Chronic health conditions affect roughly half of all adults. And if you’re an adult aged 65 or older, you likely live with three or more chronic conditions.
Chronic illnesses may be physical, mental or sensory in nature. Common chronic physical conditions include arthritis, diabetes, heart problems and hypertension. Common mental issues are chronic depression and cognitive disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. On the sensory side, chronic illnesses include hearing and vision loss, such as macular degeneration or tinnitus.
For many, chronic illness can cause depression, anger or fear that your illness will worsen. Some may develop a negative self-view, perceiving themselves as sickly or burdensome. Others may choose to ignore the illness in an effort to go on living the way they have been, and as a result, experience significant declines in their overall health and wellbeing.