4 Illnesses Often Misdiagnosed in the Elderly

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4 Illnesses That Are Commonly Misdiagnosed in Seniors in Anchorage, AK

As seniors age, certain illnesses become harder to diagnose. Symptoms can present in different ways depending on the senior, and sometimes aging makes it harder to determine an illness. As a top provider of senior care in Anchorage, we work hard to bring you relevant and up-to-date information related to senior care. The staff at Home Care Assistance has put together a list of 4 illnesses doctors commonly misdiagnose in seniors.

1. Parkinson’s

There are quite a few health conditions that can cause tremors aside from Parkinson’s. However, Parkinson’s is often the first illness many think of if a loved one develops tremors. In reality, certain medications, too much potassium, and a condition called essential tremor can cause Parkinson’s-like tremors. If a doctor rules out other conditions and diagnoses your loved one with Parkinson’s, you might want to consider hiring a compassionate in-home caregiver in Anchorage to help with daily tasks like grooming and housekeeping.

2. Fibromyalgia

More than half of seniors have some type of arthritis, but many symptoms of arthritis are similar to those of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can be harder to diagnose because seniors often experience the physical symptoms, like joint pain and discomfort, differently.

3. Urinary Tract Infection

Some symptoms of UTI, such as irritability, are similar to those of dementia. UTI can also exacerbate these symptoms in people who already have dementia. However, UTIs tend to come on suddenly, whereas symptoms of dementia appear gradually over a long period of time.

4. Dementia

Sometimes what seems like dementia is actually the result of dehydration. With age, senior’s bodies don’t send and receive signals as well as they once did, which includes the signal to drink water. Often dehydration has a simple remedy, which involves increasing intake of fluids. However, the symptoms of dehydration, including feeling delirious, irritable, and confused, can be easily mixed up with those of dementia.

The symptoms of delirium, like reduced cognition and confusion, are common in dementia, which sometimes leads to misdiagnosis. Certain drugs can cause delirium, as can infections, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal disorders, and alcoholism. Doctors can address many of the causes of delirium.

If your loved one thinks he or she has been diagnosed incorrectly, encourage him or her to discuss it with the doctor or seek a second opinion. Contact Home Care Assistance at (907) 770-0907 today if your loved one requires transportation to medical appointments. In addition to driving seniors to medical appointments and helping with tasks around the house, we also provide comprehensive Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia home care Anchorage, AK, seniors can count on. Call one of our friendly Care Managers to learn more about our in-home care services.


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