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Top 5 Causes of Death for American Seniors

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on July 11, 2016

Though death is something we must all eventually face, many of the causes of untimely death are preventable. Phoenix, AZ, caregivers discuss 5 of the leading causes of death for seniors in the U.S. and offer tips on how to help your aging loved one reduce the risk of each cause.

1. Heart Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease remains the number one killer for seniors aged 65 and older. In the United States, coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease. This type occurs when plaque builds up in the walls of the artery that supplies blood to the heart, causing a blockage. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can help your loved one reduce his or her blood pressure and cholesterol levels, putting less stress on the heart.

2. Cancer

Cancer is characterized by the rapid multiplying of abnormal cells in the body. Colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer are among the leading types of cancer diagnosed in seniors. Though cancer is not always preventable, regular screenings can help your loved one catch the disease in its earliest stages, increasing the chances of remission.

3. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

Emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma can all cause oxygen deprivation. If your loved one smokes, encourage him or her to quit to decrease the risk of emphysema. Seniors with chronic bronchitis and asthma should regularly monitor their conditions and seek medical help before serious oxygen deprivation occurs.

4. Accidents

Falls and misuse of medication can result in death. Though no accident is completely preventable, you can help your loved one stay safer at home by removing rugs from the floors, installing grab bars in the bathroom, and keeping electric cords wound up. If your loved one takes medications, check with his or her doctor or pharmacist about correct dosages and interactions with other drugs.

5. Stroke

Chronic high blood pressure can eventually lead to a stroke, which occurs when a blood clot deprives the brain of oxygen. Learn the signs of a stroke, which include slurred words, a drooping smile, and a sudden headache, so you can help your loved one get medical attention as soon as possible after a stroke occurs. Additionally, your loved one can lower his or her blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and cutting back on sodium intake.

If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Phoenix Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are available around the clock to assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, provide medication reminders and transportation to medical appointments, and help with a wide array of other important tasks. For more information on the at-home care Phoenix, AZ, families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 602.388.1085 today.