Fall Prevention

For many of us, thinking about the future can come with a lot of stress and worry. Even if you have savings for retirement, it’s impossible to foresee what issues might arise down the road. Medical bills, home repairs, and changes in Social Security benefits are all possibilities that can eat into your savings. If you or your partner should need long-term care due to an injury or illness, savings can evaporate.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can prepare. Lifestyle changes can maximize the odds of living longer without long-term care, while building up the savings account can make more options available. The key is to think carefully about how you want to proceed and to look for the best ways to make changes that won’t come at the cost of comfort or safety. The following tips can help you get started, courtesy of Aspen Senior Care.

Live Healthier

When it comes to planning for your future needs, sometimes it helps to look at your lifestyle. If you have health or mobility issues now, what will the next five or 10 years look like? Long-term care is often necessary for seniors who cannot traverse their home safely on their own, or for those who suffer a fall or injury as a result of their disability.

Make positive lifestyle changes now because it’s important to do so. Diet and exercise can play a pivotal role in staying healthy. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best ways to create healthy habits.

Consider the Cost

Long-term care isn’t just expensive, but many of us dread the idea like it’s some kind of surrender. If independence is important, and the current home can continue to be a safe place to live with minor modifications, then planning on staying in the home for as long as possible can be worth it.

Don’t be afraid to admit what you’ll need help with. A housekeeper coming in once or twice a week to help with the chores that have gotten to be more of a chore can be a godsend.

An in-home senior-care service like Aspen Senior Care in Utah Valley can fill in the gaps and keep you in your home longer than without visits. They can also provide an in-home no-cost no-obligation assessment to help you address problem areas in the home.

Reduce the Risk of Injury

Take a look around the home to see if there are changes that can be made now. Home modifications have become very popular as many more seniors are looking to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

The bathroom and kitchen are often problematic areas. There are easy fixes that can be done, like adding more lighting and removing clutter and items like throw rugs that can lead to a fall. In the bathroom, add a shower seat and grab bars to aid in your balance in both the shower and around the toilet.

Need a new shower stall or need to do something about water pressure or move pipes? For major projects, look for certified plumbers near me to take on the job. Compare rates and look at reviews to get one who’s trustworthy. With the right information, you can confidently make an informed decision.

Look at Finances

Many seniors rely on their retirement fund to pay for long-term care costs, but it’s imperative that you understand what your needs will be when you retire. Look at your income versus expenditures, and come up with a budget. Making a realistic cut in your spending now will help you figure out how much you’ll need in the coming years and what you can and can’t live without.

Even with health insurance and Medicare, long-term care can be costly, as these programs don’t pay for everything. Having a cushion in your savings account will be extremely helpful, and one of the best ways to pad it quickly is by selling your home.

If this is an option, consider downsizing to a smaller place that will save you money and work better for your health and safety needs. If your home is paid off or can list for a higher price, that’s a lot of cushioning for future needs.

Thinking about the future can be stressful, so it’s important to look for ways you can reduce those feelings and stay focused. Careful planning is necessary to ensure that you and your partner will be comfortable for years to come. It’s never too soon to prepare for every eventuality, including the need for long-term care.

Aspen Senior Care provides in-home senior care services and senior daycare to Utah Valley. Get a no-cost, no-obligation in-home assessment today!

About the Author

Annabelle Harris is the creator of Elders.Center. Her goal is to help soon-to-be seniors and already-seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. The site features a plethora of resources to help answer common and not-so-common questions about aging.

The obesity rate in the United States has reached epidemic proportions across age groups, including senior citizens. That’s concerning for many reasons, not the least of which are the health risks associated with excess weight. If you’re struggling on the scale, use these helpful tips on safe and healthy weight loss for seniors.

Eat Right

The secret to losing weight isn’t in grunting and sweating at the dumbbell rack, but in savoring a delicious meal – that is, the right delicious meal. Fill your plate with lean protein, fruits and veggies, and whole grains, and try to eat slowly so you know when you’re getting full and you won’t overindulge. Also remember that it’s as much about what you don’t eat as what you do – for example, cutting out two 16-ounce sodas a day saves you around 300 calories.

