Top 10 Senior Health Threats

Northern Californians can expect to live longer than ever before. Once you make it to 65, data suggest that you can live another 19.3 years, on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Healthy senior living involves more than assistance with acts of daily living, often it includes carefully managing chronic conditions in order to stay healthy. That’s where HHCI is your loved one’s greatest ally providing a full range of reliable, cost-effective, visiting nurse services to help monitor and assist with addressing these challenges.


“Arthritis is probably the number one condition that people 65 or older contend with,” says geriatrician Marie Bernard, MD, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Maryland. The CDC estimates that it affects 49.7% of all adults over 65 and can lead to pain and lower quality of life for some seniors. Arthritis can discourage you from being active, it’s important to work with your doctor to develop a personalized activity plan that, along with your HHCI in-home care provider, can help maintain senior health.

Heart Disease

According to the CDC, heart disease remains the leading killer of adults over age 65. Heart disease affects 37% of men and 26% of women 65 and older, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. As people age, they’re increasingly living with risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, that increase the chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease. HHCI works with our clients with heart disease to help them improve senior health helping assist them with exercise, eating well, and getting a good night’s rest.


Cancer is the second leading cause of death among people over age 65 according to the CDC. The CDC also reports that 28% of men and 21% of women over age 65 are living with cancer. While you’re not always able to prevent cancer, you can improve your quality of life as a senior living with cancer, including during treatment, by working with your medical team and your HHCI in-home care nurse to maintain healthy senior living recommendations.

Respiratory Diseases

Chronic lower respiratory diseases are the third most common cause of death in people 65 and older according to the CDC. Among people 65 and older, 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, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. These diseases increase their health risks, making them more vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections. HHCI’s in-home nursing care helps assure our clients are taking their prescribed medication, or using oxygen as instructed, which goes a long way toward preserving their quality of life.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease accounted for 92,604 deaths of people over age 65 in 2014, according to the CDC. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that one in nine people age 65 and older, which is about 11%, have Alzheimer’s disease, but because diagnosis is challenging, it’s difficult to know exactly how many people are living with this chronic condition. Cognitive impairment has a significant impact on senior health across the spectrum, from issues of safety and self-care makes it imperative to depend on the skilled nursing support that HHCI provides.


“Osteoporosis can contribute to becoming less mobile and potentially disabled should you fall and have a fracture or as the vertebral bodies collapse,” Bernard said. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 54 million Americans over age 50 are affected by low bone mass or osteoporosis, putting them at risk for a fracture or break that could lead to poor senior health and reduced quality of life. HHCI’s in-home nursing care helps our clients take their medications, teach them proper movement to reduce risk of falls and monitor them for issues.


The CDC estimates that 25% of people ages 65 and older are living with diabetes, a significant senior health risk. According to CDC, diabetes caused 54,161 deaths among adults over age 65 in 2014. Diabetes can be identified and addressed early with simple blood tests for blood sugar levels. HHCI will work with your medical professional’s recommendation to help our clients make changes to control the disease and improve their long-term senior health outlook.

Influenza and Pneumonia

Although the flu and pneumonia aren’t chronic conditions, these infections are among the top eight causes of death in people over age 65, according to the CDC. Seniors are more vulnerable to these diseases and less able to fight them off. Senior healthcare recommendations include annual flu shots or pneumonia vaccines if recommended by your doctor, to prevent these infections and their life-threatening complications. HHCI helps monitor these conditions and help seniors take appropriate pre-cautions and actions.

Substance Abuse

An analysis of data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions suggests that 1 in 5 people over 65 have had a substance or alcohol abuse problem at some point in their lives. Substance and alcohol abuse are a concern because of possible interactions with their prescription medication, their impact on overall health, and the increased senior health risks, such as falls, associated with intoxication. HHCI helps monitor and improve their living conditions in order to minimize potential substance abuse.


According to the American Psychological Association, 15 to 20% of Americans over 65 experience depression. Depression can lower immunity and can compromise a person’s ability to fight infections. HHCI will work with your medical professional’s recommendations for treatment with medication and therapy, such as increasing their physical activity. Most adults 65 and older don’t meet CDC recommendations for exercise or adequately socially interact, spending just 8 to 11% of their free time with family and friends according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. HHCI’s highly trained nursing professionals monitor for depression and help implement their physician’s recommendations to avoid depression.

Because HHCI are a state-licensed home health agency, ALL of our clients are overseen by registered geriatric nurses with extensive experience in home health care. Beyond performing wellness-client checks, we help look out for and address these top senior health concern with our geriatric case management, safety evaluations, wound care, post-op and catheter care, IV therapy, blood draws, mediset fills, well-client checks and orthopedic rehabilitation.

Is your aging loved one susceptible to 1 or more of these threats? Call HHCI at 707-538-0679 for your free consultation; we can help.

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