Many people mistakenly believe vision problems are an inevitable part of aging. Although some vision problems are more likely with aging, other factors play a role, such as exercise, diet and exposure to sunlight. All three of these things are within your control, which means you can vastly decrease your chances of developing eye problems with age.
Get Regular Exercise
Studies have found that regular exercise decreases your chance of developing eye-related diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in patients over 50 in the United States.
Exercise indirectly protects eye health because it helps manage diabetes and blood pressure. People who have high blood pressure are at higher risk of eye disease. Those with diabetes may develop diabetic retinopathy. Easy forms of exercise include walking and swimming. Remember to always stretch before and after exercising to avoid pulling muscles or otherwise getting injured. If you have limited mobility, you can do knee lifts and shoulder retractions and lift weights.
Wear Sunglasses Outdoors
You should always wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. Prolonged exposure to the sun increases your risk of developing cataracts. UV rays cause about 20% of cataracts cases. The sun’s UV rays can also cause macular degeneration and pterygium, which are growths on the eye. Choose sunglasses that protect against at least 99% of UVA and UVB radiation and wrap around the eyes.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is important for all aspects of your health, including eye health. Zinc, copper, beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C decrease your risk of age-related eye-health decline by up to 25%. Some of the best foods for improving your eye health are fish, nuts, legumes, chia seeds, flax seeds, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, carrots, eggs, sweet potatoes and beef. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in oily fish, are supportive of eye health. Oily fish include tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout, anchovies, herring and sardines. Remember to drink at least eight glasses of water a day as well. Staying hydrated helps protect your eyes.
Exercising regularly, wearing sunglasses outside and eating a healthy diet significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye health as you age. Even if you’ve already noticed a decline in your eye health, implementing these three things can help reverse some of the damage and prevent or slow down further decline.
Welcome Homecare offers a variety of services to make aging easier. Learn how we can help you or your loved one today!
Facing dementia can be difficult, both for the individual who experiences it and for that person’s loved ones. Dementia impacts someone’s cognitive function, capacity for daily function, and ability to communicate. Coming to a more complete understanding of factors that may contribute to dementia can help you watch out for common catalysts and better prepare for the future. These are some potential causes of dementia.
Traumatic Brain Injury
One of the most common potential causes of various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is a traumatic brain injury. Just one traumatic brain injury may substantially increase an individual’s risk of dementia. Additionally, even mild brain injuries can noticeably increase the risk of developing dementia later on. The risk of developing dementia also seems to go up in proportion to the severity of the traumatic brain injury. A single severe traumatic brain injury can result in twice the risk of dementia development that a mild traumatic brain injury causes.
Genetics also seem to have a significant impact on an individual’s likelihood of developing a form of dementia. Certain studies have found that people with a higher genetic predisposition toward dementia are more likely to develop it over time. While results vary from one individual to the next, genetic background and family history can serve as potential indicators of whether dementia is something for you to watch out for. If others in your family have shown a predisposition towards dementia, then you may have a higher genetic risk factor. The exact effects that genetics have upon an individual’s likelihood to develop dementia are complicated and include a huge amount of variance, which raises questions as to whether these effects can be countered by environmental factors.
Lack of Mental Stimulation
Speaking of environmental factors, your level of ongoing activity and mental stimulation has a huge impact on your likelihood of suffering from dementia. Even in the face of traumatic brain injury or a genetic predisposition towards dementia, staying active and regularly participating in mentally engaging activities can decrease your risk. You can think of your mind as being similar to a muscle: If you don’t use it regularly and keep it fit, it’s going to weaken and deteriorate over time. A bland, predictable, and boring environment that’s devoid of excitement and mental stimulation can greatly increase the risk of losing cognitive function. In addition to staying healthy overall by maintaining a healthy diet rich in brain-boosting antioxidant foods that provide great nutrition, you can keep your mind healthy by regularly engaging in hobbies, learning new things, and solving recreational puzzles.
