When most people think of the changes that cognitive decline like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease brings about, they tend to focus on a few measures of brain health. The reality however, is that the truth of the breadth of the changes is a lot more complicated.
Recreational activities are a great way for seniors to stay active and engaged in their later years. Whether continuing a current or rediscovering an old hobby, or exploring something new, recreation can strengthen physical and mental abilities. Just because someone is a senior doesn’t mean they have to sit around playing bingo or watching the news.
Urinary incontinence is one of those realities of life that many people consider to be an inevitable nuisance that happens as you age. While the aging process and the decline of physical capabilities plays a role, it’s not something that you need to accept unquestioningly, or let influence your life and decisions should it happen to you
For many caregivers, the idea of receiving a solid eight hours of sleep on a given night sounds like a wonderful pipe dream. After all, it’s difficult for people who don’t have the added concern of providing care to a senior loved one to get eight hours in each night, so what chance would they have? While prioritizing sleep as a caregiver can be a hard row to hoe, it should be a priority for any elder care plan. After all, the better the health and mindset of the caregiver, the better the care provided will be.
Being a caregiver is a delicate balancing act at times, whether you’re caring for an elderly parent, another loved relative, or a spouse. On the one hand, you want the best for them and you want to help them to thrive and overcome challenges in the same way they have all their lives. But on the other hand, your loved one deserves a well-earned, restful twilight years, after a busy, active adult life, and you certainly don’t want to push them beyond their limits and capabilities. And it is just as likely that your loved one has thoughts and opinions about their care as well, and will wish to remain as independent as possible, as well as not wanting to feel like they’re being a burden to you. As a result, they may be hesitant to confront, or sometimes completely avoid, any of the hard stuff, or overextend themselves trying to take it on alone. Change is hard for everyone, especially the changes brought as a result of aging.
For many people, end of life care is only something they think about as it pertains to getting older. But the sad reality is that a medical emergency can happen at any time, leaving you unconscious or unable to make decisions for yourself. When this happens, your family members are left to decide what they think or guess at what you would have wanted. Instead of making them choose in this situation, you can create an advance directive, which will clearly state your wishes and leave very little gray area.
For seniors looking to stay active and reap some of the many health benefits of exercise, swimming can be a great and effective way to stay moving and boost their health and mood. Swimming is not only fun and relaxing, but it also poses less risk of injury than many other activities, and it can be done by people of all ages and many different levels of health or ability. It also does not require any special training or special equipment beyond a volume of water large enough for swimming, and it’s one of the best ways to beat the heat on a hot summer day.
Many of us who have never experienced depression, or have only struggled with it from time to time after a tragic event, assume that it is merely an unshakeable feeling of sadness. While this can be true for some people, the fact is that depression does not necessarily have to include feeling sad. It may manifest in other, unexpected ways, that you or loved ones may not always associate with depression. Many times, for seniors, these uncommon and unexpected signs and symptoms can be normal.
Sadly, financial abuse and scams targeting seniors is on the rise. The Federal Trade Commission reports that older adults and seniors lose more money to scammers than people in younger cohorts. The average senior over age 80 lost $1,700 to scams and cons, compared to just $188 lost by people aged 19 or younger, according to the FTC.
We carry our skin around every day, but oftentimes we neglect it and don’t think about it until irritation or injury occurs. Our skin is a fragile layer of tissue that surrounds us, and is actually the human body’s largest organ. Skin is made up of water, protein, fats, and minerals, and serves many vital functions like protecting us against germs and regulating body temperature. Like all parts of our body, skin changes with age. Over the course of our lifetimes, skin is susceptible to scratches, tears, cuts, burns, infections, and diseases.
Maintaining strong bones as we age will reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Every year in the United States, close to 1.5 million fractures are caused by osteoporosis, a condition affecting seniors especially where bones become weak and brittle.
Many seniors struggle with a poor diet, something that sadly goes overlooked by friends and family members. Older adults may have qualms about leaving the house, especially given the risk of the coronavirus that remains ever-present.
