Back pain is becoming more and more commonplace in more and more people. Lower back pain, upper back pain, neck pain—you name it. This problem occurs most often with the seniors in our lives, so here are some things you can do to help your loved ones out.
Applying Heat and Cold
Some might assume that pain relief only can be found by taking heavy medication. This is not the case! While lighter medications that you can buy without a prescription can help, there are also at-home remedies that are wonderful. One of the simplest is the alternating application of hot and cold on the painful area in question. You can use dry heat, like a hot water bottle or a heating pad, or wet heat like a hot bath to ease the pain or stiffness of a certain area. You generally can keep the heat on as long as you like, even an hour or two if necessary. Do what feels comfortable! Cold treatment, on the other hand, should not be done for more than twenty minutes because it restricts circulation. For that, you can use ice packs or ice baths to reduce swelling and numb pain.
This one you can do at home, or at a professional location for a fee. If the senior has a trusted loved one who can help them, then by all means they should lay down on a couch and give the home massage a shot. The makeshift masseuse should be sure to listen and respond to the instructions and pain level of the senior. A professional massage, although it may cost you, can work wonders for spinal discomfort. Massage therapy offers multiple other benefits as well. In addition to loosening tight muscles that could be contributing to back pain, it increases blood flow and can help with mental relaxation.
Developing Proper Posture
It’s never too late to improve your posture! With all of the television and computer screens that we consume, it’s very easy to let your posture become lazier and lazier over the years. Even the common design of the chairs that we sit in are shaped to have your hip muscles cave inwards in such a way that it makes you far more likely to develop back pain over the years. Help your seniors practice proper posture according to their doctor or chiropractor’s instructions.
It can be hard to see someone you love grow old and begin to struggle with daily life. These are things you can do to help them in a simple, straightforward way. With time, consistency, and the right chiropractor, they can and will find the pain relief they seek.
Check out this article on healthy foods that are easy for seniors to eat!
While an exotic location like Mexico may be the ideal location for couples, the fact of the matter is that it also presents some wonderful opportunities for families as well! No matter how old, your kids will gain valuable perspective and have tons of fun exploring idyllic beaches. Here are some suggestions that you can start with!
Eat Amazing Mexican Food
Honestly, it’s impossible to overstate: Tex-Mex just does not compare to authentic Mexican food! As good as the Americanized version can be, it lacks so much of the freshness and spice that sets a truly Mexican dish apart. There is so much to choose from, as well – from the cold, sweet horchata cinnamon drink, to chilaquiles, to pozole, to the steaming-hot empanadas. There is a vast culinary world to explore that offers equal parts adventure and safety (for the picky younger kids!). The numerous variations on tender, flavorful meat, paired with or wrapped inside freshly fried dough will rarely disappoint. When all else fails, find the tried-and-true street taco in a corn tortilla. When it comes to food, Mexico doesn’t compromise!
Mexico has miles upon miles of beautiful beaches – especially around the lengthy and gorgeous Yucatan Peninsula. But your selection is going to depend a whole lot on what you’re looking to do! Some of the beaches that are best known for their pearly white sand, shockingly blue ocean water, and flourishing greenery include Cozumel, Playa Azul, Playa de Amor, Cancun… the list goes on and on. Or, if you’re looking to hit the waves and hang ten, the Sayulita and Litibu beaches are pretty beginner friendly, which can make them great options for families with newer surfers. If your kids are already experienced, go to some of the world-class, professional surfing locations; the coast of Oaxaca is well-renowned for that exact reason.
Cultural Experiences and Exploration
Beyond the memories you will make as a family, by far the most valuable thing you can get your kids out of a Mexico vacation is another perspective. You’re visiting another country, after all– with its own history, culture, and language! What an incredible opportunity to teach your children some Spanish words and phrases. You can explore any one of the numerous museums, indigenous sites, or natural wonders in order to learn about the Mexican nation’s history. Older kids would no doubt love to be educated on contemporary issues in Mexican society, as well.
A vacation really is just a wonderful opportunity: an opportunity to grow closer as a family, and to enjoy time together that you have worked hard to earn. Mexico is a relatively cheap and exciting option to create those memories! If you want your kids to gain valuable experience and have tons of fun, this is the option for you.
Check out this article on why you need to create healthy relationships with your teen!
When parents grow older or develop health issues, it’s natural to worry about their wellbeing. You want them to enjoy their golden years in a safe, secure, and supportive environment while also maintaining their independence as long as they can. You can take several proactive steps to assist them.
Move Close to Them
You may worry less about your parents if you move closer to them. Long-distance caregiving is difficult for all involved. You can’t hop on a plane or drive for days every time you feel uneasy about what’s happening with Mom or Dad. Moving closer may be an option for you if you are retired or an empty-nester.
