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As our parents get older, we have to face the fact that their health isn’t always excellent. Old age comes with some health risks, and catching them early is critical. We are fortunate to live in a time where medicine and health professionals can combat many different health problems, but if issues are left for too long, it may be too late to help.

For this reason, it’s essential to keep an eye on your elderly parents’ health and talk to them about anything you notice.

Some health issues are more common in older age than in those who are younger. Keeping an eye out for these common problems tends to be a bit easier, as many suffer from them. But what are these common problems, and how can you spot them?

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where, when asleep, your breathing stops and starts. As you can imagine, this can be very dangerous.

Sleep apnea is commonly caused by old age, obesity, and smoking. Funnily enough, sleep apnea is actually more common in men.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea are:

–   Loud snoring

–   Waking up with a dry mouth

–   A headache in the morning

–   Gasping for air while asleep

–   Insomnia

–   Feeling irritable

–   Feeling tired in the daytime

–   Low attention levels

The best way to diagnose sleep apnea is to visit a doctor. However, once you’ve got a diagnosis, there are a few things you can do. Sleep apnea is often treated with a CPAP machine. This is a kind of mask you wear, which pushes air through your airway when you’re asleep. By keeping the airway open, you should be able to breathe normally when asleep.

Be very careful when choosing a CPAP machine, however, as there have recently been several lawsuits brought against the Phillips CPAP machine—go now to learn in more detail about avoiding these damaged products.


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Arthritis is a common issue amongst the elderly. It causes pain and inflammation in joints. Though it is more common in older people, it can affect anyone.

There are two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis, which is arthritis in the cartilage lining of your joints, and rheumatoid arthritis, where your immune system targets your joints.

The symptoms you can check to spot arthritis are as follows:

–   Joint pain/tender joints

–   Stiffness in joints

–   Warm and red skin over joints

–   Weak muscles

–   Restricted movement in joints

–   Inflamed joints

Sadly, there is no cure for arthritis, but you can slow down the process. There are medications, surgeries, and physiotherapies that can help your elderly relatives. Lifestyle changes can also help.


Pneumonia is an illness that affects the lungs. When ill, your lungs fill with fluid or pus, causing difficulty when breathing. Pneumonia can be mild, but it can also be life-threatening. Catching it quickly is essential.

Symptoms include:

–   Chest pain when breathing or coughing

–   Confusion in the elderly

–   Tiredness

–   Fever and sweating

–   Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

–   Shortness of breath

Take your relative to the doctor as soon as you suspect pneumonia. They can be treated with medicine and rest.