Older adults who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease will often feel a compulsion to walk and wander about. Naturally, there is no real place for them to go, and most of the time they are not even aware of what direction they’re heading in. They simply feel the need to move and walk around aimlessly. This behavior is often called “wandering” by medical professionals, researchers, and caregivers.
All people, not just older adults, value their sense of freedom and having the ability to come and go as we please. One of the biggest parts of that freedom, one that older adults are usually resistant to giving up, is driving. But as the body ages, so too do our abilities and senses, and it is important to be mindful of any changes to our driving habits. Older drivers, especially above the age of 70, have a higher per-mile risk of being involved in a car accident.
The outdoors aren’t called the great outdoors for no reason. Countless studies, research, as well as the sum total of human experience throughout history have all pointed to the same conclusion time and time again, which is that getting outside and taking in nature and all our world’s natural splendor has real, tangible benefits. Spending time outside can improve our mood and mental health, boost the strength of our immune system, lower blood pressure, and even shorten time spent healing after surgery or a significant injury.
As we age through our lives and enter our twilight years, one thing you’re sure to notice is the increase in tips, advice, and conversations related to health and wellness. It makes sense, after all, we all want to age with dignity and remain capable and healthy for as long as possible, and for many of us, by the time we’ve become seniors we may have developed a chronic condition, or had one catch up with us. One topic you’ve probably heard over and over is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a concern, of course, and has all sorts of negative health outcomes if left untreated, but equally dangerous and under discussed is low blood pressure.
Life is a rich journey, full of a variety of experiences, highs, lows, accomplishments, setbacks, gains and losses. One constant in life is that change is inevitable, and no stage of life is more marked by change than the time we begin aging into our twilight years.
Parkinson’s is a disease that affects nearly one million Americans today. The more you know about the disease, the more you can be on the lookout for early warning signs, as well as provide better care and understanding for any loved ones who may be afflicted with it.
When penicillin was invented in 1928, it was a turning point in medical history and was the beginning of the modern era where physicians could actually cure deadly infections.
While retirement is, for many of us, the ultimate goal we spend our adult lives working towards, for many people, they find once they’ve reached it, they have no idea what to do.
April is, among other things, National Lawn and Garden month. Gardening is a popular hobby among seniors, and has many benefits, mentally, emotionally, and physically. But the actual work of bending, kneeling, working the soil, lifting and digging can become physically challenging due to the effects the aging process has on the body. But with a few tips and modifications, gardening can be made much more safe and enjoyable for someone to enjoy as a hobby well into their twilight years.
With the recent change from winter to spring, temperature fluctuations can be difficult for seniors suffering from arthritis. Researchers believe that weather changes can increase stiffness and swelling in joints. When joints ache from use, it can cause seniors to be sedentary, which is one of the worst things for continuing health and quality of life. And while there are medications that can treat arthritis, or at least lessen the symptoms, many of these have side effects that can make the tradeoff not worth it to many older adults.
You may have heard the word probiotics before, and something about their role in promoting health. Many people around the world are turning to probiotics to prevent or treat a variety of digestive maladies. Many products on grocery shelves are now loudly advertising the presence of probiotics in their formula, and in the pharmacy there’s all sorts of pills and supplements touting their probiotics and benefits. It is estimated that product development and sales will reach $50 billion within the next five years.
One of the most common concerns over growing older cited when aging people are surveyed is loss of independence. Three out of four adults 50 years of age or older want to stay in their own homes and communities as they live through their twilight years. But with this, many older people worry about not being able to move around as well when they get older, meaning they’ll be unable to continue with their favorite activities, visit their favorite places, or even keep up with the necessary daily tasks of living.
Fracturing a bone is, sadly, a very common experience among older adults. As many as one fourth of men and half of women over the age of 50 will experience a fracture in their lifetime, so if you’ve suffered a broken bone as a result of a fall or other trauma, you’re not alone.