Common Health Problems of Seniors Living in Struggling Communities

nurse and senior

According to the World Health Organization, rising life expectancy is one of the most significant achievements of the past century. However, as people live longer, they are more likely to experience age-related health problems. This is especially true for seniors living in struggling communities. Here are some common health problems faced by seniors in these communities and how your organization can help:

Chronic disease

According to the National Institute on Aging, 85% percent of seniors have at least one chronic disease, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. These diseases are often managed with medication, which can be expensive. Many seniors in struggling communities cannot afford their medications and do not have access to proper medical care. As a result, their chronic diseases often go untreated, leading to a decline in their overall health.

Your organization can help by providing financial assistance for seniors’ prescriptions or partnering with a local clinic or hospital to provide pro bono services.

Mental health problems

Mental health problems are common among seniors, with an estimated 20 percent of seniors suffering from depression. Depression can lead to a decline in physical health, an increased risk of chronic disease, and cognitive decline. Additionally, mental health problems can be exacerbated by social isolation, which is common among seniors living in struggling communities.

Your organization can help by providing mental health services or partnering with mental health organizations to provide much-needed services to senior citizens living in struggling communities.

Dental problems

Many seniors in struggling communities have dental issues. Often, these problems result from years of neglect or poor oral hygiene. However, they can also result from more serious conditions like diabetes or cancer. Regardless of the cause, dental problems can significantly impact a senior’s quality of life. They can lead to pain and discomfort, make it difficult to eat and speak, and cause embarrassment and social isolation.

Fortunately, you or your organization can help by initiating a dental outreach program. You can partner with a professional dental care service to offer free or low-cost dental care to seniors in struggling communities. Often, seniors have more serious oral issues, but luckily dental experts can provide more than just basic dental care. They can do more complicated treatments such as root canal treatment to ensure seniors have the best oral health possible.

By following these steps, your organization can make a positive impact on your community by literally bringing smiles to seniors.

Financial insecurity

Many seniors in struggling communities face significant financial insecurity that prevents them from seeking medical care. According to a recent study, nearly half of all seniors living in poverty do not have enough money to pay for basic medical expenses. This can often lead to chronic health problems going untreated, as well as increased emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

The good news is that many organizations and programs can help seniors in need. For example, the Senior Citizens’ Health Insurance Program provides eligible seniors free or low-cost health insurance. There are also many community health centers that offer sliding scale fees based on income. If someone you know is a senior citizen in a struggling community, there are resources available to help you get the medical care you need.

Substance abuse

Illegal substance

Substance abuse is a problem that affects people of all ages; however, it is especially prevalent among seniors living in struggling communities. Additionally, substance abuse can lead to other health problems, such as liver damage, heart disease, and brain damage.

Your organization can help by providing substance abuse treatment services or partnering with substance abuse organizations to provide much-needed resources and education to senior citizens in struggling communities.

Social isolation

A lot of seniors suffer from social isolation. This can have several causes, but one of the most common is living in a struggling community. Families in these areas often have to move away to find work, leaving seniors behind. In addition, many seniors in these communities cannot afford to retire, so they continue to work well into their golden years. This can make it difficult for them to maintain social connections. As a result, they may find themselves feeling isolated and alone.

There are several ways to combat social isolation among seniors. One is to encourage them to volunteer in their community. This can help them feel needed and valuable, and it can also introduce them to new people. Another way to combat social isolation is to help seniors stay connected with technology. Many seniors are unfamiliar with computers or the internet, but learning how to use these tools can help them stay in touch with loved ones and connect with others who share their interests. Finally, it is important to ensure seniors have transportation access. This can be difficult in a struggling community, but it is essential to ensure that seniors can participate in social activities. By taking these steps, we can help reduce social isolation among seniors in struggling communities.

These are only a few examples of how your organization can make a difference in the lives of seniors living in struggling communities. By providing needed resources and services, you can help improve the overall health and well-being of these vulnerable individuals.

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