Older Adults Need Help Managing Multiple Chronic Conditions
Living With Multiple Conditions
The Population Reference Bureau estimated that by 2040, more than 160 million people in the United States will have chronic age-related illnesses. These illnesses will impact more older Americans.
According to the National Academy on Aging, it is estimated that life expectancy increased from 51 to 80 years for women and 48 to 74 years for men between 1900 and 2000. People with long-term illnesses can struggle with daily activities like school, work and going outdoors due to their condition. They can also have difficulty transitioning to a nursing home or hospitalization. However, many people lead active lives with chronic conditions.
There are many reasons why some older adults sustain multiple conditions. Some are because of the severity of their illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. Others are due to the fact that many diseases can be treated with medication. This is due to the fact that many of these conditions — like hypertension — are easier to manage than other illnesses. Many older adults are able to effectively self-manage their medical conditions so that their symptoms are manageable. This is true even if the conditions have no other debilitating effects. If medications are affordable and their condition can be self-managed, many older adults can stay in their homes and lead regular lives.
It is common for older adults to need a variety of resources to help them manage their chronic conditions, especially if they have multiple chronic conditions. Most older adults can get medical help for through Medicare and Medicaid. In contrast, the nursing resources needed to manage these conditions on a day-to-day basis are not as readily available. Strategies that balance behavior change, medication, and symptom relief require older adults to know what to do, to believe they can succeed, and to have the support of family members.
Additional financial resources may be needed for support if there is no family close by for the elder. Providing emotional support and education to seniors and families requires a fundamental shift in the American value system, which currently promotes the medical management of chronic conditions while ignoring the emotional needs of patients and caregivers of those with multiple chronic ailments.
If you are 65 and older and need help managing Chronic Conditions please feel free to call us to make an appointment with a Primary Care Doctor today at: (904 )513-3240