Chronic diseases are often one of the primary sources of trouble for older adults. These health concerns create new challenges, adding another variable to consider when pursuing treatment and care options.
The issue of chronic disease is more prevalent than we tend to think consider. Approximately 85% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 60% of older adults have more than two chronic diseases. When dealing with these conditions, many are turning to long term care to receive support around the clock, helping them to stay their happiest and healthiest.
Let’s learn more about the chronic diseases that older adults face and how assisted living can help to manage these illnesses.
How does chronic illness impact older adults?
While it isn’t necessarily inevitable that you will be diagnosed with a chronic illness, it is common. Some of the most common chronic diseases in older adults are:
- Heart disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Diabetes mellitus
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
Your treatment options may vary depending on how severe your symptoms. Minor issues may be treated at home and might not necessitate further intervention. Alternately, if you are having severe medical issues that must be treated around the clock, a nursing home or hospital is likely the best place for you. Assisted living facilities are perfect for older adults who need a small amount of assistance or who have a desire to live in a community with others.
How does assisted living help?
For those living with a chronic disease, there are several benefits provided by assisted living:
- Supervision. While you won’t be observed 24/7, assisted living facilities to provide a level of supervision that can help you have peace of mind if something were to happen. Many assisted living facilities have measures in place to keep you safe, like having medical staff on-call or having nurses on the facility. For instance, Culpepper Place gives residents emergency pendants so that the staff can be warned if you experience a fall.
- Medication. You likely need to take medication for your chronic illness, and assisted living lets you focus on your life without worrying about missing a dosage. Medication adherence is a major issue for chronic disease sufferers, as failure to take medication at the right time can lead to symptom flare ups or your condition worsening. Many assisted living facilities provide medication administration or assistance to ensure that you take your medication properly.
- Socialization. Chronic illness makes it harder to maintain old relationships and start new friendships. Your symptoms may be so debilitating that it prevents you from wanting to socialize, creating a feeling of isolation. In fact, one study showed that older adults experienced higher levels of loneliness after the onset of chronic health issues even if they had been with the same partner for 50 years or more. Choosing to live in an assisted living facility creates opportunities for socialization and allows you to branch out and develop new relationships without having to make much extra effort.
Do you or a loved one need support managing your chronic disease?
Reach out to Culpepper Place. Our assisted living facility in Olive Branch, MS offers supervision 24/7 with on-site medical staff and medication assistance and/or administration services.