Another option is to persuade your parents to move closer to you. Many seniors are living in large homes that are now too much of a burden to keep clean and maintain. Downsizing to a smaller place near family members might have more appeal than you think.
Provide Financial Help
The world is changing quickly, especially in our digital age, and elderly seniors may have difficulty managing their finances. You may offer to help with online banking or investments or set up automatic bill-paying to relieve them of the worry.
It’s also a good idea to set up a financial power of attorney. This adds another layer of protection for seniors, especially those who may be preoccupied with health problems or experiencing cognitive decline. The elderly are most at risk of identity theft, especially those in a nursing home. You can protect them from scams.
Assist Them with Health Needs
Elderly seniors often need assistance with health needs but may be reluctant to ask. You should keep a close eye on signs they may not be getting the healthcare they need. You may notice your parent’s grooming or hygiene has declined or they may seem lethargic or confused. Changes in diets or forgetting to take medications are also concerning signs.
Often, a parent will be more willing to accept help from someone other than a child. There are many levels of home healthcare assistance available, ranging from companion care to home nursing.
As your parents age, there are many steps you can take to assist them with their daily living. Helping to provide for your parents’ needs can ease their burden and your worries. Moreover, it can give you quality time with your loved ones.
Check out this article on how seniors can prevent major dental issues!
We all know the importance of eating healthy as children and young adults: to fuel the body properly for growth and aging into a full-grown adult in the best way possible. But healthy eating is not just for the young, healthy eating is for everyone. There are few things that you can do that are beneficial to your health such as eating a healthy diet, regardless of your age. But with age, it can become difficult to eat certain healthy foods that are tough, hard, or otherwise difficult for the elderly to eat. Here are three healthy foods that are easy for seniors to eat to help them get a balanced diet.
One of the best healthy foods that is easy for seniors to eat is oatmeal. Oatmeal is wonderful because it is flavorful, filling, and easy to chew, since it is soft and mushy. Oatmeal is wonderful because it is full of fiber and whole grains (assuming you are using high quality, healthy oats) that can support digestive health in the elderly, as well as feeding the good gut bacteria in your body. Dress up your oatmeal with a little bit of sliced fresh fruit, yogurt, and some cinnamon for a truly delicious breakfast.
Another great healthy food that is easy for seniors to eat is soup. Just like oatmeal, soup is wonderful since it requires very little chewing, and what chewing it does require is occupied by soft veggies and meats in the soup. Soup is full of nutritious ingredients that can make a filling meal. For seniors, try to focus on soups that are very smooth, or involve softer chunks, like potatoes, well-cooked veggies, and small, tender meats and fish. A baked potato soup, or chicken noodle are great soups to start for seniors.
And last on our list today, another healthy food that is easy for seniors to eat is smoothies. Smoothies are wonderful because they can take what would normally be difficult foods for seniors, like hard fruits or veggies, and turn them into a smooth and delicious drink. Smoothies that are full of fresh fruits and veggies are incredibly nutritious and are outrageously delicious. Try giving the senior in your life a homemade smoothie for new foods that are easy to eat.
Eating healthy is one of the most important things that you can do for your long-term health. And this is true even for seniors, even though it may be harder for them to eat. Focus on serving your seniors these easy to eat, nutritious meals.
Check out this article to learn how to spot certain health concerns early on!
Keeping fit is important for senior citizens. However, as you grow older, it’s not unusual for you to develop conditions that limit your mobility and make some exercises painful or difficult. Don’t give up—there are exercises that can accommodate any mobility limitations you may have.
Tai Chi is great for seniors with limited mobility because it involves slow movements. In doing Tai Chi, you stand mostly in one place, while moving the arms, shoulders, heads, legs, and trunk in deliberate, choreographed movements. It stretches your muscles and joints gently.
The benefits of Tai Chi are numerous. It strengthens the core, leading to improved balance and muscle strength. Good balance helps prevent falls. Tai Chi also lowers blood pressure and improves circulation. It may encourage better sleep and mental health. Just a few minutes of Tai Chi each day can make a difference in your health and fitness.
Swimming takes the pressure off your joints and allows you to move more freely. The water in a pool provides gentle resistance, which is part of why swimming is gentle on your joints. Movements that are painful on land are easy to do in the water. At the same time, swimming can give you a good workout and keep your muscles and bones strong.
If mobility limitations make traditional swimming difficult, seniors can also benefit from swim-walking and water aerobics. Swim-walking in the shallow end of a pool gives you aerobic benefits and increases your endurance. A water aerobics class is a fun way to work out all parts of your body.
If standing, walking, or balance is difficult, you may benefit from chair yoga. This is typically done in a class, but there are several videos available you can follow along with at home. With chair yoga, you do all exercises while safely seated.
Most chair yoga exercises involve stretching the upper body, focusing on muscle strength and flexibility, as well as deep breathing, although there are also some exercises for the lower body. Like traditional yoga, chair yoga improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and reduces depression.
