Hearing loss is often considered a sign of aging. Many view it as an inevitability. They think that once you reach a certain age, your hearing will start to worsen. While this does happen to many older adults, it varies. Not everyone loses their hearing. However, some ignore the signs that they need hearing aids until it starts to have an impact on their lives.
When hearing loss is age-related, it’s called presbycusis. It starts gradually and worsens as we get older. Presbycusis ranks among the most common conditions seniors face.
Many people deal with diminished hearing. Around 15% of American adults report difficulty hearing however about one in three people between ages 65 and 74 have hearing loss. Almost half of people over age 75 have a hard time hearing.
An inability to hear can lead to many challenges. Seniors may have a hard time communicating or receiving information. This can affect relationships with loved ones or their ability to follow their doctor’s advice.
There are more worrying results of hearing loss, like an inability to hear sirens and alarms that might warn of incoming danger. It can make navigating the outside world alone risky.
Hearing loss is also associated with cognitive decline. It can hurt a person’s mental health. Recognizing the signs of senior depression and what you can do to help can prevent the situation from spiraling. This is especially true if the cause is something fixable with the help of a device like a hearing aid.
Why Do Seniors Often Experience Hearing Loss?
The human body changes with age. It’s a normal part of living that cannot be prevented. You may be able to slow the process with healthy living, but you can’t stop it entirely.
Age can cause the inner ear to change. It can also affect nerve pathways that connect the ears to the brain. Medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure and long-term exposure to loud sounds can worsen these changes.
New research has also found that there may be genes that make a person more susceptible to hearing loss.
There is no one cause of age-related hearing loss. There are usually several factors at play. That’s why it’s important to take steps to protect your hearing and seek medical advice if you notice changes in your ability to hear.
Signs That a Senior is Experiencing Hearing Loss
There are several things to look for that could indicate an elderly person is losing their hearing. If you or someone you love experiences the following behavior changes, it may be time for a hearing test.
- Complains About the Volume of Others
Hearing loss makes it hard to hear others, but it may not become apparent until the complaints are consistent. One or two people may simply speak at a low volume, but if you or your loved one struggle to hear most people, there’s a good chance that you need a hearing aid.
- Often Asks People to Repeat Themselves
If you or your loved one frequently ask others to repeat themselves in conversations or when sharing instructions or information, this can be a big red flag. It’s ok to have to ask once in a while, but if it’s becoming a common thing, see a doctor for a hearing test.
- Turns TV or Radio Up to a Loud Volume
Most people will instinctively turn the television or radio up to a volume that they can comfortably hear. Someone who is having difficulty hearing will likely use higher volume levels that aren’t comfortable for others. If your loved one is doing this or if you are told that your volume levels are too high, hearing loss may be involved.
- Difficulty Understanding Telephone Conversations
If phone conversations are becoming a challenge when they didn’t use to be, you may not be hearing the person on the other line well enough. Today’s phones typically have a built-in volume control that you can use. This may fix the problem for now, but it’s important to not ignore the cause.
- Missing Dialogue in Movies, Theaters, or Church
Watching a movie at someone else’s house or the theater or going to a church service is a common pastime for many. If you or your loved one struggle to keep up with the story or hear dialogue, this could indicate a bigger problem.
- Seems More Impatient or Withdrawn
A person struggling with hearing loss may become more impatient or withdrawn. They may feel frustrated with the challenges of not being able to hear the world around them. Behavior changes in seniors should never be ignored. Start with a visit to the doctor to find out if hearing loss is the cause.
- Strains to Hear People in Group Settings
Some seniors with hearing loss can handle one-on-one conversations in quiet spaces but have far more trouble when listening in group settings. More voices are speaking at once and other background noises that make it harder to hear. If you or your loved one struggle more in group settings, it could be a hearing loss issue.
- Struggles to Hear When They Can’t See Faces
Some people naturally compensate for hearing loss by watching facial expressions and lip movements. This can help but also indicates that a problem exists that needs to be addressed. Having difficulty hearing when you can’t see the speaker’s face can be a sign of hearing loss.
Seniors with hearing loss and other age-related conditions often find that assisted living gives them a new lease on life. These facilities are designed to provide support and safety as well as comfort and freedom.
