Canada is currently home to over 35 million people; with elderly individuals exceeding that of children aged 1 to 14. According to statistics, seniors will make up to roughly 25% of the Canadian population by 2060m compared to a little over 15% in 2015. This increased trend in geriatric populations can be attributed to several factors such as an increase in life expectancy, reduced fertility rates, and aging of the baby boom generation.
As an old proverb says, ‘With age, comes wisdom,’ but the aging also brings a long list of health conditions that can have a profound impact on the health and quality of elderly Canadians.
Dr. Ali Ghahary uses his current medical expertise and previous experience in treating a primarily geriatric community in understanding the most common problems (outlined below) that face elderly patients today and providing them the best possible health care.
Arthritis:Joint pain is a common condition that affects many people in their older age. It is one of the leading causes of immobility and chronic pain in individuals over the age of 50. Arthritis is defined as a degenerative joint disease that causes swelling and pain, which can range from mild to severe. Arthritis is an umbrella term that covers various joint and surrounding tissue conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Joint pain is characterized by gradual inflammation of the joints, which then causes pain and limited range of motion.
Parkinson’s Disease:Parkinson’s disease is a condition that typically develops in individuals over the age of 50. However, 4% of individuals under the age of 50 will also be diagnosed with this neurological disorder. Signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, speech changes, handwriting changes, difficulty sleeping, changes in posture, and muscle stiffness.
Urological problems:The three most common urological problems in geriatric patients are incontinence, benign obstructions, and prostate problems. Prostate health is an issue that many men are concerned about, with 6 million over the age of 50 being diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, otherwise known as BPH or benign prostate hyperplasia. Although it is typically not life threatening, the condition can be troublesome and distressing. It is characterized by symptoms such as frequency of urination, or the opposite, a full-feeling bladder.
Sleep problems, breathing problems, weakened immune systems and other chronic diseases are just some of the other health concerns that can affect that quality of life in older individuals. However, with proper care and support, seniors can live a happy and joyous life.