As baby boomers navigate aging, caregiving and trying to stay healthy, common health concerns arise. Top Concerns 10-6 were covered in this blog here: DSullivan.com.
Research has shown that people who stay active, eat healthy and avoid tobacco can lower their risk of developing chronic health conditions, baby boomers are more health-conscious than the generations that came before them. Nevertheless there are significant health challenges facing baby boomers. Here are the top 5:
1.Type 2 Diabetes
According to the CDC, the population of adults with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years. Diabetes increases the risk of serious health problems, including: high blood pressure, vision loss, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot problems, amputation and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle changes and proper medical care can manage diabetes and its associated risks.
2. Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for those over 60. After age 45, the risk of developing heart disease increases significantly. Some risk factors (age or family history) are not in your control, but lifestyle changes and medical intervention can help you lower your risk. Exercise, diet and tobacco free living will help limit your heart disease risk.
Cancer affects everyone at any time of life, but for most cancers, aging is the most important risk factor according to the CDC. Cancer screenings are crucial as we age, they are routinely used to detect cancers at early stages, possibly before you can feel symptoms. Cancer related deaths are declining, and if you contract cancer, your chances of surviving are now higher than they were in the past.
Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Depression particularly in adults can co-occur with other medical illness, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s. Depression often causes the other conditions to worsen. Dr. Reyzan Shali of Scripps Coastal Medical Center Vista says
“It is important for both physicians and patients to recognize that depression is not a normal process of aging,”…“Unfortunately, many patients feel uncomfortable with the subject of depression. Many feel that seeking help is a sign of weakness. It is very important for you to accept that you need help. Your primary care physician is a great start for help.”
5. Eye Problems
Get your annual vision screening. Over 20.5 million Americans are affected by cataracts, this number grows every year. Advancements in the safety and precision of cataract surgery result in faster surgeries, shorter and easier recoveries, and improved vision.
Many baby boomers feel the stress of being the sandwich generation, as well as the host of medical issues that come with aging. Don’t struggle through this alone, reach out to your doctor for support and guidance. As you tackle the medical issues, make sure you also consider who can make medical decisions for you and speak with your friends and families about decision making.
Dennis Sullivan & Associates has been assisting families in Massachusetts to protect their homes, families, health, legacy and life savings, for over 27 years to discover more, attend a free online discovery seminar and find more information at DSullivan.com.