There are more senior care options available now than ever before. Vista Living expands assisted living and memory care services to Paradise Valley, Arizona to bring local seniors more opportunities to thrive.
How Seniors Can Protect Their Hearing
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent age-related hearing loss. However, there are things you can do to protect your hearing and help slow the process or prevent hearing loss due to other causes.
- Avoid Exposure to Loud Noises
Loud noises can damage your hearing at any age. Avoid listening to music or television too loudly. Be mindful of how high you turn up the volume when wearing headphones or earbuds. Also avoid exposure to loud noises related to guns, fireworks, construction work, motorcycles, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers.
If you need to be around loud noises, make sure you wear adequate ear protection. Safety earmuffs can work well. Earplugs are also available in different types. Some earplugs are made of expandable foam that conforms to the shape of your ear. You can also buy pre-molded plugs or ear canal caps that fit into the opening of the ear canal and are easy to remove.
- Schedule Regular Hearing Tests
Protecting your health means regular check-ups and screenings. Talk to your doctor about hearing tests. They can advise you on how often you should be checked based on health status and risk factors. A test won’t prevent hearing loss, but it will alert your doctor if anything changes so they can react quickly.
Health conditions can cause or worsen hearing loss. Make sure you follow your doctor’s orders and manage medical conditions as recommended. Keep yourself as healthy as possible so that your senses stay as strong as they can for as long as possible.
Live in a Senior Community
Moving into a senior community can help you find support if you experience hearing loss. Facilities like Visa Living Senior Care are designed for the safety and comfort of aging adults. Having staff around will help you get help sooner if you start to show signs of hearing loss or other age-related changes.
The best thing any senior can do to prevent hearing loss is to stay healthy and protect their hearing whenever necessary.
Assisted living offers many benefits for aging adults. It provides safety, shelter, and security in a setting that’s senior-friendly. However, residents aren’t the only ones that have something to gain. Their loved ones also enjoy many benefits that make life easier and more peaceful while caring for an elderly parent or grandparent.
Today’s assisted living communities are lively places that take a more holistic approach to senior care. Rather than focusing solely on medical needs and health, these facilities also address mental and emotional wellbeing. They encourage socialization and engagement with the world.
Many assisted living communities offer groups, classes, clubs, and entertainment throughout each month. These are provided on-site so residents can easily attend or participate with minimal effort and at no risk to their safety.
Some also organize trips off-site to restaurants, shops, attractions, and more. These excursions help seniors feel connected to their local communities and give them more to look forward to and enjoy.
While the emphasis is on the needs of seniors, assisted living also has benefits for their families. Taking care of an aging loved one at home isn’t easy. Most residences are not designed for seniors, who may need walkers or wheelchairs, or face mobility limitations. There may also be fears about medical emergencies or, in cases of dementia, wandering.
All of these concerns can take a toll on family members tasked with taking care of a senior relative. Assisted living makes life better for all involved by providing a safer alternative to aging in place.
Vista Living Senior Care provides support for residents and their families. Find out how our assisted living homes help loved ones lower stress and enjoy more of the time spent with their aging parent or grandparent.
Assisted Living is Safer for Seniors Than Staying at Home
We often don’t realize how hazardous the average household can be for an aging person who has health conditions or diminished mobility. Low-sitting furniture, rugs, power cords, and pets can all become tripping hazards.
A fall injury is a big risk for an older adult. Our bones are more vulnerable to breaking as we age. We also take longer to recover when ill or injured. A fall can lead to further complications and lengthy hospital stays. The best way to handle this problem is through prevention.
Assisted living facilities are designed with senior safety as a priority. They have wider doorways and hallways that allow wheelchairs and walkers to pass through. They use safety equipment like railings and non-slip mats and keep staff close by. All of this is built-in so you don’t have to spend a small fortune to modify your home.
Many also have advanced security systems to prevent unauthorized access to vulnerable elderly residents.
Families can rest easy knowing that their senior loved one is in a safe, comfortable place that will protect them from many of the dangers that come with living alone.
