4 Rare Diseases Found in Aging Adults

By Doris Kasold, 9:00 am on

Information about dementia, Parkinson’s, and several other common diseases that affect the elderly is widely available. However, many people are not aware of rarer diseases that can also affect seniors. Palm Harbor senior care experts discuss 4 rare disorders seniors can be diagnosed with and ways to prevent them.

1. Late-Onset Lupus

Very little is known about late-onset lupus, but the number of cases seems to be growing. The vast majority of lupus cases are diagnosed between ages 15 and 40, but many seniors are now developing this condition as well. The primary goal of most lupus treatments is to manage the side effects and enhance the senior’s quality of life, which is often accomplished through a mix of dietary changes, medication, and exercise. 

2. Carcinoid Tumor

This is a unique type of cancer typically diagnosed in people over the age of 65. It can be found practically anywhere in the GI tract, but most tumors develop near the lower intestines or rectum. One of the most effective ways to prevent GI tumors is a healthy diet containing plenty of fiber and antioxidants. Preliminary studies funded by the American Cancer Society have revealed green tea might also help suppress carcinoid tumors. 

3. Cerebrovascular Disease

Some seniors develop cerebrovascular disease after having a stroke or mini-stroke. This disease slowly shuts down blood flow to certain areas of the brain so the soft tissue dies. Many researchers believe cerebrovascular disease can lead to epilepsy and dementia. Staying within a healthy weight range and keeping blood pressure under control can drastically reduce the risk of having a stroke.

4. Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis is a condition characterized by red and itchy skin, but some seniors who have this disease can also develop psoriatic arthritis. Doctors are unsure of the causes of psoriatic arthritis, but most agree it is a combination of genetics and external factors. Avoiding smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, doing yoga, meditating, using acupuncture, and maintaining a healthy diet can all help reduce the risk of psoriatic arthritis.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a medical condition and you are not able to meet his or her needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer high-quality respite and live-in care as well as specialized dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Palm Harbor families can call 727-330-7862 to learn about the support their loved one needs to maintain a high quality of life. Call one of our Care Managers and schedule a free in-home consultation.

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