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Guides to Elderly Illnesses

Guides to Elderly Illnesses and Ailments

In this section we have identified the main elderly illnesses and ailments affecting people, including Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Arthritis and UTI’s. We have signposted onward to the best websites for information and help, as well as suggesting products or services that might be useful.

Please join the forum and share your experience or thoughts on elderly illnesses and ailments.

Alzheimer's and Dementia

The word dementia describes a group of symptoms that may include memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, and sometimes changes in mood or behaviour.  We have compiled resources and expertise here to help.


Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint. The 2 most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  This section includes signposting to the best resources to help.


Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.


Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs. It’s usually caused by an infection, and can really serious consequences for an elderly person if not treated quickly.


UTIs can cause serious health problems. A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria in the bladder or kidney multiplies in the urine. Left untreated it can become something more serious than merely a set of uncomfortable symptoms.


A stroke is a brain attack. There are different types, but we all need to know the FAST test, and if you suspect someone is having a stroke you need to dial 999. 

Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is the biggest cause of death in the UK, with the main symptoms being chest pain, heart attack and heart failure, yet not everyone has the same symptoms and some people may not have any before CHD is diagnosed.

Eyesight health tips for elderly

Because our eyesight changes as we get older, almost all of us will need to wear glasses or contact lenses by the time we’re 65. Here are some great tips from the NHS on how we can help our parents look after their eyesight.

Hearing loss in the elderly

71% of over 70 year-olds and 42% of over 50 year-olds have some form of hearing loss. It is an incredibly debilitating and isolating condition, and yet it often goes undiagnosed for years.


Many of us will have to deal with incontinence in old age at some stage and yet no one talks about it. Clearly it’s a really difficult subject to broach with your parents,  and yet there are ways to manage this to make it a lot less embarrassing for everyone.

Macular Degeneration - the Cinderella of eye disease

Paul Wallis is an optometrist specialising in working with blind and partially sighted people. You can read the first chapter of his book Macular Degeneration – A Guide to Help Someone you Love here.