4 Rare Illnesses Affecting Seniors

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4 Rare Diseases Affecting the Elderly

By Glenn Krakow, 9:00 am on

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a database of more than 1,000 types of uncommon diseases. El Dorado County elderly care professionals look at some of the rare diseases seniors are at risk of developing and ways to prevent them. 

1. Pemphigus 

This is a rare disease categorized by lesions and blisters. Seniors who have pemphigus generally develop blisters on their forearms, chest, and abdomen. The lesions will often come and go without causing the skin to permanently scar. To prevent your loved one from developing pemphigus, he or she will need to minimize exposure to the sun to protect the skin. When your loved one goes out in the sun, make sure he or she wears sunscreen and protective clothing. 

2. Paget’s Disease 

Although this disease is not well known, it is actually the second most common bone disease after osteoporosis. If your loved one develops Paget’s disease, his or her bones could weaken and reform at an unhealthy rate. As a result, the new bones could become brittle and have a higher risk of fracturing. While Paget’s disease cannot be prevented, early diagnosis and different prescription and non-prescription medications may help your loved one manage the symptoms.

3. Encephalitis 

Seniors with weakened immune systems could be at risk of this rare disease. Encephalitis is characterized as a rapid inflammation of brain tissues. As a result, seniors can experience severe mood swings, weakness in the body, and seizures. Your loved one can take a vaccine to help reduce the risk of developing encephalitis. 

4. Bullous Pemphigoid 

This is a rare skin disease mainly affecting seniors over the age of 70. Bullous pemphigoid causes blisters that can become severe. If your loved one’s immune system begins to weaken, he or she will be at higher risk of developing the disease. To prevent bullous pemphigoid, your loved one should follow a healthy diet and minimize his or her exposure to the sun.

If your loved one has a medical condition and requires assistance with daily living tasks, get in touch with Home Care Assistance. In addition to helping out around the house, our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat nutritious meals and exercise to build immunity. Along with high-quality respite and live-in care, we also provide comprehensive Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care. El Dorado County, CA, families can call (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 to speak with a Care Manager who can create a customized care plan for your loved one.