5 Senior Illnesses that Are Often Misdiagnosed

By 9  am on

Illnesses that Are Frequently Misdiagnosed in the Elderly in Tampa Bay, FL

It’s not uncommon for a senior to be diagnosed with an illness, only to later discover the doctor made a mistake. Here are some common illnesses misdiagnosed among seniors and detailed steps that can be taken to prevent each illness. 

1. Essential Tremors

Essential tremors are often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. However, essential tremors are more likely to affect seniors, unlike Parkinson’s, which is also common in people under the age of 55. These types of tremors impact both sides of the body, whereas Parkinson’s starts on one side of the body before spreading to the opposite side. To prevent essential tremors, your loved one needs to maintain low potassium levels and avoid medications that contain chlorpromazine.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care service. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

2. Fibromyalgia

Many seniors are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at some point in their lives, but it’s often mistaken as fibromyalgia. However, fibromyalgia doesn’t affect the same joints in the hands that rheumatoid arthritis does, and it doesn’t cause as much swelling as arthritis. One way to reduce the risk of fibromyalgia is to prevent traumatic events such as injuries to the body, infections, and illnesses.

Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Clearwater seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

3. Urinary Tract Infection

Often the signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) are similar to those found in people with illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia. UTIs can increase feelings of confusion and forgetfulness, especially in seniors who are already experiencing memory loss. However, family caregivers shouldn’t mistake these signs as dementia or Alzheimer’s. To prevent UTIs, make sure your loved one drinks plenty of fluids, especially water. He or she should also get plenty of rest and avoid stressful situations.

4. Delirium

Delirium, which is often mistaken for dementia, isn’t caused by an illness. Instead, medications or blockage in the brain could be potential causes. Make sure your loved one is eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, and avoiding stress. Also, check with the doctor to make sure he or she hasn’t prescribed benzodiazepines to your loved one. 

5. Dehydration

Because dehydration causes a senior’s skin to become dry, it can be mistaken for a skin condition. When dehydration is left untreated, it can be deadly. Encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water, stay in cool temperatures, and monitor his or her blood pressure levels on a regular basis.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Clearwater, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call us at (727) 330-7862 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.

Request Free Information or
Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation