Conditions and Changes to the Body Adults May Develop or Experience
It’s a fact that as you grow older your body starts to break down from wear. There are obvious visible signs such as loss of hair color, wrinkles, and fat pockets. However, as these changes occur on the outside, many more are going on inside the body too. Some seniors may experience loss of memory or have trouble hearing, while others have limited mobility that makes performing once easy tasks, more difficult or weakened bones that can turn a minor fall into a painful fracture, or worse a broken bone. Listed below are some of the common ailments that affect a large population of aging adults.
When you are young and active you tend to take for granted your body’s abilities to not only lift and move things easily but also its ability to recover quickly from a strenuous workout or hard-working day. The reality is that as the body grows older it can become difficult to bend, walk or stand for any length of time. An elderly person with reduced mobility who decides to remain in their home faces challenges every day. For them, the simple act of climbing a set of stairs to reach the second story is painful and lengthy. The good news is that there are alterations you can make to your home to improve your quality of life. Making modifications to your home such as widening doorways and putting in additions like stairlifts can help you regain your confidence, independence and allow you to stay safe. Remaining as active as possible and shedding the extra weight are also important especially if your reduced mobility stems from arthritis. Taking a long walk can actually help to loosen the joint stiffness for many hours after each session.
Millions of people will develop osteoporosis. Weakened bone density makes you more susceptible to sustaining a serious injury to your body like a hip, hand or foot fracture from even a minor slip and fall. The good news is that you can slow the degenerative process or even reverse it. Eating a healthy diet enriched with vitamin D and calcium can help to reverse the damage over time. Additionally, there are many things you can do and install around the home to reduce the possibility of falling. Decluttering each room and removing any furniture away from the entrance and installing handrails throughout common areas of travel is essential. Placing several night lights in hallways, bathrooms and the kitchen will also promote safety after dark. You should also avoid lifting anything too heavy. If there’s no way around it, make sure to avoid using your back and instead, bend at the knees.
Dementia affects the mind causing you to forget things often, and increases as the disease worsen. While this is scary for the individual going through it, it can have a serious effect on a spouse and family members. Even though if basically strips your mind of happenings slowly, it can cause your body to fall into a weakened state as a direct result. Many people, who live at home on their own with the disease not yet detected by others, will forget to eat, take medications and exercise. This can cause frailty in the bones and immune system. While there is no known cure, there are ways to provide quality care to ensure that a loved one is getting everything they need to sustain good health by hiring a nurse or assigning a caregiver. Checking in on seniors who live alone, by calling them often and visiting regularly, will give you peace of mind. If they take several medications multiple times daily, get them a pill box with the day and times like morning, noon and night, to eliminate possibly missing doses.
It’s a part of the life cycle of humans that you will age and probably have some type of ailment as you grow old. Thankfully, there are ways to improve the quality of life and safety of the person it affects.