Assisted Living Scales with the Growing Needs of Seniors
Families face challenges as an aging parent or grandparent’s care needs increase. As we age, we will likely need more assistance and attention. It can become difficult to balance personal responsibilities like a full-time job or children while also tackling senior care.
Assisted living communities ensure that residents receive the level of support they need. Facilities like Vista Living can scale services as required. If a resident begins having trouble walking or needs assistance with grooming or dining, we make sure they get help.
Families don’t have to worry about who will shoulder the growing burden and their loved ones can continue to thrive. If you notice that caring for your mom or dad is becoming too much, it may be time to learn how to discuss assisted living with a parent.
Assisted Living Makes Budgeting Easier for Everyone
Finances can be a touchy subject for some seniors. Balancing accounts and keeping up with monthly bills can become difficult as a person ages. This is especially true for older adults facing cognitive decline.
If left without support, a senior could end up falling behind on payments or misusing funds. Seniors are also a higher risk population for scams.
Assisted living comes with an easy monthly fee that covers all your loved one’s expenses. They won’t have to make separate utility payments or budget for grocery shopping. All these things are provided in one convenient payment.
Families can skip the headache of helping a loved one manage their household finances every month. They will also breathe easier knowing that their loved one is less likely to be a victim of financial fraud.
Assisted Living Addresses All Basic Needs Every Day
Older adults may face obstacles that they aren’t prepared to share with their loved ones. They may try to keep doing things the way they always have. Eventually, they may not be able to handle basic needs like chores, cooking, and grooming on their own.
Your loved one may be struggling if you notice:
- An unexplained change in weight
- Body odor and a lack of personal hygiene
- A home that is dirty, disorganized, or in disrepair
- Lack of food and other basic supplies in the home
- Mail piling up that isn’t opened
- Senior starts to isolate from others
Any of these changes indicate that your loved one needs more support. Assisted living covers all of this and more. Families can ensure that their aging loved one doesn’t fall behind on necessities, even as their daily needs increase.
Assisted living makes it possible to do this without forcing a family member to take on the responsibility.
Assisted Living Improves Quality Time with Seniors
Taking care of a senior loved one can take an emotional toll. It can turn a visit with a parent or grandparent into a job. Overworked caregivers may begin to feel resentful, anxious, or depressed. This can affect their interactions with their loved ones.
Assisted living handles the difficult tasks so that families can spend quality time together. Instead of visiting to cook, clean, or bathe, they can instead do something fun and enjoyable, making memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Accessing these services is even easier as more assisted living homes open their doors to seniors. Vista Living expanded assisted living and memory care services to Paradise Valley, Arizona last year.
If you are looking for assisted living in Arizona, check out Vista Living Senior Care now to learn more about availability in Paradise Valley or one of our other locations.
Assisted living holds many benefits for seniors and their families. Give your aging parent or grandparent a safe place to live that will make them comfortable while they enjoy life to the fullest.
Aging causes many changes in the human body. Some things occur due to genetics or lifestyle choices, but others are simply a part of nature. Even healthy, active people need to be mindful of their medical care when they get older.
You can’t control everything, but there are things you can do to lower medical risks and protect yourself from common health concerns. Starting as early as possible will give you the best chance of remaining healthy and mobile for years.
Whether you are just entering your golden years or have been there for a while, it’s never too late to improve your wellness. Find out what you can do now to take control of your health.
Eat a Nutritious Senior-Friendly Diet Every Day
A nutritious diet is important at any age, but seniors face more health risks that diet can make better or worse. Older adults should eat high-fiber foods like wholegrain breads, nuts, seeds, and beans. Fried foods are not recommended. Instead, look for dishes that are grilled, boiled, or broiled for maximum benefit.
Also, monitor your fluid intake. Vitamin D-fortified low-fat milk or non-dairy almond, rice, or soy drinks with vitamin D and calcium added are good choices for bone health.
Elderly people tend to not feel thirsty as often as younger people, but still need to drink water to stay hydrated. Talk to your doctor about the right amount and type of fluids to drink if you have bladder problems.
Make sure your diet meets your individual health needs, like allergies or diabetes. If you are a resident in an assisted living community, most facilities will provide special menu items for seniors with dietary restrictions. Having a professional who prepares food for you helps when it comes to healthy eating.
