Managing Chronic Disease At Home for Older Patients
It can be challenging to manage your chronic disease at home, especially for those aged 65 and over. Older patients often have multiple chronic diseases and medications to navigate. The majority of patients over 65 have at least 2 chronic health conditions (68%) and almost all have one chronic condition (80%). Although patients may have a primary care doctor, it can often be difficult to reach their office for more education about health maintenance. This leaves many patients in the dark about their medications and how best to stay healthy.
Common Types of Chronic Disease
Patients may have multiple chronic disease and be on many medications to treat them. There are some medications patients may take for one disease that can be used to treat another disease. One example is a medication called metoprolol, which can be used to lower blood pressure, or to improve heart failure symptoms.
- High blood pressure – did you know approximately 90% of older patients will have high blood pressure? The treatment of high blood pressure is different for patients who are older versus those younger than 65. This is because it is normal for arteries to stiffen and cause high blood pressure as people age.
- Heart disease – heart disease is one of the leading killers in the United States and often is a result of a build up of cholesterol. There are certain medications such as statins that are able to help lower cholesterol and inflammation in the body. Statins have also been shown to decrease risk of heart attack and stroke. One study showed a 28% reduction in death for patients that were on statins versus those who were not with risk of heart disease.
- Diabetes – diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas, which produces insulin, the liver, which regulates sugars, and a person’s diet/exercise (or lifestyle factors) are out of sync. Around 20% of patients have diabetes who are over 65.
- Heart failure – approximately 14% of patients have heart failure, which is a result of a weakened heart muscle.
Does anything from this list sound familiar? Read on for some tips about how to best manage your health at home!
Best Ways to Manage Chronic Disease Health at Home
It can be challenging to manage chronic disease but a few universal tips are:
- Eating a healthy diet – patients who stick to a diet full of vegetables, lean meats and nuts have lower risk of heart disease. A study showed that patients who ate the ‘Mediterranean diet’ had lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Exercise – studies have shown that getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes five times a week can lower your risk of stroke, heart attack, improve your mood, and prevent hospitalization. Patients who maintain good lean muscle mass age better, with less memory loss, higher satisfaction, and a higher quality of life.
- Vitals monitoring – for patients, especially with heart failure or high blood pressure can be life saving. Patients are able to track their vitals at home. If vitals are abnormal (such as extremely high or low blood pressure), they can immediately alert their providers to issues with their vitals or symptoms they may be having.
Enabled Health works closely with patients and families to help manage chronic diseases in the comfort of patients’ homes. We provide in home and telemedicine services to patients in Washington.
If you would like a doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan for you or your family member, contact us today for an appointment at 425-400-9335 or email@example.com