  • Seniors can add more vitamins and minerals into their diets by making careful choices focused on nutrient-rich
  • Nutritious meals can be easily prepared; check out the recipes here.
  • There’s a healthy way to go about gaining weight, too.

Exercise

Despite those caveats about exercise, keep in mind that working out is crucial to losing weight. Sticking to a fitness regimen may feel overwhelming, but in addition to losing weight, some upsides of regular physical activity include lower stress, a boost in energy, and even a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.

Invest in a Home Gym

If you find you’re not working out because you don’t have the willpower to go to the gym, consider creating an exercise area in your home. One of the perks of a home gym is that it can go anywhere. Although you could invest in fancy equipment, a few dumbbells, resistance bands, and a yoga mat are pretty much all you need to create a fully-operational, senior-friendly workout space.

  • Inexpensive workout equipment can be found fairly easily.
  • Invite a friend to join you for exercise. Having a workout buddy can help you stay motivated and provide support and encouragement.

Pay Attention to Your Mental Health

People who are overworked, sleep-deprived, or chronically stressed tend to pack on the pounds. When stressed, your body releases hormones to steel itself for injury, which often means padding on fat as part of its survival mode. With that in mind, be sure to take care of your mental wellness in your golden years. Your mind and body will benefit from it.

  • Mental health can dramatically affect physical health, so it’s important to take care of both.
  • Diet and exercise affect mental health, too. So be proactive in selecting healthy foods and sticking with your workouts.
  • Getting adequate sleep is important for your mental health and critical for weight loss.
  • Know the signs of depression, and if you see them, seek help.
  • When you visit a mental health professional, they may recommend medication. Anxiety and depression medication prescribed online can alleviate your symptoms.

Losing weight is rarely an easy journey when you’re a senior. The good news is that by making some relatively minor changes to your diet, exercise routine, and mental healthcare plan, you’ll be on your way to a healthier weight and a happier life.

The skilled and compassionate caregivers at Aspen Senior Care can provide quality care services for your senior loved one. Call 801-224-5910 to learn more.

About the Author

Annabelle Harris is the creator of Elders.Center. Her goal is to help soon-to-be seniors and already-seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. The site features a plethora of resources to help answer common and not-so-common questions about aging.

Growing old can be extremely difficult for many people, especially when they live on their own for so long. Some of the physical and mental changes that come with aging can be unbearable. They may try to ignore these symptoms, but they cannot hide from this reality. 

Their overall decline may lead them not to be able to live independently. They will have trouble with everyday activities and may even require the physical help of others to move about, bathe, or eat. It is important to have assistance because you know what your loved ones can and cannot handle on their own. Not only does this provide a sense of security, but it also provides happiness in their old age.

Having a loved one in the home doesn’t have to be a burden. With in-home care services, you can ensure that your loved one is safe and still maintain their independence. In this post, we’ll discuss situations where it is vital for an aging loved one to have 24-hour care from someone familiar with aging problems.

  1. SPOILED FOOD IN THE KITCHEN

Aging can also cause a decline in mental and physical functions, leading to an increase in forgetfulness. It could manifest itself by causing your loved one to lose track of what they have bought. They might not even remember what they have already consumed. They may be unable to handle the frustration of running out of food, so they may go shopping more often than necessary and buy more than they can eat.

The extra food will end up spoiling, leaving them with nothing but an expensive mess when you check in on them. With the assistance of a reliable caregiver, you can help your loved ones continue doing their shopping, but at a slower pace than before. They will enjoy the experience more, and you will be able to save money by preventing them from overindulging. Caregivers can also prepare meals and help your aging loved one get the right amount of nutrition, helping them age well and maintain quality of life.

