician should be your first choice for advice.
Cataracts afflict 20.5 million Americans over the age of 40. According to the CDC, that figure is predicted to rise to 30.1 million by 2020.
Recent advances in cataract surgery precision and safety have resulted in faster surgeries, better and shorter recoveries. In some circumstances, improved vision than before surgery.
Annual eye exams can aid in the detection of visual disorders in their early stages.
Age is the most well-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Symptoms of the condition may occur after the age of 60. Alzheimer’s disease affected 5 million Americans in 2013.
Emerging data reveals a strong relationship between brain health and overall heart and blood vessel health.
There is no clear proof as to what causes Alzheimer’s disease, however it has been demonstrated that quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercising regularly can help maintain brain health.
Arthritis and joint replacement
When the cartilage that cushions your bones at the joints begins to deteriorate, the bones begin to rub together. The ensuing pain, swelling, and stiffness is known as osteoarthritis.
Maintaining a healthy weight is critical in minimizing undue pressure on your joints, which can cause cartilage damage. If the condition is severe, joints may need to be surgically reconstructed.
Walking, aquatic therapy, and yoga on a daily basis can help to maintain joint flexibility.
Osteoporosis affects around 25% of women over the age of 65, and approximately 5% of males over the age of 65. Many patients with osteoporosis are unaware of their condition until they break a bone.
To avoid the bone-weakening effects of osteoporosis, prevention is essential. Screening for osteoporosis is currently suggested for women 65 and older. It is also recomm, as well as women 50 to 64 who have certain risk factors, such as having a parent who has fractured a hip.
Tobacco and alcohol use earlier in life, as well as being underweight, can raise risk. Consult your doctor about calcium supplements and other treatments that can aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Influenza and pneumonia
Influenza and pneumonia are among the leading causes of death in the elderly. As our immune defenses weaken with age, people 65 and older are at a higher risk of serious flu complications.
Vaccinations for these illnesses are now widely available and are either covered by health insurance or offered at a very cheap cost. Consult your doctor to determine whether you should get immunized.
Sandwich Generation stress
Many baby boomers are caring for elderly parents in addition to their own families. Being a dual caregiver can be stressful, especially for people who are also working, struggling financially, or coping with other issues.
It is critical to first take care of yourself. Make an attempt to get adequate sleep, eat healthily, and exercise on a regular basis.