As you grow older, mobility limitations don’t mean you have to give up exercising. You can benefit from any type of fitness that involves moving and stretching your body. Many traditional forms of exercise can also be easily adapted to suit your needs.
Check out this article on how seniors can prevent major dental issues!
As you age, it can be increasingly difficult to take care of your dental hygiene. Especially since your teeth might lose their strength over time, you might have more and more dental issues as you or your loved ones grow older. Here are a few ways seniors can prevent major dental hygiene issues.
Take Care of Your Oral Hygiene
First off, Millenium Dental says you should have a foundation of good oral hygiene habits. It is important to brush your teeth for a few minutes at least twice a day. It is also important that you floss your teeth daily since food residue can get stuck in between teeth, causing cavities or infections. If you struggle with cavities, using an electric toothbrush or waterpik flosser, which can greatly improve your oral hygiene. Drinking fluoridated water and using fluoride toothpaste can also strengthen your teeth and decrease your oral health issues.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Another great way to prevent major dental issues is to get into the habit of eating a healthy diet. There are certain foods that can strengthen your teeth, and there are certain foods that can cause issues such as cavities and infections. For example, Maccaro Pediatric Dentistry says fibrous fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth. Starchy foods and sugary foods, on the other hand, can cause your teeth to be more susceptible to cavities. Even acidic foods such as oranges or lemons can wear down your teeth over time if eaten very often. By having a balanced diet and tracking what you eat, you can reduce the risk of oral health issues.
Visit the Dentist
Finally, Alexandria Art of Dentistry says it is very important that you and your aging loved ones visit the dentist regularly. Especially since your teeth get more sensitive and worn down as you age, your biannual visits to the dentist become even more important. In these visits, you’ll likely have a routine cleaning and flossing, as well as have some tests done that can detect cavities or infections. If you end up having some issues with your oral hygiene, your dentist will be able to give you the best advice on how to resolve and treat those issues.
As you’re trying to figure out how you can help your loved ones to maintain their oral health, remember the suggestions that have been discussed in this article. Taking the different lifestyle steps to prevent major dental issues can help simplify some of the health issues that happen as you age. Remember to implement these different steps to promote the best dental health possible for yourself and your loved ones.
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Seniors need to be conscientious of their health. While there are many things that need to be considered, diet and nutrition should be a priority. In order to stay healthy, there are certain nutrients seniors need to make sure are included in their diet.
Calcium and Vitamin D
With age, bones and muscles begin to weaken. Calcium is a key nutrient that can help with bone and muscle strength. As you’re probably aware, calcium is found in most dairy products, but it is family found in milk. However, other sources of calcium include seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, and fish. Choosing from these foods can help provide more variety. In addition to calcium, it’s important to include vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential because it helps your body absorb calcium. It can also be beneficial for improving mood. You can get vitamin D from the sun, but there are also foods, such as milk or juice, that are fortified with vitamin D. Taking a vitamin D supplement is also an option.
Fiber can do many wonders for the body. One of the top benefits for seniors is fiber’s ability to lower cholesterol. This can help decrease risk of heart attacks and other related issues. Getting enough fiber in your diet can reduce your chances of developing hemorrhoids and dealing with the symptoms that go with them. Fiber is found in most fruits, vegetables, and grains. Basically, any food that takes a lot of chewing has a good amount of fiber. Specifically, you can make sure to include beans, berries, whole grains, potatoes, etc.
Like many other vitamins and nutrients, vitamin B12 has a wide range of benefits. You can see improvements in brain function, muscle and bone strength, mood, and even better hair, nails, and skin. However, vitamin B12 is especially important in red blood cell formation. It helps red blood cells to form properly so they can deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Keeping up with vitamin B12 is beneficial to seniors because having a well-functioning circulatory system can benefit many other systems in the body.
There are many essential vitamins and nutrients. It’s important for seniors to try and include all of these essential nutrients in order to keep up their health. If it is a challenge to maintain every nutrient, an effort should be made to at least include these nutrients.
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Most people know that they should be seeing a primary care physician but knowing when to see a specialist can be a little more complicated. There are many types of specialists that each can help with different medical conditions and issues. When you understand the kinds of specialists there are available you can make informed choices about your own healthcare.
While an otolaryngologist may sound like a complicated physician that most people don’t need, they’re actually just ear, nose, and throat doctors. That means that it is important to visit them when you experience problems in any of those three areas. Ear nose and throat conditions can range from being simple to complicated and from minor to serious. It’s important to schedule a visit with your ENT as soon as you notice a problem in any of those areas. The earlier you catch an issue the easier it generally is to resolve it or find a treatment plan.
