While many seniors are planning to spend their twilight years of life living in their own home and maintaining their independence, the unfortunate reality is that the challenges that come from the changes that aging brings to the body can make even the most warm and inviting home into a place fraught with dangers and terrors. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few simple changes to the home, and some new strategies for living inside of it, you can make sure your older adult loved ones are set up for success and can stay living and thriving in their own home well into their advanced years.
Losing bone mass is a natural consequence of aging, especially in women post menopause. While osteoporosis is a concern, and the most commonly diagnosed bone disease, the loss of bone density due to aging can be devastating even without a diagnosis. Low bone density can result in your bones and hips breaking easily, severely limiting your mobility and curtailing your independence. Fortunately, there are a few changes you can make to your lifestyle and habits to keep your bones at the optimal health and strength for years to come.
While experiencing aches and pains here and there is a normal part of aging, and usually resolves quickly, within a day or two, sometimes pain may linger. Pain that occurs regularly for three or more months is known as chronic pain, which can disrupt your life and keep you from the things you enjoy. Knowing different strategies and methods for managing pain can help you reduce discomfort and preserve your independence.
You’ve probably heard the word “cholesterol” a lot when any discussion of heart health comes up. To keep a healthy heart, you must have low cholesterol. But then some cholesterol is apparently good, and it’s good to have a high level of it, so what’s the difference? What even is cholesterol? Where does it come from? It’s important to understand cholesterol and the role it plays in your body’s health, and how you can manage it to maintain your healthiest body.
Often lost among other causes, kidney diseases like diabetes and others are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Because initial symptoms can be minor or get confused for other conditions, many kidney diseases go undiagnosed and untreated until kidney function is significantly decreased. This is why it’s important to keep the health of your kidneys in mind when aging, taking steps whenever possible to reduce the risk of kidney disease.
Halloween is traditionally thought of as a children’s holiday, for dressing up in a costume and going door to door trick or treating for candy, but just as many, if not more, adults have a deep appreciation and love for the holiday. For older adults, thinking they can’t participate in Halloween festivities anymore can cause them to miss out on a real opportunity for fun and family bonding.
While aging is an unavoidable fact of life, many of the negative effects we associate with aging are actually not. By taking good care of ourselves and living a healthy lifestyle, we can make sure to make the most out of each stage of our lives.
One of the many common complaints of aging is arthritis. The stiffness and soreness caused by swelling joints can make it more difficult to do tasks you once did easily, or even get around without discomfort.
One fact that many people know as an interesting bit of trivia is that the human body has 206 bones in the skeleton. But, there’s a follow up fact that is a bit lesser known. It’s that 52 of those bones, or more than a quarter, are contained in the feet! That makes it one of the most complicated and engineered structures in the body, and it makes sense because they’re literally the foundation on which the entire skeletal system, and the organs, muscles, and other tissues supported by it, rest.
Falling is the most preventable cause of injury to seniors, with one out of four seniors falling down each year. Less than half of those seniors who do fall will tell their doctors, and falling one time doubles your chances of falling again. One out of five falls will cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or head trauma. This means that one out of twenty seniors is seriously injured by a fall each year, making it one of the biggest dangers to older adults.
Before we can begin to manage stress, we must first understand what stress actually is. Simply defined, stress is the body’s response to a situation that requires action. Put even more simply, stress is how the body reacts to difficult, threatening, or challenging situations.
For seniors, life can be filled with uncertainty. As we grow into our twilight years, the changes that aging brings about can make us feel less in control, with less command over our lives and even our own bodies. By establishing a daily routine, personalized and specific to a senior’s particular wants, needs, and challenges, concentrating on what can be controlled can bring about a sense of empowerment.
Fall is an exciting season for many people. The cooler weather, the changing of the leaves, and more, give people plenty of things to look forward to from the equinox to the winter solstice. Among everything else, fall is the harvest season first and foremost. And while pumpkin and other squashes are the star of the show, there’s many more fruits and vegetables in season to choose from, and some of them have considerable health benefits of interest to seniors. Read on to find out what you should be filling your grocery basket with, and what they can do for your body!
TV shows like The Golden Girls or Netflix’s hit Grace and Frankie make an appealing case for older, unrelated adults living their twilight years together under one roof. With a number of mental, physical, and financial benefits to such a practice, it’s no wonder that many older adults are choosing to age in place together, as roommates.
While most health concerns with aging revolve around our physical bodies, worrying about things like blood pressure, blood sugar, aches and pains, or other metrics, equal attention should be paid to mental health. After all, our bodies operate as one holistic unit, both mind and body. To that end, practicing mindful meditation can promote many benefits, both mental and physical.
When a loved one has hearing loss, it can lead to social isolation and loneliness as it creates a barrier to communication with others. This can lead to depression, and cause pain in the extended family as your loved one retreats from interaction, due to being embarrassed or ashamed. While encouraging your loved one to meet with a doctor or audiologist to be evaluated and possibly fitted with a hearing aid is a good first step, there are other things to keep in mind to ensure effective and meaningful communication.
A common refrain heard from older adults with a smoking habit is statements along the lines of “I’ve smoked a pack a day for forty years, what’s the point in quitting now?” But the fact of the matter is that it’s always the best time to quit smoking. No matter how many packs or how many years you’ve smoked in the past, quitting smoking now will greatly improve your health. Quitting is likely to add years to your life, improve your breathing and energy levels, not to mention save you money.
Any older person can unfortunately be the target of elder abuse. It can happen at the hands of a loved one, a caregiver, or a stranger, in their own home or in a care facility. Recognizing the signs is important, as frequently the victims of elder abuse are unable to advocate for themselves, whether due to a diminished capacity or social isolation.