A recent Centers for Disease Control study found that more than 80 percent of the estimated 700,000 seniors residing in an assisted living facility in the U.S. have at least one chronic medical condition which affects their quality of life. The three most common medical issues affecting these residents are high blood pressure, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Even more concerning is how many residents have more than one of these chronic issues, and the ways in which these conditions are treated or managed.
The CDC study found that at least 50 percent of assisted living facility residents have high blood pressure; 40 percent or more have dementia or Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Twenty-four percent of assisted living residents have high blood pressure and a form of dementia, which greatly increases their likelihood of vertigo and falls. More than 50 percent of the senor residents of assisted living facilities in the U.S. are 85 years of age or older.
Thirty-four percent of residents have heart disease, and while heart disease can often be managed to some extent with statins, statins may be contraindicated in an individual who is taking certain high blood pressure medications. Also, statins can affect cognitive function. The interplay of multiple medications and multiple chronic conditions can mean an ongoing number of concerning medical issues, and that’s when care is consistent, which is not always the case. In the almost ten percent of residents of assisted living who have cognitive issues, heart disease and/or high blood pressure, affective treatment and care is an ongoing daunting process. Most of these residents are wholly dependant on others to affectively manage their complex medical needs.
The takeaway from the CDC study? Planning for your own long-term care and the likelihood of needing a comprehensive support team has never been more important. Please contact an elder law or estate planning attorney to help you plan for your comfortable and secure future.
Christopher J. Berry is a Michigan estate planning lawyer and Medicaid planning attorney dedicated to helping seniors, veterans and their families navigate the long-term care maze. To learn more visit http://www.michiganelderlawattorney.com/ or call 248.481.4000