Make Exercise a Normal Part of Your Week
Physical activity helps keep the body in good shape. It also has mental health benefits. People who exercise tend to feel better and are less likely to experience aches and pains. Regular exercise keeps the body limber and strong, which helps to maintain mobility as we age.
Remember to stick with a workout that is safe for you based on your ability level. Seniors who have trouble with balance or strength can still exercise. However, they should stick with exercises that won’t put them at risk for a fall or injury. Seated chair exercises are a good choice.
Seniors should also look for low-impact activities that won’t put too must stress on the joints. Good choices include Pilates, Yoga, swimming, walking, and cycling. Your doctor can recommend exercises that are ideal based on your mobility and health status.
Residents in assisted living usually have access to an event calendar that includes group workouts and fitness classes. These are great opportunities to stay fit and socialize.
All seniors should consult a doctor before making any significant changes to their exercise routine.
Keep Your Weight Where Your Doctor Says It Should Be
Pay close attention to your weight. Your doctor can recommend an ideal weight range based on your build, height, and age. Weight gain is common among older populations who may become more sedentary due to health problems or limited mobility.
Obesity in seniors raises the risk of several serious health conditions including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Weight loss is also a concern. A noticeable drop in weight can indicate an underlying health problem. Seniors should schedule a doctor’s appointment right away if they notice an unexplained change in their weight. Catching problems earlier increases the chances of a better outcome.
Be Proactive About Socializing and Building Friendships
Did you know that our social lives have an impact on our health and wellbeing? Social isolation has been linked to health conditions. Those with poor social relationships were 32% more likely to have a stroke and 29% more likely to develop heart disease.
Loneliness also increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide. Mental health has a direct impact on quality of life and can also have a physical effect. If you or someone you love is isolated or showing signs of depression, seek professional assistance right away.
One of the biggest benefits of living in a retirement community are the social gatherings. Residents are always close to a group of peers and others who they interact with every day. Staff can monitor health and provide more interactions to prevent isolation.
Most facilities host weekly and monthly events, parties, and groups. Residents can join in to meet new people and extend their social circle in a safe, comfortable environment.
Schedule All Recommended Health Screenings and Check-ups
Regular health screenings and check-up appointments are essential to taking control of your health. Catching health problems sooner will give your doctor a better chance at finding a treatment option that works.
If you aren’t sure where to start, begin with a basic check-up with your general practitioner. While at the appointment, talk to your doctor about your health risks and which screenings you need to schedule. They can also suggest how often you should schedule each screening.
Remember to also check in with your dentist and eye doctor. Most adults should have an exam every two to three years but may need to do so sooner if they have health concerns.
Stay Mentally Active with Brain Games and Activities
Your physical and mental health are connected. Keep your brain active with thinking games and activities. Staying sharp with these kinds of exercises helps improve memory and overall mental health. They also reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Seniors can use brain games to monitor their health. If you struggle with activities that were not a problem before, seek medical advice. The signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can start as subtle difficulties with familiar tasks.
Mental activities can be lots of fun. Find something that you enjoy that will keep your brain working. Good choices for seniors include:
- Word puzzles
- Memory games
- Trivia games
Choose a Living Situation That’s Safe for You
A big part of taking control of your health and wellness is knowing when you need more support. Even a healthy adult will notice physical changes as they age. Those changes can make it harder to do the things that a person has to do to stay healthy each day.
An assisted living community is a great alternative that puts you in control of your health. These facilities are designed to be safe and accessible for seniors of all ages and mobility levels.
If you have questions about assisted living, let us know. Visit Vista Living Senior Care to find out how we can help you stay in control of your health.
Moving into an assisted living community is a big life change for seniors. It comes with many benefits, including greater convenience, safety, and access to care. The key is choosing a senior home that offers the things you need within your budget.
Many of today’s assisted living facilities have adopted modern amenities and décor styles. They often have websites, which can be a good place to gather information. You can get an overview of what they have to offer along with basic details like location and contact information.
While this is a starting point, it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when choosing your assisted living home.
