Symptoms Caused by Normal Aging and Age-Related Health Concerns: How to Tell the Difference

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Knowing the Difference Between Normal Aging and Age-Related Health Concerns in Philadelphia, PA

A variety of health conditions can develop as we age, many of which are a natural part of the aging process. However, there are some related symptoms that may be greater cause for concern, meaning you should keep a close eye on your elderly loved one’s overall health. The staff at Philadelphia Home Care Assistance has put together a list comparing some differences between symptoms caused by normal aging and those that may indicate more severe health concerns.

Memory Loss

Many people experience occasional memory lapses as they get older. It may also become harder to multitask and take longer to process information. This is typically normal and doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one is developing dementia. However, there may be cause for concern if the forgetfulness impairs your loved one’s daily life. If your loved one is unable to learn and retain new information, has problems with episodic memory, or has difficulty with language or recognizing familiar objects, he or she may benefit from receiving professional dementia care in Philadelphia.

Vision Changes

Visual acuity naturally begins to decrease around age 40. The lenses of our eyes become stiff, making it difficult to adjust from near to far distances. Cataracts, which involve a gradual clouding of the lens, may begin around age 60. These conditions can be corrected with glasses or minor surgery. However, it is not normal if your loved one only has impaired central or peripheral vision. These can be symptoms of glaucoma or macular degeneration, which require immediate medical treatment.

Hearing Impairment

Approximately one-third of seniors over age 60 have some degree of hearing loss. Sounds may seem muffled, and it may be difficult for your loved one to discern high-pitched sounds and voices. Age-related hearing impairment develops gradually and can be overcome with hearing aids. Hearing loss is not a normal part of aging if it happens quickly or is accompanied by pain or drainage from the ear.

High Blood Pressure

The normal aging process can make seniors more vulnerable to certain medical conditions. For example, our blood vessels begin to lose their elasticity as we get older. This natural stiffening of the arteries makes seniors more prone to developing high blood pressure. In fact, 50 percent of seniors over age 60 have been diagnosed with hypertension. You can help your loved one prevent age-related hypertension by encouraging him or her to remain physically active, reduce salt intake, and maintain a healthy weight. Although less common, hypertension can be a secondary result of other health conditions such as chronic kidney disease, adrenal and thyroid disorders, and sleep apnea.

If you are concerned about keeping your loved one healthy as he or she ages in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in the Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program that promotes physical health, mental awareness, and inner calm. We also provide comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s care Philadelphia families trust. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (215) 645-4663 to schedule a free in-home consultation.


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