Aging leads to more wisdom, but it also causes decreasing health. There are steps older adults can take to boost their independence and quality of life in the senior years. Below are some common age-related changes the elderly experience and ways to address each issue.
1. Weakened Immune System
T-cell function decreases with age, changing the way seniors respond to illnesses and injuries. However, older adults can boost their immune systems by eating more fatty fish, lean meats, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. They should also stay vaccinated, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and manage their stress levels.
2. Reduced Muscle Mass
Muscles become rigid with age, and older adults lose muscle tone. These are changes that impact balance and flexibility, increasing the risk of falls. Exercising is the best way for older adults to handle this change and boost muscle mass. Lifting weights, walking, cycling, and swimming can increase muscle mass in the senior years.Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leadingat-home careagency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
3. Memory Loss
Memory loss isn’t always due to neurodegenerative disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Issues like stress, lack of sleep, and aging can also cause memory loss. To enhance your loved one’s memory, promote stimulating hobbies, such as brain games, meditating, dancing, and crafting. It will also help if your loved one gets plenty of sleep at night and follows a healthy diet to combat free radicals that affect both short- and long-term memory.
4. Vision Impairment
Aging can bring about many challenges for seniors, including weaker eyes and decreased vision. Cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are common in the elderly. To address each issue, your loved one needs to control his or her weight and stave off underlying conditions like diabetes. Your loved one should also take up activities that keep the eyes stimulated and visit his or her primary care physician regularly for checkups and treatment.
5. Heart Disease
Aging causes the heart to expand, and seniors generally develop larger heart chambers and thicker artery walls. Even though these increases are small, they can enlarge heart muscle cells and make blood vessels thicker and less resilient. When your parent fails to manage stress, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels, he or she could experience poor circulation and have an increased risk of heart failure or coronary art disease. However, staying physically active, eating healthy, and avoiding bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol could boost his or her cardiovascular health.Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Des Moines, IA, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
6. Cognitive Decline
Older adults are more susceptible to neurodegenerative conditions that slowly damage neurons and eventually kill these cells. As a result, seniors experience cognitive changes that affect their daily lives. It may be difficult for your parent to process information, make logical choices, or carry on a conversation without becoming confused, frustrated, and exhausted. To address cognitive decline, find fun and purposeful tasks to keep your loved one’s brain active. Stimulating the mind can keep him or her alert, happy, and positively engaged.Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional senior care Des Moines seniors can trust and rely on. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.