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3 Basics on Elderly-Onset Lupus
May is Lupus Awareness Month, a great time to pay a bit of extra special attention to this condition and the kinds of people who are often impacted by it. Seniors and those approaching senior age ranges are often among these, typically via what’s known as early-onset lupus.
At Cozy Retire, health maintenance is always one of the top priorities within our assisted living communities for patients in Kaysville, Layton and Ogden. Lupus is a condition characterized by the immune system attacking healthy cells, tissues and organs; early-onset lupus is more likely to impact individuals in the senior age range. Here are some basics on this condition, how to identify its symptoms in yourself or a loved one, and how it’s treated.
Age Range and Symptoms for Elderly-Onset Lupus
The name elderly-onset lupus can be a bit misleading – this condition is most common in those aged 50 to 65, though it can also impact people older than this. It’s much more common in women than in me, and some of its symptoms are similar to those of other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. These include:
*Inflammation and stiffness in joints, particularly the hands and feet
*Rashes on the face or elsewhere on the body
*Fever without an apparent cause
Commonly Difficult to Diagnose
One of the tougher things about elderly-onset lupus is the fact that it commonly takes a while to diagnose – many of its symptoms can overlap with those of other conditions and they may not be immediately attributed to this condition. That’s why it’s important to get checked by a doctor right away if you experience any of these issues.
For instance, osteoporosis symptoms are very common in those with lupus and making sure to get tested for this can help rule out other possible causes and pinpoint what’s really going on. Rashes are another common symptom, so if you notice a rash that doesn’t go away after several days, it’s important to get checked out as soon as possible.
Treatment for Elderly-Onset Lupus
One silver lining here is the fact that seniors with lupus tend to actually have milder symptoms and better responses to treatment than younger patients who have the condition. Treatment plans for elderly-onset lupus typically involve lifestyle changes, physical activity and medications to reduce inflammation and joint pain.
At Cozy Retire, our goal is to always ensure that all of our residents are getting the care they need – whether it’s support with basic daily activities or specialized medical attention. We’re here to help seniors with lupus get the treatment they need, so they can live their best life in our assisted living communities. Contact us today to learn about any of our caring programs or services for seniors and their families.