If you made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more this year, hopefully you’re continuing to stick with it! As it turns out, adding more physical activity to your daily routine is one resolution we should all be keeping – and this is even more important for older adults, many of whom take multiple medications for a variety of conditions.
Research is showing that, surprisingly, doctor-approved senior workouts can be as effective as many typically-prescribed medications in treating or preventing some of the leading causes of death. In the study, scientists compared how effective various medications and exercise routines were in reducing deaths among those who had been diagnosed with several common and serious health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. The results consistently indicated that both … Read More »
Have you ever found yourself in the awkward situation where you’re about to bubble over with uncontrollable laughter, usually at the most inappropriate moment – standing in a crowded elevator, sitting in a quiet waiting room, or in the middle of a religious service? While there are, naturally, times when we should suppress the silliness, author Jane Heller explains that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”
The health benefits of laughter are simply incredible, including:
Strengthening brain connectivity
Providing a social boost
Enhancing the immune system
And many more
When putting together a plan of exercises for seniors, be sure … Read More »
The many advantages of staying physically active are clear, but what is not as well known is that exercise can be extremely beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s disease, for a number of reasons: reducing the risk for muscle weakness and other issues that stem from inactivity, easing the effects of psychological and behavioral challenges, and much more.
As with anyone considering starting a new exercise routine, the doctor should first be consulted. Then, try these dementia exercise suggestions, utilizing the following strategies per each person’s individual abilities and the appropriate stage of the disease:
Older adults in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease can often still fully enjoy active and social exercises like walking, dancing, bowling, golf, and swimming, even though some degree of … Read More »
We all need to exercise and stay as physically active as possible, and older adults are no exception. But those who are challenged by the pain and stiffness of arthritis have an additional hurdle to overcome to maintain a healthy level of physical activity.
The good news: the most recent recommendations reduce the level of intensity of activity for older adults diagnosed with arthritis, suggesting as little as just 45 minutes of exercise per week to achieve and maintain a higher degree of functionality – much less intimidating for those who may typically shy away from exercise.
Per Northwestern University professor Dorothy Dunlop, “Even a little activity is better than none. For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum … Read More »
While we may envision a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the whole family enjoying quality time together and Grandma’s traditional feast, the reality for many families includes something unexpected: a hospital visit. In fact, statistics show that E/R visits for the elderly jump an astounding 10 – 20% during the holidays.
While pinpointing the exact reasoning behind this increase is difficult, it stands to reason that one factor could be family members who haven’t spent time with an elderly relative in the months prior to the holiday season, only to discover then that his or her condition has deteriorated.
Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital explains, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in six months, you may not be fully aware of the aging … Read More »
As the top San Rafael home care providers for the surrounding area, we see firsthand everyday the joy, companionship, and enhanced quality of life older adults receive through our caregiver services. Yet we also know that many seniors initially reject the idea of in-home care help.
To help overcome a senior’s objections to the care needed, it’s important to first understand why he or she is opposed to help at home. And while of course each person will have unique reasoning to support declining help, some of the more common feelings include:
Fear of lost freedom and independence
A desire to remain in control, and not wanting someone to come in and “take over”
Not wanting a “stranger” in the home
Feelings of shame or embarrassment in the … Read More »
The particular results of exercising throughout aging are fantastic; however, for people who have Parkinson’s disease, it could truly be a game-changer in the progression associated with the disease. Several studies are revealing direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s disease, including the largest clinical study up to now, in which patients who exercised at least 2½ hours each week gained a higher total wellbeing compared to those who refrained from physical activity. And that’s only the start.
The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms develops following a loss in the brain cells that make dopamine. Experts think that exercise makes it possible for the brain to revive lost connections, form new ones, and keep maintaining those that continue to be in place. Additional studies show:
Gains were realized in stride length, gait … Read More »
The CDC reports that as many as one-third of all seniors fall each year, and surprisingly, less than half of those seniors talk to their doctors about it. When a senior experiences a fall, even if it does not cause serious injury, she can develop a heightened fear of falling, which may result in limited activities, reduced mobility, loss of physical fitness, and in turn, an increased risk of falling again.
In our last blog post, we discussed some home modifications you can make to improve senior safety and reduce the risk of falls. In addition, there are a number of exercises that seniors can do on a regular basis to increase muscle strength and improve balance, which will not only help reduce … Read More »
Falling is never fun, but for an older adult, a fall can result in devastating effects, like a fractured hip, which can escalate to a full range of additional health problems. A full 25% of seniors who fracture a hip end up dying within six months of the injury; a shocking, yet preventable statistic.
Taking time to make some simple modifications to the home can help create a safer environment for your senior loved ones and help prevent dangerous senior falls. Below are some easy home modification ideas from the home care Marin CA services team at Hired Hands Homecare that can be implemented to help lower the risk of falls for the elderly.
Replace light bulbs routinely to ensure there is sufficient illumination in … Read More »
mproving balance is one of the best ways to improve senior health, particularly when it comes to preventing falls. Once an older adult has experienced a fall, the initial impulse may be to decrease physical activity to lower the possibility of falling again, but it’s essential for older adults to optimize their overall muscle strength and balance and stay as active as possible.
These balance exercises, recommended by the National Institute on Aging, are a great place to start (after first receiving approval from the senior’s primary care physician):
One Foot Stand: Grasping a sturdy chair for balance, lift one leg just a bit and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times and then switch legs.
Heel to Toe Walk: Position the … Read More »