  1. LACK OF PERSONAL HYGIENE

As your loved one ages, they may find it increasingly difficult to reach areas that are difficult to bathe. It can lead them to neglect important hygiene areas and eventually cause a decline in their health.

They might not be able to clean themselves properly because of their condition. If you see the signs of a smell that is more than just an odor from their food, this could indicate that your loved one needs more help bathing than they are currently getting. A caregiver can help with bathing and other activities such as dressing so you can ensure they stay healthy while allowing them to maintain some independence.

  1. UNPAID BILLS

As your loved one ages, they may find it increasingly difficult to keep track of their finances. Many older people do not even realize that their bills are unpaid and might not have the money to pay their bills.

A reliable caregiver can help your aging loved one keep track of what is owed and what needs to be paid by offering other services, such as mailing and paying bills for them.

  1. MESSY HOME

As your senior loved one age, they will likely have a harder time remembering how they got the house in the state in which it is currently. It could indicate that they need extra help staying organized inside the home and outside of it. You may notice that their once tidy house has become messy or disorganized, which can cause them to feel stressed, making cleaning take longer than before.

The assistance of a caregiver can help you ensure that your loved one can maintain their home and continue feeling at ease in their environment. A caregiver can help move things when needed and make sure the items are put away, ensuring that your loved one can maintain the life they once enjoyed.

  1. DWINDLING SOCIAL LIFE

As your loved one becomes older, their social circle may begin to shrink as time passes. They may have a hard time finding reliable friends and family members who will care for them, which could be hard on their mental state of mind and possibly lead to depression or isolation. It could be due to physical limitations related to age or health concerns.

The assistance of a caregiver can help your loved one continue socializing without needing to leave the comfort of their own home. You can call upon a caregiver to take them out for a lunch date, go grocery shopping, go to the park, or any other activity that keeps your loved one engaged with those around them.

FINAL THOUGHTS

You may not be able to prevent your loved one from aging, and you may not be able to reverse the effects of aging, but you can make sure that they age with dignity, without any undue suffering. A professional caregiver can help your loved ones maintain their independence, remain in a safe environment and maintain their dignity as they age. You can also ensure that they have enough daily assistance when needed by having a caregiver regularly check in on them.

Author bio

Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, a company that offers web design services, maintenance, and Internet marketing. She specializes in content marketing, social media, and SEO. She also serves as a blog contributor at Serenity Senior Care. She’s an avid personal development enthusiast and an expert in the field of health and fitness. When she’s not writing she can be found running hills or hiking trails, rooting for her favorite team (the Pittsburgh Steelers), or watching a good Netflix series.

Health is important, but as you get older, it may seem harder and harder to manage. However difficult it might sound, it’s not impossible. No matter what age you are, don’t be afraid to take your wellness into your own hands and improve your health, and overall well-being.

If you are struggling to keep up with your overall health, then read on to learn how to get your health back on track! 

Focus On Physical Health

As you age, it is normal to slow down and become more inactive in your day-to-day life. It’s crucial, however, to keep up with your physical health to maintain your overall lifestyle. As you age, your metabolism slows, and your balance and flexibility decrease. Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight, and strengthen your mobility. Now, staying on top of your physical health won’t always be a walk in the park, but start by creating a workout plan that fits your goals. Whether that is focusing on implementing more cardio or strength training by joining a senior fitness group, starting slow is still an important first step.

Check-in With Yourself

This year has been challenging for many, and if you are experiencing negative fluctuations in your mood then it can affect your overall well-being. As a senior, it’s essential to find positive ways to navigate your mental health. Start by identifying where you struggle; common mental health problems among seniors include isolation, dementia, and anxiety disorders. Once you are able to pinpoint your issues, then you can take the necessary steps to help improve your mental health. Engaging in hobbies or daily activities you enjoy can help you relax and lower anxiety. Playing brain games has been proven to improve memory function as they serve as a mental exercise. If you still find yourself struggling to improve your mental health, then talk to a loved one or your doctor. It’s never too late to prioritize your mental health, so check in with yourself. 

