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Seniors in Assisted Living Battle Numerous Health Issues

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 03 May 2012

Dementia. Parkinson’s disease. Macular degeneration. Depression. People are living longer thanks to medical advances, but there are consequences. In a recent article on AgingCare.com, Susan Levy, M.D., spoke to the health issues plaguing seniors today; some are genetic and others environmental, she says. Per the piece, the most widespread conditions, in order of impact, are coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, pneumonia and the flu. Accidents (leading to falls and fractures) are also quite common, along with slowed reaction time and a weakened immune system.

Levy writes that most seniors are coping with at least one, if not two or more, of the two dozen plus conditions outlined in her article.

Longevity’s “side effects” and the burgeoning demographics have forced the senior care industry to assess their role as providers in a new way. Given the intense care needs that many of these conditions demand, seniors in assisted living are more frail and more dependent upon admission. Our post in December, Today’s Senior Care Communities: Mini Hospitals?, examined these changes and what they mean for the industry’s future. Though discrimination is not an option, care providers must be certain that they have adequately trained staff (in sufficient numbers) to meet the increasingly complex care needs of this new resident population.

Talk back: What will assisted living homes of the future look like? Will that care category disappear or evolve to look more like the nursing home medical model?

 

There are 4 Comments about this post

  1. Tony Rovere says,

    While the ‘big ones’ such as dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are discussed, one that I feel is just as common in nursing homes is bed sores.

    The nursing staff at these facilities fights a never ending battle against skin damage as a result of the fact that the residents aren’t mobile anymore and this puts bedsores high on the list of ailments that seniors have to overcome.

     

    on 04 May 2012 / 11:37 AM

     
  2. Wayne Caswell says,

    Genetic, Environmental and… Social. By that I mean obesity and the factors contributing to it, including the widening wage gap since lower income families have less access to good organic foods, health club memberships, and other healthy lifestyle options.

     

    on 06 May 2012 / 10:04 AM

     
  3. Tony, you’re absolutely right: bedsores and skin tears and related issues are of major concern. If left untreated or improperly/inadequately treated, these are just as uncomfortable and painful and life-altering as any of the “big ones.”

     

    on 08 May 2012 / 9:30 AM

     
  4. Wayne, yes — these are definitely factors that must be considered in designing senior care facilities that are equipped to meet the needs that genetic, environmental and social factors provoke.
    Thanks for your comment!

     

    on 08 May 2012 / 9:32 AM

     
 

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