The routine of a morning person illustrates that the advantages you gain by not hitting the snooze button far outweigh the extra hours of sleep. Read more
Every person should make it a top priority to take care of their bodies no matter the age. As you get older, healthy living becomes a paramount responsibility that will determine your drive and ability to keep doing the activities you love. One quick and easy measure you can take to ensure continued health is through the use of adaptogens. Adaptogens are naturally occurring substances that have been found to provide multiple normalizing effects on the body, including stress management, immune system health, and energy level boosts. Read more
It’s no surprise that taking the plunge at the local pool has been a favored form of exercise for older adults. It’s easy on joints, reduces the risks of injury and improves cardiovascular strength. But there are other advantages to swimming as we age.
Studies show that hitting the pool is just as beneficial to the mind as it is the body. Here are five reasons why you could feel happier if you swim for exercise. Read more
Lloyd discovered hiking in his mid- 50s. For the next 10 years, he enjoyed the daily walks through the cedars behind his house. After a time, Lloyd attributed the initial leg discomfort to simply too much walking, so he shortened his route. But as the pain persisted and increased in severity, Lloyd realized he could no longer enjoy his time outdoors and that maybe it was time for hip surgery. Read more
We do a lot for the people we care about, especially those who spent their early life caring for us. We make sure they eat right, exercise, spend quality time with friends and family, and visit their doctor. We do what we can to handle their changing needs, but one slip or misstep can make their world come crashing down. Accidental falls, or unintentional injuries, are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. The reasons vary, but experts attribute these injuries to diminished balance brought on by medications, poor vision, and the lack of exercise, namely strength training.
There are a number of safety measures a caregiver can take to reduce the risk of injury within their loved one’s home, such as lighting and removing clutter, but older adults can also use daily exercise to improve their sense of balance to better navigate the bumpy road ahead.
Here are five everyday tips to practice and implement to prevent falls:
- Leg lifts
- Regular eye check-ups
- Simplify your home
- Take your vitamins
Did you know that squatting is the most primitive movement pattern known to mankind? In fact, our ancestors used to perform this type of movement in daily activities such as harvesting, hunting, gathering, cooking, eating, etc.
Scott Dagenais, rehab director at Palm Terrace Healthcare and Rehab Center, advises grabbing a chair to hold onto for balance when performing this movement. The first step is to stand shoulder width apart and simply lower yourself down while engaging the core. Make sure to squeeze the glutes, keep your head up, and hold for a couple of seconds. To take the exercise up a notch, raise your toes up and then back down. Repeat this 10 times for three sets. This exercise helps with independent balance as it increases quadriceptive and glute strength.
Single leg stance
Movement can become a bit shaky as we age and especially as we move from side to side or reach up to grab something. The single leg stance is another exercise to improve balance to prevent falling in the elderly. This movement begins in the same stance as the squat, however, instead of dipping down, you lift your leg up to the side and then bring it back. Make sure to squeeze the glute, hold it for a few seconds, repeat, and alternate legs. As you become more advanced, try to close your eyes!
Regular eye check-ups
The Vision Council of America reports that approximately 75 percent of adults use some form of vision correction. According to the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), “A rapidly increasing proportion of the aging population experiences eye problems that make simple daily tasks difficult or impossible, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses. Severe eye problems are not just a matter of ‘getting older.’ The risk of severe eye problems has been found to increase significantly with age, particularly in those over age 65.”
Make sure your loved one has a current prescription as directed by a doctor. Remember that tint-changing lenses can be dangerous, so be aware of the changes in the environment from a darkly-lit building to a bright, sunny day. By pausing and waiting for the lens to adjust, a bump or fall can be avoided.
Take your vitamins
By keeping your bones strong, you stay standing. The two key nutrients to defy osteoporosis are Calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is important because our bodies cycle calcium through the bones to keep them strong, while vitamin D aids your body in absorbing calcium and encourages bone growth. Health.com advises that adults up to the age of 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day. Adults over 50 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400-500 IUs of vitamin D.
Simplify your home
The older we get, the more items we tend to accumulate and sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to part with items that hold sentimental value. One of the things you can do to help your loved one clean up his or her home is to remove things that could easily be tripped over. This includes a throw rug, low-sitting bench, room heater, or a raised doorway threshold. Another risky item would be an electrical cord or any other kind of clutter, such as shoes.
Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand, except when you’re 65! By encouraging a daily exercise routine, monitoring vision, eating right, and removing dangerous clutter and other hazards from the home, your loved one will be ready to tackle whatever lies on the road ahead by staying on the path to good health and avoiding accidental falls.
Much like those who adopt healthy living practices at an earlier age, older adults can feel immediate benefits of losing weight as well. Read more
You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” Eating well is important for everyone at all ages, especially the older we get. According to the World Health Organization, are more susceptible to malnutrition due to changes that naturally occur with the aging process. Many diseases that plague the elderly are a result of dietary reasons. Studies have indicated that malnourished older adults tend to visit doctors, hospitals, and emergency rooms more often. Read more
If you’ve ever traveled via airplane, then you’ve heard flight attendants warn that if a loss of cabin pressure occurs you should put your own oxygen mask on before helping others put theirs on. This principle of helping yourself before helping others can be related to caregiving. As a caregiver, you’re giving a significant amount of your time to help a loved one. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and stop taking care of yourself when you’re worried about the welfare of another. Read more
If your parent or loved one has a surgery planned or they have been recently hospitalized, it is likely that they will be referred to an in-patient rehabilitation facility to help them recover. You may be curious about what their stay will be like and how their days will be structured. Whether they will be in the facility for a few days or a few months, each day will be filled with physical therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy and other medical treatments tailored to help them regain their ability to be as independent as possible. Read more
It was the year 1846, and women admitted to the maternity clinic of Vienna General Hospital were inexplicably dying during childbirth. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, a new addition to the maternity clinic, was disturbed by the high mortality rate of patients and was determined to find the cause. After a number of experiments and observations, Dr. Semmelweis changed the course of healthcare with one simple discovery: Washing hands saved lives. Read more