Image by THAM YUAN YUAN from Pixabay

Experiment With Telehealth

During these uncertain times, you might find it difficult to feel comfortable leaving your house, especially to go to visit your primary care provider. If you’re finding it harder than usual to make the trip, or are uncertain about leaving your house, consider looking into telehealth services. Telehealth services help provide convenient and timely access to a clinic or local doctor. Telehealth is also extremely beneficial as it minimizes your time in a waiting room, and can get you help right from the comfort of your own home. There is a wide variety of sicknesses that telehealth covers, from serious mental illness to blood pressure issues. Don’t let the fear of COVID-19 keep you from sticking to your monthly doctors’ appointments.

Notice The Changes

As you age you will experience changes in your body daily, and although some might just come with age, be aware of what they might mean. For example, erectile dysfunction is extremely common in senior men and can be treated with ED pills. ED can be a symptom of another serious underlying health issue, like type 2 diabetes or chronic kidney disease. This is why it’s vital you take note of the changes in your body and let your healthcare provider know. Understanding what’s normal when it comes to aging and what’s not will help you better comprehend the reg flags and treat them properly.

If you notice negative changes in your overall health- don’t sit around and wait. Seniors are at a greater risk for chronic health conditions such as the flu and COVID-19. Take action and get your health back on track today.

Blog submitted by:

Aspen Senior Care Contributor

Many seniors have found that working out in the water is an excellent way to improve their overall well-being, from providing various physical benefits to offering social time and a trip out of the house. The unique properties of water provide seniors with the opportunity to get relief from painful physical conditions such as arthritis and circulatory problems while deriving the benefits of low-impact exercise in an environment that minimizes the risk of injury.

Why Water?

Cardiovascular exercise and weight loss are common benefits of any aerobic exercise, but exercising while submerged in water provides some distinct advantages that set aquatic exercise apart from land-based activity. Age-related joint conditions like arthritis can be a painful impediment to a senior’s capability (and enthusiasm) for exercising. But water-based exercise puts significantly less stress on joints, allowing them to enjoy these activities for longer periods of time, and can also provide some relief from these chronic conditions. Swimming can also be relaxing and meditative, which may offer some stress relief, adding to its cardiovascular benefits.

Swimming Pool

The Physical Benefits of Water Exercise

Cardio: It doesn’t matter if a senior is water-jogging or swimming—using the water to get their heart rate up will increase aerobic capacity, burn fat, and decrease their risk for heart disease.

Balance: Reduced muscle tone and vision loss can affect senior coordination and increase their risk of falling. Aquatic exercise is a great way to help improve balance. Doing specific balance exercises in water helps build strength and coordination. Water provides the ideal environment for this type of exercise, safely allowing for a loss of balance since their water-induced buoyancy will prevent them from falling.

Strength: Working with water “barbells” or wrist bands can provide a great form of resistance training which helps build muscle strength and endurance without injury.

Work Out and Get Out

Socializing is an overlooked added benefit of many types of senior group activity, and aquatic exercise is a prime opportunity to get out of the isolation of the home and into a social environment—and in the case of outdoor pools, enjoying some sun (with sun protection, of course).

Studies have shown that the opportunity to socialize is one of the key reasons older adults will maintain a successful exercise program. Group exercise classes provide an ideal opportunity for conversation.

Whether that be an exercise class, individual standing exercises, or swimmers using kickboards to kick side-by-side, there are many opportunities in the pool to socialize.

Getting Started

If you haven’t been swimming in a while, start slowly. Try swimming laps for just five to ten minutes while coordinating your breathing, strokes, and kicking. A pair of well-fitting goggles is a must. A less strenuous option is just walking or running in the water. Water aerobics classes are offered at a variety of levels, and often specifically for seniors. Check out your local senior center, community center, or YMCA for their Summer offerings for seniors.