Many things can affect your experience in a senior community. Things like how many residents live there, average age, amenities, and the level of care provided influence what life is like for residents.
Once you find an assisted living community that you are interested in, the next step should be asking some direct questions. The following list will help you get started.
How Are New Residents Welcomed at the Senior Community?
Assisted living communities should be committed to creating a positive, comfortable environment for residents. That should start from day one.
Find out how the facility handles welcoming new residents. Do they have a process for introducing staff? Do they offer support for adjusting to the new setting? What steps do they take to understand the needs of a new resident? Is additional staff time allotted to new residents to help them get settled in?
This is important for your first days in the assisted living community but can also indicate how residents are treated overall. A facility that truly cares about the seniors who live there will provide support as soon as they arrive.
How Many Residents Live There and How Old Are They?
Some seniors prefer a smaller group home setting while others may appreciate having a larger community to meet new people. Find out how many residents live at the facility. You should also ask about the average age group.
Find out what the ratio of staff to residents is to ensure that you will have access to assistance if you need it. Too few staff could indicate that you will have to wait a long time if you need something.
Most assisted living communities have approximately one staff member per six to eight residents during the day. The ratio may be closer to one staff member for around 15 residents at night.
You can also ask what the average response time is when a resident requests assistance. A reasonable wait time during the day is around 10 minutes. That will likely be a little longer after bedtime.
How Are Staff Trained and What Skills Do They Have?
Find out how assisted living staff are trained and what skills they possess. Well-educated staff with certifications will give residents the best experience. They will be able to react quickly to situations and provide better care overall.
You should also ask about standards and compliance. Learn more about employee orientation practices and company philosophy. You should also find out how employees are evaluated and how often. This information will help paint a picture of the standard of care provided at the facility.
You should also verify whether staff members are available 24 hours a day and if medical professionals like trained nurses are there.
What Amenities Are Available On-Site?
One of the benefits of living in a senior community is the convenience. Find out what amenities are available on-site. Some may offer things like dining, barber or salon services, podiatry, and more.
The best amenities will depend on your needs and expectations. If there is something you are looking for, ask. If it is not available in the community, you can also inquire about transportation. Some facilities provide transport for medical services and other appointments or to visit local businesses.
Does the Community Host Activities and Events?
A great assisted living community fosters a sense of togetherness among residents and staff. That effort should include activities and events.
Ask about the community’s upcoming events calendar. Do they host holiday gatherings and parties for special occasions? Do they do anything in between, like group workouts, craft sessions, or classes? What about movie nights or musical performances?
See if there is anything that might interest you. Events and activities are great for mental health and they encourage socialization, which can prevent depression and isolation among seniors.
What Is the Meal Service Like?
Your assisted living accommodations will likely include a meal plan. Find out what is included and what kinds of items are typically on the menu. You should look for facilities that offer nutritious, home-cooked meals that are good for you and satisfying.
Most meal plans will include three meals per day, but some also provide snacks.
You should discuss dietary needs with the facility before moving in. If you have an allergy or medical condition that affects what you can eat, make sure they can accommodate it. Most facilities will provide special menus for people with dietary limitations.
Do Residents and Their Families Have a Say?
You and your loved ones should have a say in the care you receive. Find out what voice residents have and what role they and their families play in their care.
Does the facility have a way to share comments or concerns? Are there town hall meetings or a resident council? Do you have recourse if something is wrong or a way to make suggestions?
Also, find out how staff will communicate with your family. This is especially important in case of a medical emergency but should go beyond that. Do they allow visits and if so, what are visiting hours? Are visitors required to contact the facility ahead of time?
What are the points of contact for family members? Who can they call if they have questions about you or your care?
You should also ask about COVID-19 rules. Even if they are not in effect now, they may be reinstated in the future. Your family should know how they can communicate with you if they have to social distance.
What Safety and Security Measures are in Place?
Safety and security should be a top priority for any assisted living community. Find out what measures are in place to protect residents.
Common safety equipment includes railings, non-slip bathtub mats, non-skid step treads, shower chairs, and little to no tripping hazards. Many also include high-profile toilets and levers instead of doorknobs.
