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4 Rare Diseases Seniors Can Develop

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 9:00 am on

The causes of rare diseases often remain unknown, but the elderly can sometimes develop these diseases because of a compromised immune system. Practicing caution is one of the most effective ways to prevent seniors from developing these rare diseases. Sonoma County elder care staff takes a look at some of the rare diseases found in the elderly. 

1. Amyloidosis 

This is a rare condition usually found in people over the age of 60. When a senior’s body is unable to break down protein in the bones at a quick rate, amyloidosis can develop. The protein creates amyloids that can cause heart, liver, and kidney conditions. To prevent this rare disease, your loved one will need to maintain a healthy immune system.

2. Lewy Body Dementia 

This rare brain disorder, which is almost exclusive to the elderly, occurs when the microscopic inclusions known as Lewy bodies break down in the cell walls and cause symptoms similar to dementia. Although this rare disease cannot be prevented, your loved one can manage the symptoms better if it is diagnosed early. If your loved one needs help alleviating the symptoms, consider hiring a Sonoma County home caregiver who specializes in dementia care.

3. Paget’s Disease 

This is a bone disease that affects the elderly, although it is not well known. Seniors with Paget’s disease have bones that weaken and reform at an unhealthy rate. As a result, the new bone is too brittle and is likely to fracture. There is no sure way to prevent Paget’s disease. However, early diagnosis and prescribed medications could help your loved one manage the symptoms.

4. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

This is another rare form of dementia generally affecting people over the age of 65. Most seniors and their family members notice the symptoms years before a diagnosis has been made. Since there is no cure for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, recognizing the symptoms helps catch it during the early stages, which may slow down the progression of the disease. Some of the most common symptoms associated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are personality changes, forgetfulness, and cognitive decline.

If your loved one needs help managing his or her health to prevent serious diseases, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide professional live-in and respite home care. Sonoma County families can call (707) 843.4368 to speak with a friendly Care Manager about our senior home care services. In addition to helping your loved one take steps to prevent illnesses, we also provide specialized services, including Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia home care. Call today to schedule a free in-home consultation.