Article by Caren Parnes for The Senior’s Choice

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You may think that only people who can stand on their heads or touch their toes can practice yoga. Well, it’s time to think again! Yoga boasts a slew of benefits for seniors, from managing arthritis pain to balancing mood and emotions. And you don’t have to have been practicing for decades to reap these rewards. Studies show the benefits of yoga can be felt within just a few short weeks of regular practice.

Even though you understand the benefits, there may still be something holding you back. For many seniors, it’s a combination of time, support and money. Yoga classes cost money and take time, often requiring us to catch rides to and from a gym or studio. While these are totally reasonable obstacles, they can be easily overcome. Here are 10 ways to help seniors build a strong, sustainable yoga practice.

Senior Travel-Pixabay(qimono)

Photo by Pixabay (qimono)

#10 Check out Silver Sneakers: Your Medicare plan may cover some or all of the costs of joining a gym that provides yoga classes. Ask your health plan advisor for information on Silver Sneakers, which are fitness classes offered at gyms all across the nation and catered specifically to seniors. All classes are led by a certified instructor to ensure your safety, with the added benefit that they can easily cater the class to your needs and abilities.

#9 Look for Senior Discounts: Gyms and studios often run discounts and specials just for seniors to help them get access to the classes they need for preventative care and health. You can even check out coupon and discount websites like Groupon to find affordable deals, or give them a call to ask about specials. You may also come across some that run ads in your local newspaper. If you have a local studio in mind, stop by and express your interest in learning yoga. They may offer you a free class to help gauge your interest or offer you a coupon or discounted price.

#8 Make a Home Studio: Clear out a room in your home for a daily yoga practice. If you have furniture or boxes gathering dust in an unused bedroom, put them in storage. Another idea is to use your dining room for your yoga space. According to Angi, many people have found alternative uses for their dining room as only 23 percent of homeowners routinely eat meals in this room. Once you’ve cleared a space, store your yoga mat nearby so that it’s always ready. Bring in some relaxing additions such as a scented candle, greenery, or artwork.

#7 Watch Yoga Videos: There are hundreds of free online yoga videos from certified professionals. You can follow along as they practice or watch videos that break down poses so you can work on safe alignment. You can also purchase yoga DVDs in the electronics or fitness section at most stores such as Walmart or Target, making practicing yoga as easy as popping in a DVD.

#6 Focus on Your Breath: If you can breathe then, guess what? You are practicing yoga! Try to pair your movements to an inhale and exhale. You can do this when walking, washing the dishes or sweeping the floor. Mindfulness is central to yoga’s mental health benefits. Sit in a comfy chair or in a seated position on the floor and clear your mind of any intruding thoughts so that you can pay attention to nothing but your breathing. Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly for 10 minutes to start or end your day.

#5 Download a Free Meditation App: There are dozens of well-reviewed free meditation apps that you can download to your phone or tablet. You can use these to learn more about meditation, start a basic practice and to encourage and track your progress.

#4 There are Yoga Apps, Too! You can download yoga apps for your phone or tablet that you can use for free. Try to make it social by inviting your friends to use the app or practicing with your caregiver or a family member. Once you get the hang of it and learn what moves work best for you, you can create your own routine to follow.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay(SofieZborilova)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay(SofieZborilova)

#3 Focus on One Pose: Instead of jumping into a whole series or flow, just focus on one or a handful of poses at a time. You can do them while watching television or after you first wake up. Keep it simple and move deeper into the pose as time allows. Yoga takes time and practice, so don’t be discouraged if you struggle at first. Start with simple moves and use props such as a chair for extra assistance. Should you decide you’d like to try more advanced moves, attend a class first to make sure you are doing it correctly and aren’t at risk of injuring yourself.

#2 Try a Work Share Arrangement: Many yoga studios and gyms will provide free classes in exchange for help watching the register and cleaning the studio. Talk to studios near you to find one that is interested in this kind of partnership.

#1 Take Classes with Friends: Whether you are paying for a class or going to the gym, practicing with friends can reduce the risk of senior isolation and make yoga more fun—and make it more likely you will stick with it. Plus, you can carpool with your friends, which is especially helpful if driving is a concern for you.