As far as security, the facility should have a camera system to monitor entry points and other key areas. Fire alarms are also a requirement as well as an escape plan in case of an incident. Facilities often have areas that are locked and can only be opened by staff to keep residents with dementia safe from wandering.
Is Medication Management Offered?
Older adults tend to take more medications compared to younger people. More pills mean more potential for error. This is even more likely when someone has cognitive decline or other health conditions that interfere with their ability to live independently.
Assisted living communities usually offer medication management. This ensures that residents take the correct dose on schedule. It prevents a potential overdose or missed medication that could lead to worsening health problems.
What Levels of Care Are Provided at the Facility?
Your healthcare needs may change as you age. You may need more support or develop a condition that requires specialized attention, like Alzheimer’s disease.
Can the assisted living community accommodate you as your needs change? Do they offer higher levels of care?
It can be difficult to move an elderly person from one home to another without causing stress or potential harm. Being able to stay at the same location can make these changes easier to manage.
If you want to learn more about moving into assisted living, let us know. Visit Vista Living Senior Care to discuss your needs or schedule a tour at one of our Arizona senior communities.
Staying fit should be a top priority for every senior citizen. When your body is in good shape, you will live more comfortably with fewer limitations. A healthy person is better able to fight off illness and recover from injuries. Improved strength and balance will reduce a senior’s fall risk.
Exercise also improves mental health and wellbeing. Physical activity releases endorphins that boost mood. Regular workouts improve cognitive function and motor skills, lowering the risk of dementia.
Sometimes, going outside or leaving your home isn’t an option. Bad weather makes travel dangerous while social distancing can force seniors to remain in their homes. When this happens, you should have a plan to continue your exercise routine indoors.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42.5% of people ages 65 to 74 met the federal guidelines for aerobic activity. Approximately 30.9% of people ages 75 to 84 met the guidelines. Those were improvements from previous years, which were around 35.7% and 24.5% respectively for each age group. These numbers should continue to increase as more seniors focus on their health.
Overall, a regular workout routine can improve your quality of life and help you remain independent for longer. The key is knowing how to safely exercise, even if you cannot leave home. The following list will help you build a senior-friendly indoor workout routine.
Walking Around at Home
Walking is a basic form of exercise that is beneficial at any age. It improves cardiovascular health, leading to better circulation and lower blood pressure. Studies conducted at the University of Tennessee and University of Colorado found that walking reduced the risk of stroke for older women.
A Harvard study of 12,000 people found that those who walked briskly for about one hour a day were less likely to experience the effects of over 30 obesity-promoting genes.
The easiest way to get started is to have a planned route through your home. You can increase distance by doing more laps, walking around the perimeter of each room, and by walking around furniture.
Assuming you have no limiting health issues, you should try to get in around 2.5 hours of walking per week. That translates to approximately 30 minutes of daily walking on most days of the week. If you can jog instead, then you can reduce that duration to 1 hour and 15 minutes weekly.
Before you begin, make sure you have cleared away any tripping hazards like low-sitting furniture and rugs. You should have a clear, even path to follow.
Housework Keeps You Fit
You can get things done and stay fit by working chores into your exercise routine. Doing things around the house also burns calories and uses your muscles. The effectiveness of each session will depend on what you are doing, so this might be harder to measure. However, it’s still beneficial in the end.
Have a plan to do as much of the housework as you safely can. You should only do things that you can do based on your mobility and health status. For example, if you have back problems, then carrying a heavy basket of laundry may not be a good idea. However, you could stand and fold the laundry once it’s done to get more time on your feet.
Vacuuming and sweeping floors are also great for physical health because it requires you to both stand and move your arms.
If you have questions about staying safe, talk to your doctor. They can assess your health and mobility and let you know if there are any chores you should avoid.
Low-Impact Yoga or Tai Chi
Tai Chi and Yoga are popular exercises for seniors. They are similar, both being low-impact and gentle on the body. They also introduce a mental component that encourages peace and calmness.
The internet is a great resource for seniors who want to expand their at-home exercise routine with one or both practices. You can search for free online videos that discuss how to get started. You can also connect with instructors that offer virtual classes for a more interactive experience.
