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Senior Health by the Numbers

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

We all know that older adults are more prone to health issues. But have you ever wondered about the actual numbers behind senior health? Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance brings you relevant statistics about the most common ailments that affect Americans older than age 65, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government entities.

Overall Wellbeing
– Adults older than age 65 report an average of 5.4 days each month during which they feel unwell.
– 6.9 percent of seniors report frequent mental distress.
– 31.7 percent of those in this group report a fall in which they’ve been injured in the past year.

Obesity and Physical Activity
– 27 percent of Americans older than age 65 are obese, with a body mass index greater than 30.
– What’s more, about 34 percent of Americans in the same age group report that they get little to no physical activity each day.

Poverty and Malnutrition
– 14 percent of senior adults report some level of food insecurity, meaning that they don’t always have enough to eat.
– 9 percent of American seniors live at or below the poverty threshold.

Chronic Disease
According to data from the CDC, chronic diseases are the number one cause of death among America’s seniors, most commonly:
– Heart disease (27.7 percent)
– Cancer (22.1 percent)
– Lower respiratory diseases (6.5 percent)
– Stroke (6.4 percent)

Alcohol Use
– The CDC reports that 21,000 deaths each year are caused by alcohol abuse among the senior population.
– Approximately 3.8 percent of seniors reportedly binge drink on a regular basis.

Preventive Care
– Only 48.5 percent of Americans older than age 65 are up-to-date on CDC recommended preventive services.
– 66.9 percent of this group has received a flu vaccine in the past year.

While some of these numbers may seem dire, prevention can help your elderly loved one avoid a number of these issues. For more information on promoting a healthy lifestyle for your senior loved one, turn to Home Care Assistance of the Lehigh Valley. All of our care plans include the use of the Balanced Care Method, which focuses on a healthy diet, regular exercise, stimulating social connections, and maintaining purpose through the golden years. To learn more about BCM or any of our care services, including hourly, live-in, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care in the Lehigh Valley, give us a call at 484-350-3874.