Yoga helps seniors stay healthy in both mind and body, and is also a fun, yet relaxing way to spend time alone or with friends. Try out any one of the tips above to make these your golden years for health and fitness.

Harry Cline is creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.

Nearly 1 in 3 adults currently suffer from joint pain or immobility. Of those afflicted, 3 in 4 are diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as arthritis. The alternative source of joint pain is principally tendonitis. Since these conditions are difficult to treat post-offset, the proactive adult would be clever to take preventative measures before symptoms present.

Both arthritis and tendonitis differ in cause but are similar in prevention and treatment. Therefore, the same protocol can be strictly followed for both conditions. Smartly consult your primary care physician and establish a clean bill of health before starting any new physical or dietary regimen.

Pursuing joint health begins with risk factor identification, such as:

  • Obesity
  • A family history of joint pain
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Type II diabetes
  • A diet high in refined sugars or gluten
Photo courtesy of Pixabay(DarkoStojanovic)
Photo courtesy of Pixabay(DarkoStojanovic)

It would be surprising if anyone reading this didn’t have at least one or two of those risk factors. However, by simply replacing refined sugars with natural sugars, and carb-rich foods with vegetables it becomes possible to reduce several risk factors straight away. Second to this would be habitual exercise, especially in water, which is without impact on the joints.

You may be thinking now, ‘well that all sounds good, but I just don’t have the time to do all that.’ So, take a moment to consider this: if you cannot make time for being healthy, you will have to make time for being sick. It is easy to forget about your health when you’re not currently with disease or illness, but when a chronic condition presents itself, it may be too late to go back.

The easiest lifestyle changes to make are dietary. To be specific, there are foods that promote joint health, and others that are to the detriment of our joints. Before listing these foods, remember to only eat in moderation—even healthy foods can be overconsumed.

Foods to eat:

Foods to avoid:

  • Fast foods
  • Processed sugars
  • Bread
  • Alcoholic drinks

A good rule of thumb is to have every meal be two-parts vegetables, one-part fruit, and one-part meat, fish, or nuts. Ideally, nobody would ever eat unhealthy foods or drinks, but it shouldn’t cause any noticeable harm to have these things on occasion, say once per week.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay(SofieZborilova)
Photo courtesy of Pixabay(SofieZborilova)

Daily exercise is also vital to the preservation of the kinetic apparatus, especially the joints. The most optimal exercises being ones with little to no impact, such as walking, biking, and exercises in water. Exercising half an hour per day is a fantastic preventative measure for joint degradation.

The actual stretches, which should be performed twice daily, and should be held for 30 seconds each, unless otherwise specified, are as follows:

  • Place your right hand on your left shoulder from the front, as if you were patting yourself on the back, and then use your left hand to push your elbow up and towards your back, then switch arms.
  • Place both hands behind your back as if being handcuffed, then slide your hands up towards your mid-back to form chicken wings. Hold this position for up to a minute.
  • Push your palms against a wall, with arms straight, and legs in a lunging position. Then, flip your hands so the backs of your hands are against the wall, and hold the position again. This is excellent for the wrists and elbows.
  • Put your fingers through a thick rubber band and open your fingers, spreading the band apart. Perform on both hands.
  • Get into a lunge position and hold, then switch legs.
  • Lay on your back with your feet together. Now, slide your feet up towards your butt before spreading your legs and trying to put your knees on the floor. Do not at any point allow your feet to lose contact with each other. Your legs should be forming a triangular shape.

Repeat these stretches three times each session, with a minute rest or so between each stretch. At no point should you feel exhausted doing these stretches—and if that happens, allow yourself as much time as you need to calm your breathing and nerves. Following this protocol, joint problems should never develop or should be much less severe if already present.

Guest Contributor: Victoria Ward has always been very passionate about psychology and health. She is a recent graduate with a major in psychology and a minor in neurobiology, focusing on Alzheimer’s, learning, and memory.