A variety of different factors contribute to an individual’s risk for dementia, and some seem to be especially common. Even a single traumatic brain injury can dramatically increase someone’s risk of developing dementia, and medical history of brain injury should be taken as a strong motivator to be proactive by staying active and healthy. Genetic predisposition may also be a factor for some people, although an individual’s level of genetic risk may be somewhat offset by environmental factors. Make sure you prioritize mentally stimulating activities that engage the brain in order to decrease this risk.
While aging comes with various challenges for any individual, watching a loved one endure certain difficulties can be hard as well. Every day, more and more people are faced with having to decide if they should place their loved one in a nursing facility. While this decision may be one of the toughest to make ever, trying to take care of a loved one with declining health can be even tougher. Although this can be a very emotional time, in order to do what is best for your loved one, as well as yourself, you must ask yourself the following fact-finding questions:
Does Your Loved One Have Escalating Needs?
When it comes to matters of the heart, you may want to believe that you will be able to take care of your loved one properly simply because of the love that you have for them. However, when it comes to escalating needs, oftentimes love isn’t strong enough when someone is needing to be lifted, bathed, and more. There are some needs that your loved one may have that your body just isn’t physically equipped to handle. However, nursing facilities have the proper equipment as well as trained staff that can accommodate those needs and more.
Are You Becoming Too Stressed?
Trying to care for a loved one all on your own can be not only physically strenuous but emotionally strenuous as well. Certain conditions may require around-the-clock care which is something that can be extremely taxing on your emotional and mental state. It is okay to feel tired or to want a break as you are human and just one person. According to this source, it’s normal to feel caregiver burnout, and it’s important to remind yourself that if you don’t take time out for yourself, you’ll have a harder time caring for other people. A nursing facility can provide around-the-clock care and treatments to help your loved one get all the help they need.
Is Your Home Safe?
For many aging adults, illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia can develop causing a person to have severe lapses in memory. This can be very dangerous as they may not even know who you or even themselves are and could hurt themselves in your home. Unfortunately, situations like this are best dealt with in a nursing facility where the person can be monitored around the clock.
Are Nursing Homes Safe?
Although nursing facilities house people who have physical and even mental disabilities which can increase their chance of injury, for the most part, these facilities are safe. Nursing facilities can provide treatment as well as equipment that can help people regain mobility, around the clock care and more. According to this source, the leading cause of injuries in seniors in the United States is falling. Because these facilities have a staff of people to check on patients, as well as proper equipment, they can help to prevent injuries from occurring.
Whether your loved one is in a facility or at home, there will always be risks involved. However, by allowing your loved one to receive care in a nursing facility, you can help to minimize those risks by giving your loved one the best care and treatment possible.
It is no secret that older adults benefit greatly from regular physical activity. Seniors should make a commitment to getting in an adequate amount of exercise each day. Not only will this improve overall health and mitigate the risk of disease, but it will also provide a mental and emotional boost. Here are three things to know about the importance of physical activity for seniors.
Reduce the Risk for Diseases
Physical activity has been proven to reduce the risk of disease for senior citizens. Even if you already have a chronic condition, daily exercise can help to control the symptoms and slow the progression of many diseases. Making the commitment to get up and move may prevent or delay the onset of various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Regular exercise can also play a big part in reducing blood pressure, helping to stave off a host of issues. Weight-bearing exercises will strengthen bones while maintaining healthy joints and muscles.
Amount of Activity
Seniors should participate in approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, with each session lasting about 10 minutes. Breaking the activity up into smaller increments of time will reduce the risk of injury and exertion. Small bursts of activity will also serve as a motivation to keep moving because the exercise can be easily incorporated into a daily schedule. Seniors that have been sedentary need to take caution when launching a new routine. Be sure to start off slowly and gradually build up endurance as the body becomes accustomed to the exercise.
