Peach Tree Times
Some of our articles have been written by guest writers
Peach Tree Times
Physical activity is an important part of healthy aging. According to Harvard Medical School, adults & seniors who exercise regularly are able to be more independent and rely on others less. Exercise improves balance and increases energy levels, as well as boosts your immune system.
Where to Start
Water aerobics - Water provides natural resistance to your workout without stressing your joints. This kind of exercise is especially good for those with arthritis and other kinds of joint pain.
Chair yoga - Chair yoga provides a low-impact form of exercise that combines mobility, balance, muscle strength, and flexibility.
Walking - Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. Walking helps to strengthen muscles and bones, improve balance, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
If it's been a while since you've been active, make sure to start slowly. The amount of exercise you need varies based on your health and age. Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
We all know that getting too much sun can be harmful to your health. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a major risk factor for most skin cancers.
But if you’re an older adult, sunlight – in the right amount – may provide health benefits too, a recent study says.
Sunlight causes your body to produce vitamin D. Data is emerging that suggests sunlight — with its ability to produce vitamin D — may reduce the risk of hip fractures, high blood pressure, and stroke or heart attack for older adults, the study says.
The researchers, who reviewed information gathered from a variety of sources, call for more data to weigh the potential benefits of moderate UV radiation against potential harm specifically for older adults.
That’s because the familiar recommendations to avoid the sun are based on data from the entire population – children through older adults. The data may not take into account important distinctions for older adults, the researchers say.
For example, older adults get far less sunlight than others because they tend to stay indoors. In addition, because of changes associated with aging, their skin is less efficient at producing vitamin D from sun exposure.
If you are an older adult, you need vitamin D. Vitamin D bolsters your skeletal health and may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, hip fractures, and vascular events such as stroke or heart attack, the study says. So, despite the cancer risk, older adults still may benefit from some sunlight, the researchers say.
Sunlight has other hidden benefits. With its power to produce vitamin D, it protects against depression, insomnia and an overactive immune system, geriatrician Ronan Factora, MD, says.
“There are some links between sunlight exposure and improved muscle function, bone and cardiovascular health, improved mood — even improved cognitive function,” Dr. Factora says.
There are many things that can make it difficult or even dangerous to navigate through your home as you get older. Here are some strategies to make your house safer for you or your loved ones.
Secure your pets:
As much as we may love them, our furry friends and their toys can sometimes be a serious tripping hazard.
If you have animals in your home, make sure you know where they are while you're moving around. If you live with other people, it may help to have them hold on to the animals while you move from room to room.
If you're visiting a family member or friend that has pets, you can always ask them to leash up their dog or put their cat in another room for your visit.
Keep floors clear:
Throw rugs can be a hazard, especially for people using walkers or scooters. The front wheels of mobility aids may make it over bumps that the back wheels get caught on.
Clear up any clutter on the floor. This includes things like loose papers, extra shoes, and clothing.
Consider changing doorknobs:
Typical round doorknobs can be difficult for seniors to use. Consider swapping them out with lever-style door handles.
Modify the bathroom:
The bathroom is often one of the riskiest rooms in a senior's house. Some easy ways to make it safer include plugging in a nightlight, adding non-slip mats inside the bathtub and shower, and adding a shower chair. Additional improvements might be things like installing grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet, replacing a traditional bathtub with a walk-in model, and getting a raised toilet seat.
Keep emergency numbers handy:
If you have a home phone, keep a list of numbers near it. If you have a cell phone, keep it somewhere you'll remember, like the fridge. Make sure to have the information is written large enough for you to easily read in a hurry.
This list should include things like emergency services (911), poison control (1-800-222-1222), your doctor's office, and a friend or family member.
Have someone check in regularly:
Especially if you're living alone, it's important to have someone drop by regularly. Whether it's a friend, family member, or a neighbor, it's important to have the peace of mind someone will notice if something happens.
It would also be a good idea to consider getting an alert necklace or bracelet so you can call for help in an emergency.
Dehydration is a year-round problem, but it's especially important to think about as we get into the hotter months of the year. Not getting enough fluids can be a serious health risk for anyone, especially older adults.
Signs of Dehydration
There are many ways to increase the amount of fluid you're drinking. Some options include:
Many people benefit from an animal companion. Whether it's a dog, cat, or another animal entirely, having a pet can help boost your well-being.
In October 2018, the National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed a national sample of adults age 50-80 about their pets. 55% of adults surveyed said they had a pet. Of those with pets, more than half had multiple pets.
Benefits of Pet Ownership
Taking care of plants can have a great impact on your physical and emotional well-being. It calls you outside into the sun and encourages you to do something you care about.
Did you know that one in four Americans over 65 falls each year? One in five of these falls will cause a serious injury, like a broken bone or head injury.
According to the National Council on Aging, "Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+."
Even if a person is not injured by the fall, they may develop a fear of falling, which may cause them to stop doing some of the everyday activities that they enjoy. This can lead to depression and a lack of independence.
There are many factors that increase the risk of falls, such as vision problems or certain medications. However, there are many ways to lower the risk of you or a loved one falling.
Elderly scooters are excellent products for seniors. They enable seniors to be independent, visit friends, go shopping and enjoy their community.
1) Is An Elderly Scooter A Good Idea?
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Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities.
Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.
Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as "senility" or "senile dementia," which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.
While symptoms of dementia can vary great at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:
People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.
Many dementias are progressive, meaning symptoms start out slowly and gradually get worse. If you or someone you know is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don't ignore them. See a doctor soon to determine the cause. Professional evaluation may detect a treatable condition.
Even if symptoms suggest dementia, early diagnosis allows a person to get the maximum benefit from available treatments and provides an opportunity to volunteer for clinical trials or studies. It also provides time to plan for the future.
Different types of dementia are associated with particular types of brain cell damage in particular regions of the brain.
For example, in Alzheimer's disease, high levels of certain proteins inside and outside brain cells make it hard for brain cells to stay healthy and to communicate with each other. The brain region called the hippocampus is the center of learning and memory in the brain, and the brain cells in this region are often the first to be damaged. That's why memory loss is often one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's.
While most changes in the brain that cause dementia are permanent and worsen over time, thinking and memory problems caused by the following conditions may improve when the condition is treated or addressed:
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