A safe home is the number one requirement for aging-in-place. Without a home that’s adapted to your needs, you’re one slip and fall away from moving to an assisted living facility. Before you start calling up contractors to remodel your house, this is what you need to consider when creating an aging-friendly home.

Remodeling for Accessibility

Remodeling in your senior years requires a different approach. No longer are aesthetics the focus; instead, it’s all about creating a home that’s safe, comfortable, and easy to live in. However, by planning ahead instead of waiting until your health demands it, you can incorporate accessibility features that are as stylish as they are functional. Here are some aging-in-place projects to put on your list:

  • Constructing a ramp: Entry stairs pose a significant fall risk, especially when carrying items into the house. Ensure you can enter and exit your home safely by creating at least one step-free entrance. If your current entrances all have stairs, that means building a ramp to guide you indoors.
  • Installing grab bars: Falls in the bathroom cause serious injuries. According to Today’s Caregiver, 30 percent of seniors injured in a bathroom fall fracture a bone. While grab bars aren’t known for their beauty, they’re an important component of bathroom safety. Install grab bars at the shower and toilet, and opt for designs that double as towel racks, toilet paper holders, and other bathroom mainstays to avoid an institutional feel.
  • Replacing flooring: In your senior years, you want flooring that’s both slip-resistant and soft underfoot. Replace tile in the kitchen with cork, wood, or linoleum, add slip-resistant vinyl in the bathroom, and swap shaggy carpet with a low-pile alternative.
  • Adding lighting: Age-related vision changes make it difficult to see in dimly-lit spaces. Installing brighter overhead lighting and adding task lighting in busy areas compensates for poor vision so you can navigate your home safely.

Scheduling Projects

Photo courtesy of Pixabay (annca)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay (annca)

Unless you’re heading to a vacation home for half the year, it’s not practical to tackle all these home modifications at once. Remodeling will leave portions of your home unusable for weeks at a time, so it’s important to schedule projects carefully if you plan to live in your home through the remodeling.

Schedule remodeling projects to limit the intrusion on your daily life. That means no kitchen remodeling around the holidays and only doing one bathroom at a time. It also means spacing projects out so if one takes longer than expected, it doesn’t interfere with the start of the next project. Time off between remodeling projects also gives you breaks so you don’t go crazy waking up to construction sounds every day.

Research different projects to discover estimated time to completion, then decide when you’d like the project to occur. Perhaps you’ll schedule the kitchen during summer when you can grill on the patio, or the bathroom in spring after your holiday guests are gone. Keep projects on schedule by knowing exactly what you want before hiring a contractor. According to Consumer Reports, homeowners’ changing their minds is the biggest reason renovations take longer than expected.

Buying a New Home

Sometimes, remodeling your home for accessibility isn’t financially feasible. If your house would need extensive updates, especially if it requires costly additions like home elevators, you may be better off purchasing a new home. The median listing price for a home in Orem, UT, is $348,000, including accessible homes. However, seniors searching for smaller homes can save money without compromising style and comfort. To maximize your options, expand your search to include apartments and townhomes in addition to single-family residences. Many older adults discover they love living in multi-family buildings because of the proximity to neighbors, public transportation, and local amenities. No matter what type of home you’re looking for, review the local listings to get a feel for what’s available and how much it costs.

The decision to remodel your home or purchase a downsized dwelling is a highly personal one. However, you shouldn’t let emotions get in the way of safety. By making the choice that maximizes your safety at home, you make it possible to stay independent as you age.

 

Contributed by Lydia Chan. Lydia is the co-creator of Alzheimerscaregiver.net, a website that aims to provide tips and resources to help caregivers. Her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Lydia found herself struggling to balance the responsibilities of caregiving and her own life. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences with caregivers and seniors. In her spare time, Lydia finds joy in writing articles about a range of caregiving topics.