You do not have to get out and run for an hour each day to see the physical and mental benefits of exercise. When devising an exercise routine, it is important to incorporate activities that boost endurance, strengthen muscles and bones, improve balance and encourage flexibility. Good exercise choices for seniors include yoga, pilates, walking, resistance training, biking, and simple stretching exercises. The hardest part about developing an exercise routine is simply getting started. Once you make this exercise a part of the daily routine, it will become easier to maintain moving forward.
Seniors who commit to daily exercise are more likely to be able to retain their sense of independence as they age. Encouraging the elderly to make exercise a priority will pay off big dividends both now and in the future.
For many seniors, their golden years bring with them leisurely days and peaceful nights. Yet, as the body ages, simply getting in and out of bed can become a chore. That’s why you should bear the following three things in mind when choosing a bed for a senior.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping patterns change significantly as we get older. So, when seniors mention their inability to sleep, the issue is often cast aside as part of the aging process. However, a saggy mattress may be a contributing factor to a loved one’s lack of sleep. A droopy bed cannot support the body properly. As a result, seniors may experience insomnia, aches, and pains. Try rotating the mattress 180 degrees every six months, purchasing a latex topper or buying a hybrid mattress for added support.
Consider the elevation of the bed’s frame, the depth of the box springs and the loftiness of the mattress. When a person sits up on the bed, his or her feet should touch the floor. Otherwise, it’s hard to shift the weight forward to stand. The bed’s height should match a dining chair seat. If the bed is for a wheelchair-bound senior, it’s important to make sure the height of the bed is no greater than the height of the wheelchair. To facilitate accessibility, measure the bed from the floor to the top of the mattress. Alternatively, you can have the person sit on the edge of the bed to make sure the hips and knees align while the feet remain flat on the floor. If the bed is too high, you can remove the wheels from the frame. Other options include buying a lower bed frame, purchasing less bulky box springs or replacing the mattress to reduce the overall height.
Seniors who require assistance may benefit from the use of a hospital bed that lifts and lowers for an easy transfer. In addition, bed rails can offer stability. They prevent a person from rolling out of bed and provide something solid to grab onto when getting in or standing up. Check for gaps between the mattress and rails, and cover the openings to avoid entrapment risks.
Seniors need and deserve a good night’s rest, and a good bed can help resolve many of their sleeping challenges. Just remember to consider the support level, height and transfer capabilities to give them the best chance of sleeping peacefully through the night.
Even if you are in good health and exercise regularly, the potential of heart disease is lurking down the road. As the leading cause of death in the US, heart disease can strike anyone. While some of the factors that contribute to your heart disease risk are hereditary and cannot be controlled, there are a number of lifestyle factors that you can control. Here are three things that you can do today to prevent heart disease in the future:
Improve Dietary Habits
Your diet is a significant predictor in your odds of developing heart disease. Medline Plus explains that to lower your risk of heart disease, focus on eating a diet that is low in saturated fats, sodium and added sugars. You should make fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains the cornerstone of your diet. There are a variety of dietary changes that you can make to decrease your risk of heart disease while still enjoying flavorful food. For example, instead of reaching for the greasy tortilla chips to dip in that heart-healthy guacamole, try eating it with jicama instead. Substituting applesauce for vegetable oil is a great way to reduce the fat and calories in baked goods. With a little creativity, you can still enjoy your favorite foods without sacrificing your health.
Most people are surprised to learn about the connection between flossing and heart disease. Not flossing regularly can lead to a host of oral hygiene issues such as gum disease. According to Dr. Bret Dyer, this gum disease can inflame blood vessels around the heart, increasing the risk of heart attack. For this and many other reasons, it is important that you make proper oral hygiene a cornerstone of your overall approach to good health.
When it comes to preventing heart disease, the benefits of regular exercise are vast. Family Doctor says that engaging in frequent cardiovascular activity strengthens your heart while also improving blood circulation. Regular exercise will also help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is a big predictor of heart disease. You will also enjoy lower blood pressure levels and lower cholesterol as a result of working out. All of these benefits work together to reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease.
Heart failure is the leading cause of death in patients today. Welcome Homecare’s exclusive CHF program caters to each patient, individually and focuses not just on care but also education and prevention to keep patients from readmitting into the hospital. Contact us with questions!
