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Top Health Concerns of the Elderly

Today most Americans can be expected to live longer than ever before. Advances in medical technologies have been enriching and extending people’s lives for the better part of this century. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once you hit 65, data suggests that you can be expected to live an average of another 19.3 years. But for many seniors this will include carefully managing chronic health conditions in order to stay vigorous and ahead of the curve. It is vitally important that seniors make healthy lifestyle choices and avoid health related risks. Choices like quitting smoking, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet are key to living comfortably through your golden years. Discussed below are some common issues to watch out for specifically as you get older.

benistarArthritis

Easily considered the number one issue faced by people 65 and older, arthritis is a common condition that consists of inflammation of the joints, causing pain and stiffness that worsens with age. According to the CDC, about 49.7% of adults over 65 are affected by arthritis. The pain from arthritis can lower the quality of life and discourage physical activity for seniors. Having private health insurance with a Medicare drug plan is essential to cover the costs of doctor visits and prescription medication.

Heart Disease

Heart disease accounted for 489,722 deaths in 2014, making it the leading killer of adults over the age of 65. According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related statistics, around 37% of men and 26% of women 65 and older are affected by heart disease. As people get older, they live with risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure that increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Without a supplemental private health insurance policy to accompany your Medicare benefits, the costs of doctor visits and prescription medication would become unmanageable. One of the best and most cost-effective ways to stave off heart disease is to exercise, eat healthy, and get a good night’s rest.

Cancer

Considered to be the second leading cause of death among seniors, with 413,885 deaths in 2014, cancer is said to affect about 28% of men and 21% of women over the age of 65 according to the CDC. Unfortunately, lung cancer accounts for more deaths than that of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer combined. The obvious answer here is to quit smoking. It is important to schedule screenings, such as skin checks, mammograms, and colonoscopies to detect problems early as many types of cancer are treatable. Health insurance is a must to cover all costs associated with specialists and doctor visits.

Respiratory Disease

The third leading cause of death among people 65 and older, chronic lower respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD) accounted for 124,693 deaths in 2014 according to the CDC. The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistic determined that about 10% of men and 13% of women are living with asthma, and 10% of men and 11% of women are living with chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Be sure to get a lung function test, take proper medications, and use oxygen as instructed by your doctor.

These are just a few of the things to watch out for down the road. Considering the medical costs associated with aging, it is important to realize that Medicare alone will not cover all of your healthcare costs. Consider purchasing a group health insurance policy for your retiring employees through Benistar. You can contact us anytime at retireesolutions@benistar.com.

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