Don’t forget to check in with your assisted living events coordinator to find out if they will be offering Yoga or Tai Chi classes or something similar. If you live in a retirement community, then you may have access to group workouts that don’t require travel to an off-site studio or gym.
When learning Tai Chi, Yoga, or any other new workout routine, remember to start slowly. Let yourself learn how to perform each move correctly for maximum benefit and to minimize the risk of injury.
If you are participating in a virtual class, remember that you should focus on personal progress rather than what those around you are doing. Everyone starts at a different ability level, so you should work to improve upon where you were rather than trying to catch up with others. This is the best way to stay motivated and push yourself to do better without getting frustrated or risking injury.
Strength and Balance Exercises
Good strength and balance are essential for senior citizens. Both have an impact on your daily activities. They play a role in your quality of life and significantly influence your fall risk.
A fall injury can be devastating for an older adult. Every year, around 3 million people go to the emergency room due to a fall. At least 300,000 older adults are hospitalized for hip fractures annually. Over 95% of those fractures are caused by a fall. Falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Anything that you can do to reduce your fall risk is a smart move.
Many exercises that can help in this area. You can try walking heel to toe, putting one foot in front of the other so that your heel and toes touch each time you step. Walk 20 steps this way.
You can also try a single-limb stance. Hold on to the back of a sturdy chair. Lift your right foot and hold that position for as long as you can before switching to your left foot. You should work toward being able to perform this exercise with both legs for one minute without holding the chair.
Wall push-ups are another senior-safe exercise option. Stand one arm length away from a wall. Lean forward and put your palms on the wall at the same height and width as your shoulders. Next, slowly lower your body toward the wall and push back up. It works just like a regular push-up but without having to get on the floor.
Seated Exercises for Senior Citizens
Seniors with mobility limitations may prefer to try seated exercises. These involve sitting in a chair. It’s a better choice for people with back or balance issues. You can still burn calories and build muscle without risking your safety.
Always use a sturdy chair that doesn’t have wheels. You can warm up by doing 30 to 60 seconds of marching while seated followed by 30 seconds of arm circles. Repeat this process for 3 to 5 minutes before moving on.
Next, you can choose exercises based on your needs. If you want to build leg strength, try pillow squeezes. Place a pillow between your thighs or knees and squeeze using your inner thigh muscles. Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds before releasing. You should repeat this exercise 12 times.
If you want more of a challenge, add dumbbells to your seated workout. While sitting, hold a dumbbell in each hand and lift them to shoulder height. Next, raise your arms as high as you can then return them to your shoulder height again. Do this at least 12 times.
There are many ways to stay fit while at home. Come up with a workout routine that suits your needs without risking your safety. If you have questions, your doctor can provide more insight into what an ideal exercise regimen looks like for you.
Many assisted living communities offer exercise classes and fitness opportunities to residents. If you are interested in learning more about senior care, visit Vista Living.
Moving into an assisted living community can feel like a big change for older adults. Some view it as an end to living independently and a reminder of a person’s increasing age.
Many benefits come with moving into assisted living. There are around one million Americans in some type of senior community right now. That number is expected to double by 2030. As our healthcare services improve, so does our longevity. Today’s seniors live active, healthy lives. Many now believe that 80 is the new 65 thanks to innovations in medicine and senior care.
Assisted living communities can enrich a person’s life. They provide opportunities for socializing. They also reduce the burden placed on family members, who otherwise may have to care for aging relatives at home without the resources of an assisted living community.
The difficult part is knowing when it is time to make the move. You should not wait until something bad happens. It is best to begin this chapter in your life sooner when the signs of old age are starting to show but before they become a health risk.
If any of the following apply to you, then it may be time to consider assisted living.
Changes in Mobility and Increased Fall Risk
Our physical capabilities tend to change as we get older. If you notice trouble with balance and strength, this could be a sign that you need assistance. This is especially true if you have had a fall or almost fell in the recent past.
Fall injuries are particularly damaging for older people. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes serious injury. At least 300,000 older adults are hospitalized because of hip fractures each year. Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. Falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injury.
You should speak to your doctor about fall risk concerns. They can evaluate you and recommend ways to reduce your risk. Assisted living facilities are already equipped with devices and railings that are used to prevent seniors from falling.