It’s not easy watching the seniors in your life get older. The parents and grandparents who took care of you through thick and thin are aging, and with each passing year, they need more assistance to get by. This role reversal can be tough to handle for independent-minded older adults, and that sets the stage for challenging, but necessary, conversations. Here’s how to approach them.
Needing Extra Help
Today’s elderly grew up in a time when self-sufficiency was expected. No older adult wants to feel less than fully capable. In most cases, the senior you’re concerned about has already noticed they need a helping hand, but they’re reluctant to ask. Chances are, they’ll feel relieved when you raise the subject. The best way to bring it up, however, is not by pointing out what isn’t getting done around the house. Instead, discuss how accepting aid can enhance their life by giving them more time to do what they enjoy. Suggest simple steps such as arranging for grocery delivery or lawn care. When they see the benefits of getting help, they often become receptive to accepting more.
It’s Time to Stop Driving
Losing the privilege to drive is a common concern among seniors. It means they can’t come and go as they please. They are becoming reliant on others and that isn’t easy for them. It can be scary when driving capacity becomes compromised due to aging, despite taking additional safety precautions. But when there have been too many near misses, it’s time to consider an alternative. Emphasizing the positives is the best way to approach this conversation. Point out the financial and time-saving benefits of not owning a car and have a transportation plan ready to present. Answering as many what-ifs as possible takes some of the stress out of giving up the keys.
All seniors eventually have to make end-of-life decisions, so filling out an advance directive or living will forms that describe preferences for care is vital. Without an advance directive, there’s no guarantee your loved one’s final wishes will be respected. Make the discussion easier by focusing exclusively on your special senior’s needs versus your ease as a caregiver.
Aging brings changes that require delicate conversations. By keeping the lines of communication on tough topics open, you can help your special seniors remain independent longer. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Please review our homecare offerings and contact us today if you feel a loved one can benefit from our services.
Many senior citizens develop a utilitarian view of clothing over time, primarily looking for items that serve a practical purpose. However, you can still look great while staying on top of important health factors such as temperature regulation and fall prevention. Read on to learn how you can look your best while taking care of yourself at the same time.
Hats can make a bold fashion statement as well as offer some much-needed sun protection. If your hair has thinned over the years, hats will protect your scalp from UV damage and help to emphasize your facial features. Avoid visor hats that feature an open crown since these don’t offer your scalp any coverage. As a general rule, base your hat choices around your stature so that you look well-balanced. Don’t wear a tiny hat if you’re tall or full-figured. If you like to wear earrings, then match them with your hat for a stylish look. On sunny days, pick a hat with a wide brim such as a graceful pool hat or a handsome fedora to give yourself some shade. For colder weather, beanies and berets are good choices to help preserve your warmth.
Shoes with good support have been shown to decrease the risk of falling, especially those that have a high-quality tread to provide grip and support. Heels, flip-flops, sandals, and shoes with slick soles are best avoided, as they tend to contribute to greater fall rates rather than to help prevent falls. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t pick shoes that make a fashion statement as well! Some casual walking shoes can add a sporty edge to your outfit, and a well-fitted pair will work wonders to alleviate joint pain. There are also a number of supportive open-toe shoe styles that are great for summer as well as dressier shoes with different types of leather that can change the whole look of your outfit.
Dress in Layers
Dressing in layers is a great way to feel your best, not only because of the stylish looks you can create but because of the increased ability to regulate your temperature. During the summer, wearing a lightweight, cotton shirt with long sleeves will help to prevent dangerous sun exposure while helping you to create a cohesive look. In the colder autumn and winter months, dressing in layers is imperative to temperature regulation. You’ll want to be able to put layers on to go outside, and then remove the outer layer or two to stay comfortable indoors as well.
Make the most of your golden years by looking your best while you take care of yourself. Collect a few stylish hats that will help protect you from the weather, and get some comfortable shoes that look as great as they feel. Lastly, make the most of layered outfits so that you’ll be able to stay comfortable no matter what the weather throws your way.
