Back to Basics: Common Senior Health Challenges

December 1, 2021

As many know, there is an inevitable predisposition to health challenges that come with aging. Being aware of these challenges and knowing how best to handle them can go a long way. Continue reading to learn how some common health challenges may affect your loved one, and what you can do to support them.


The risk of COPD (or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) drastically rises with age, with prevalence being two to three times higher in those over 60.  This type of lung disease may cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, cough, mucus production, and wheezing. Recognizing symptoms and seeking treatment immediately can help maintain the quality of life as your loved one ages. For many seniors, being put on a regiment and seeing medical staff more often is most beneficial, which is why care in an assisted living community that offers medical services may be a great option for your senior. 


This common health challenge is caused by the inflammation of joints and often worsens with age. Inflamed joints may lead to mobility issues, increased falls, and nerve damage. Arthritis can dramatically impact the quality of life as our loved ones age, causing immense pain and discomfort. Recognizing the risk of arthritis early helps us prepare by developing a personalized plan for activity and treatment to help maintain health for as long as possible. 


As estimated by the CDC, 25% of people over the age of 65 have type 2 diabetes. This is a major health concern for seniors that could, and should, be addressed as early on as possible. Simple blood tests can show if there is a high risk for diabetes, and lifestyle change can be made early on to prevent help control the disease and improve long-term health. 

Depression / isolation / loneliness 

Less discussed, but equally as important health issues that often arise in seniors are depression, isolation, or loneliness. Typical family size is much smaller than it was 50 years ago, and children are more likely to move further away as they settle into their adult lives. This can be troublesome for aging seniors as they often have less family around. Feelings of isolation and loneliness may cause a senior to seclude themselves in their home in fear of being a bother to their loved ones. The risk of injury or health concerns rises in result as seniors tend not to bring up an issue until it’s too late. 


For seniors experiencing symptoms of dementia, there are often signs leading up to dementia itself. For many, there will be small things forgotten at first. This forgetfulness usually gets blamed on age, but eventually continues to worsen, causing frustration. Typically seniors aren’t seeking help or placement in a community until something more serious occurs. Something to consider when looking at senior communities for a loved one suffering from dementia is the security practices and policies in place. Having the confidence that your senior is safe in their new home will go a long way in a transition period that can often be difficult for seniors and family members.

How PLC Communities Support These Issues 

All Priority Life Care Communities commit to lighting the way to affordable care with respect to independence. What this means is that all PLC communities implement practices that encourage you or your loved one to be as independent as possible for as long as possible. To do this, we start with an initial wellness assessment. From the assessment, we create a custom care plan for every resident. Our dedicated and knowledgeable care staff is on-site 24/7. In addition, we also have implemented a few top-notch programs and partnerships like Along the Journey, PCA Pharmacy, and Vertis Therapy. 

Along the Journey is Priority Life Care’s Memory Care programming for overall wellness. This person-centered care program helps families and caregivers develop relationships and enrich the lives of our residents in the memory care neighborhood. Every memory care resident is partnered with a staff member, so that someone is responsible for each resident. We communicate with family and gather information on their life before the community, in order to tailor the care for each individual. 

PCA Pharmacy, a PLC partner in many communities, helps to reduce the costs of medications for residents. PCA pharmacy helps find generic brands to bring down costs and does all the groundwork to help the residents get the right medication at the best cost. Additionally, PCA Pharmacy runs covid clinics (vaccines) free of charge for residents, further supporting the overall health and wellness of your loved one. 

Vertis therapy, another PLC partner, is housed on-site in PLC communities, expediting the therapy process. In a typical assisted living community, there is often a home health service that contracts therapy service, which takes about a week to begin the process. In the case of any fall in a PLC community, a resident automatically gets a therapy screen to help show the cause of the fall and take action if needed. Along with being quicker, it is also much more effective to have therapy in-house. Since these therapists work alongside community staff and residents, they build stronger relationships and can notice declines in behavior over time. 

To learn more about our programs and partnerships, we invite you to call your nearest Priority Life Care community.

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