Fitness for Seniors

With age, most people tend to become sedentary. Work, kids, and relationships can push your health and well-being down on the list of your priorities. However, staying fit is a primary key to a long, healthy, and productive life, and being able to take care of others around you.

Benefits of exercise for seniors

By leading an active life, seniors benefit more than people of any other age. Exercising regularly not only improves your overall physical health but also boosts your mental health.  Key physical benefits include increased mobility, flexibility, and balance. You’ll be able to control your weight, even lose a few pounds, and the impact of chronic diseases and illnesses can decrease. Your brain also undergoes positive changes, you’ll sleep better, and your self-confidence and mood will lift.

Obstacles to an active lifestyle

Maintaining an active lifestyle is hard at any age, and it gets harder as you get older. The biggest hindrance is the thought that you’re too old to exercise. Sure, it’s not easy, but people that become active in older age show better progress, both physically and mentally. Some older adults are scared they’ll fall if they exercise, but the opposite is true. You’ll gain strength, stamina, improve balance, and avoid bone density loss.

Another excuse seniors have is that they will never be as athletic as they once used to be, and that’s true. But you don’t have to; your goals will be different from someone half your age. Chair-limited seniors are the least active and think they can’t exercise, but they are the ones who need to be active the most. Chair aerobics, chair yoga, weight lifting, and tai chi can be done from a chair to increases flexibility, muscle tone, enhance the range of motion, and promote heart health.

Fear or pain or hurting oneself may also hold you back. There are many aids and gadgets available to ease aches and pains that may arise from exercise including braces, wraps, and orthoses. You’ll especially need to take care of your feet if you have diabetes like 25% of seniors do. If your feet feel the heat when running, find the best insoles for heel pain for some added cushion and relief for your feet.

A plan just for you

Since every person is unique, you’ll need a tailored workout program. Depending on your level of flexibility and mobility, you can walk, run, join senior classes, do water aerobics or yoga, practice tai chi or qi gong, dance, play tennis, play basketball, go swimming, or do all of these. To stay motivated, find an exercise buddy, someone who you like spending time with. Try new activities to keep your brain and body involved. Even if you don’t like a particular activity, you’ll still get to spend some time with a good friend.

Making sure your plan is balancedFind balance to fit your health needs

While doing any physical activity will improve your health, doing new or at least different activities will make sure you cover all the five blocks of fitness:

Concentration and focus:  Exercises like yoga will keep your brain focused and active. Depending on how flexible you are, you can do any easy poses like cobra, down dog, seated twist to advanced poses like power yoga and Bikram yoga. Brain games can also keep your brain guessing and engage your memory.

Balance:  Exercise like tai chi and yoga can help improve balance and become more stable. This not only reduces your risk of falling but can also help improve your posture.

Cardio:  Jogging, cycling, swimming, playing tennis, rowing, and other fast pace exercises use large muscle groups an extended time. You should feel your heart pumping, get short of breath and sweaty. Cardio gradually builds stamina and reduces shortness of breath and fatigue.

Power training:  Exercises that involve lifting weights can help build muscles and prevent bone mass loss. This promotes independence and allows you to do many tasks, such as lifting heavy items or opening a jar, that many other citizens will need help with.

Flexibility:  Stretching exercises and yoga increase your range of motion and encourage your joints to move freely. Doing daily chores, playing with your grandkids, and doing other routine physical activities will be a lot easier as your flexibility increases.

How seniors can stay motivated

Remember these quick tips if your motivation level seems to be going down:

–          Listen to your favorite music while working out

–          Get competitive, especially when playing any sports

–          Socialize and meet new people

–          Keep changing your exercise routine and the type of exercise you do

–          Keep a log of your activity and reward yourself every time you hit a new level

Staying safe

The goal is to get active, but safety always comes first. Start slow and gradually increase intensity and frequency. Consult your doctor before starting a new activity, especially if you have an underlying condition. Listen to your body, you might be sore, feel tightness in the muscles, but it should never hurt. If it does, stop immediately and consult your doctor.

Author: Joe Fleming

Vive Health