Illness

From cancer to depression, elders can suffer from a wide variety of ailments. Yet, some people live healthy lives well into old age. Whether your elder has health issues or not, it is a good idea to learn more about common health problems faced by older adults.


Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease

One of the best known diseases of old age is Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association web site provides both education and resources to help caregivers and the general public understand more about dementia and Alzheimer’s. The site can inform you of what early warning signs to look for in an elder who may have Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia. They provide a help line [800-272-3900] 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, an e-newsletter, and many other resources including research updates.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America also provides a free hotline [866-232-8484] from 9a.m. to 5p.m., a free monthly teleconference, CareConnection, for caregivers and healthcare professionals, and other events.


Other Illnesses

A great variety of illnesses and conditions can ail an aging person, and some are obviously worse and more difficult to treat than others. The National Institute on Aging provides an A to Z index of health concerns and other health related topics. From information on arthritis to information on Women’s Health, this comprehensive listing provides a great place to begin understanding your elder’s concerns and health.

For in-depth information on specific diseases and conditions, try visiting the web sites below.

American Cancer Society

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Lung Association

American Stroke Association

Arthritis Foundation

National Kidney Foundation

National Parkinson Foundation

National Osteoporosis Foundation

The North American Menopause Society


Palliative Care

When care is focused on relieving pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, it is referred to as palliative care. If your elder suffers from undue stress, pain, or other symptoms associated with serious illness, palliative care may be available. Contact your elder’s primary care physician or specialist for more information and/or a referral. For more information, please refer to our End-of-Life Issues page or GetPalliativeCare.org.