A gastroenterologist is a doctor that specializes in helping people with problems of the digestive system. From IBS to hemorrhoids, a gastroenterologist treats digestive concerns that you may be experiencing. Digestive problems are very common and it’s important to take care of them as early as possible. Sometimes the diagnosis process can take time, so the earlier you speak to a gastroenterologist the sooner you will learn about your problem and be able to start resolving it. If you are experiencing stomach or intestinal issues, it’s time to reach out to your gastroenterologist.
An Orthopedic Specialist
Mobility is essential to people of all ages and backgrounds, and if you’re having difficulty with your mobility you may want to speak to an orthopedic specialist. Orthopedic specialists focus on bones and joints and helping people to repair them. Sometimes the joint will become damaged due to an injury, and in other cases damage occurs overtime. Your orthopedic specialist can help you to understand the best treatment options for your problem. Sometimes you will need to have surgery to repair a problem while in other cases physical therapy and medication might do the trick.
When you understand the kinds of specialists you have available, you can take control of your health. Everyone has different needs and specialists can help you meet those needs effectively. Learn more about the kinds of specialists there are available you can make sure that your body is well taken care of.
There are so many different health conditions that you could develop later on in life that could be prevented or spotted early. Knowing some of the tell-tale signs of these diseases could help you save yourself a lot of time, pain, and money. Know that this list is not comprehensive so be sure to do more research.
According to Medical News Today, memory loss from Alzheimer’s or dementia can be incredibly scary as an individual gets older. Thankfully, there are things you can do to recognize it and prevent it. Typically, knowing if you have a family history of diseases associated with memory loss can help you know how important it is for you to take preventative steps.
Generally, following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting good sleep are all things you can do in your younger years to prevent your memory from declining as rapidly when you age.
There are a variety of dental problems like having cavities to having gum disease that can cause you a lot of pain if not prevented or properly treated. Be aware of things like chronic bad breath and painful gums that bleed easily. Additionally, according to Stellar Family Orthodontics, having difficulty cleaning your teeth or regularly biting your cheek could be early warning signs of issues.
There are a variety of things you can do to try and prevent issues from developing. But of the different things, try and make sure you go into your dentist regularly. And even more than that, make sure you brush and floss twice daily.
According to WVU Rheumatology, spotting arthritis early on varies a bit from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms that you should be aware of. One of the first symptoms that you should pay attention to is prolonged stiffness when you first wake up.
Having a bit of soreness or stiffness after waking up is normal, but if it lasts for more than a few minutes, you might be experiencing early manifestations of arthritis. Go into the doctor to get looked at because they might be able to prescribe you with treatment to prevent the arthritis from becoming significantly worse.
As you work to be aware of different health conditions you could be susceptible to, make sure you understand your family history. The more you know about the various conditions suffered by family members, the more you will be prepared against conditions passed down genetically. Ultimately, focus on living a healthy life and trust your medical professionals.
Read this next: Three Dental Habits Seniors Should Adopt to Stay Healthy
Swimming increases heart health and overall circulation while remaining an effective aerobic exercise that’s easy on the joints. This makes swimming the perfect exercise for seniors looking for a way to get out and get active, without the dangerous physical strain it can be on frail muscles or bones. Here are a few tips to make sure swimming stays a safe, positive experience for seniors!
Avoid Solo Swims
A good tip for any swimmer is to make sure there is always someone else present in the pool area while you are swimming. Cramping and breathing problems can prove to be fatal if there is not someone else present to help you out of the water and perform or contact proper medical assistance. Even the best swimmers are never immune to the dangers of deep water and muscle spasms, so make sure that you are in a place where you can receive help if necessary!
Make Sure the Water is Safe
Just like air quality is important for any other sport, the water you are immersed in should be equally safe. The bacteria in and acidity of your water don’t just affect the pool surfaces, they affect you as well. Keeping your pool clean and in good condition is part of maintaining a safe swimming environment. Verify that the water is safe and swimmable by checking the pH levels, alkalinity, amount of chlorine, and calcium hardness of your water, as each of these can be dangerous to your skin and eyes, and a lack of any of these can mean the existence of infections in the water that will harm your eyes, nose, and even organs.
Use an Accessible Pool
You will of course want a pool that is as safe in structure as it is chemically. Before you commit to a pool or even enter one, make sure there are easily maneuverable stairs with handrails and traction grip on the pool floor to make getting in and out of the pool easy. Ideally, there will be multiple sets of stairs in a higher-trafficked pool. Make sure as well that the depth of the pool is consistently manageable for your height and endurance. If you are treading water you will need a deeper area to allow for the leg movement, but remain near walls so that you are able to grab on if needed.
Keep yourself or your loved seniors safe with the proper precautions. Never swim alone, and make sure the water and structure of your pool are safe to be in! Enjoy the benefits of swimming with the peace of mind that you are taking care of yourself, and being taken care of.
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