Inability to Perform Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living include all the skills needed to do the basic things a person does every day. These include keeping up with grooming, dressing, and personal hygiene as well as using the bathroom, eating meals, and moving throughout your home.
If you have trouble in any of these areas, you should learn more about assisted living. These communities have staff available to assist to ensure that you stay clean and healthy. You can talk to the facility about your health status and physical ability to ensure that you retain as much independence as possible while receiving the support you need.
Prolonged Periods of Illness and Recovery
Older adults take longer to recover after an injury or illness. This can occur due to an underlying health issue, like diabetes. It can also happen because of reduced skin elasticity and delayed inflammatory response.
If you take longer to get back to normal after an injury or illness, it may be time to consider a senior-friendly living situation.
Difficulty Managing Household Finances
Financial troubles can also indicate that a person needs additional assistance. Age-related conditions can affect cognitive ability. This can lead to poor money management and make a person more vulnerable to scams.
If you are struggling to pay bills and manage household finances, seek assistance. Ask a trusted friend or family member to help you while you decide if it’s time to move into an assisted living community.
Home That is Not Cleaned or Maintained
Is your house beginning to look poorly maintained or dirty despite your best efforts? This is another clear sign that you need help.
This situation can occur if your physical or mental status has changed or after losing a spouse or loved one who handled the tasks that are going undone. You don’t have to try and do it all alone. Assisted living communities hire cleaning staff that handles everything so you can thrive in a hygienic environment.
Signs of Depression or Social Isolation
Depression is a concern for older people. It is considered a significant predictor of suicide in the elderly. Many things can cause a person to become depressed as they age. Seniors may face a chronic illness or mourn the loss of loved ones. Others may struggle to cope with the inability to drive, work, or do the things that they once enjoyed.
If you experience restlessness, anxiety, appetite changes, difficulty concentrating, poor decision making, changes in sleep patterns, lack of energy, feelings of emptiness, or unexplained aches and pains, you could be depressed.
Depression can also lead to thoughts of suicide and drug or alcohol abuse. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical advice immediately.
Exhibiting Dangerous or Unusual Behaviors
If you exhibit dangerous or unusual behaviors, it may be time to consider assisted living. Worrying Behaviors include things like wandering inside or outside for no reason or letting candles burn when you leave the home.
Severe Memory Loss and Dementia Symptoms
Severe memory loss and dementia can make living on your own a challenge. Seniors may experience difficulty using language, misplacing objects, poor judgment, rapid mood swings, and personality changes. Some patients also report lacking initiative, excessive sleeping, and loss of interest in things they used to love.
If you notice the symptoms of memory loss or dementia, you should go to your doctor first. They can evaluate you and provide more insight into your condition and how to treat it. Next, you should consider moving into an assisted living community that provides memory care.
Poor Medication Management
You should be taking your prescribed medications in the right doses at the right times to stay on top of health issues. Poor medication management is dangerous at any age. You may not get enough of what you need, or you could accidentally overdose.
If you find yourself missing doses or forgetting if you took one, it may be time to consider assisted living.
Pets That Appear Neglected
People of all ages own pets. Our animal companions make our lives happier. However, an older person may begin to have difficulty taking care of their pet. If your beloved dog or cat looks underfed, overfed, or otherwise neglected, this could be a sign that you are in need of daily assistance.
Experiences Sundown Syndrome
Sundown syndrome, or sundowning, is a term used to describe changes in dementia patients that occur in the late afternoon or early evening. Patients may experience anxiety, sadness, mood swings, restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, delusions, or even energy surges during this time.
These feelings can cause behaviors that are difficult to manage, like disorientation, crying, screaming, rocking, pacing, resistance, or aggression.
Concern from Friends, Family, or Neighbors
The people around you may pick up on changes before you do. If you have had family, friends, or neighbors express concern over your wellbeing, it may be time to listen to what they have to say.
These are people who care about you and likely know your normal routines. One comment may not mean anything, but if you have had multiple people share concerns, it is likely time to re-evaluate your living situation.
Visit Vista Living Senior Care to learn more about assisted living for older adults.