No one wants to be part of a contested will distribution. Losing a loved one is difficult enough, and then facing a legal battle over their estate can be very traumatic. Let us share a few tips with you to guide you through the process of ensuring your loved one’s wishes are followed.
Make Sure it’s Valid
According to Rocket Lawyer, for a will to be legally binding, it must satisfy certain basic requirements. These requirements have been put in place to prevent fraud and forgery. A valid will must be recorded in writing, signed and dated by the person who made it and signed by a witness. Anything that has been added to the will after it has been signed is not valid and cannot be enforced. Any changes made to the will also need to be composed properly and signed in front of a witness. A valid will always requires a valid signature and date, although this signature does not necessarily have to be notarized. Finally, at least two competent adults must sign the will for it to be valid. In most states, a person who is in line to inherit would not be considered a valid witness.
Have an Asset Protection Plan
Estate planning normally determines how a person’s assets will be distributed when they die. According to Legally Mine, while typically assets are distributed according to a will, complications can often arise, especially if there are substantial assets on the line. A comprehensive estate plan will include many things, and an important area is asset protection. The best way to protect assets is to think for the long term with discretionary lifetime trusts or mandatory income trusts. To avoid complications, always obtain advice from a qualified lawyer who specializes in asset protection and wills.
The Choice of Executor Matters
Choosing the executor of a will is an important life decision. According to Extra Mile, you should discuss this with your loved one prior to the end and encourage them to have two executors. It is best if one person is a nonrelative such as a financial planner or lawyer. In addition, be sure that the provisions include a disclosure requirement that will force the executor to provide all details of the estate. Following these guidelines will allow for a safe process of property distribution.
Keeping each of these areas in mind will protect the integrity of your loved one’s wishes. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in estate planning is an excellent option in confirming all details before the will is finalized. With these things in mind, the process should proceed as intended.
Here’s another article we think you’ll like: 3 Ways Families Can Support and Protect Their Senior Loved Ones
Your senior loved ones were always there for you. Now, it is your turn to return the favor and give them the support they need as they get older. As adults age, they become more vulnerable to physical, emotional, and financial difficulties that can rob them of their independence, but you can help protect them. Here are three ways to support and protect your senior loved ones.
It’s highly likely that your senior loved ones are reluctant to ask for help. They want to manage their own lives, yet they still need engaging and meaningful relationships. Older adults of all ages are susceptible to loneliness—especially if they’ve lost a spouse or the ability to drive. Visits from family provide essential emotional support and prevent the type of social isolation that can negatively impact a senior’s cognition and overall health.
Visiting your loved one at their home helps you to discern how a loved one is taking care of themselves, but planning regular outings also helps seniors stay active. Visits on holidays are appreciated, but spending time together planning celebrations together is particularly beneficial.
Keep Track of Finances
Monitoring a senior loved one’s finances can help protect them from financial abuse. Older adults are trusting and generous, making them top targets for scams. Experts suggest that as much as 20 percent of seniors are affected. Stolen identity, home title fraud, insurance hustles, and investment schemes are all popular forms of financial exploitation.
Clues that a senior loved one has been affected included late payment notices, collection calls, unusual numbers of home deliveries and a dwindling checking-account balance. To keep seniors safe, review important rules, such as safeguarding personal information and not responding to spam emails. If your senior loved one is cognitively impaired, ask if you can help them monitor their mail and financial accounts.
For many seniors, the day comes when they can no longer manage their own affairs independently. If plans aren’t in place for their care, necessities such as establishing a power of attorney and advanced directives become significantly more difficult. Helping loved ones plan in advance ensures that their choices are respected, and it makes it easier for family caregivers to get them the assistance they need.
Supporting a senior loved one can be challenging, but the more help they have from family members, the longer they can remain independent and enjoy the life they deserve. It’s the least you can do to help make sure they are comfortable after all they’ve done for you throughout your lifetime. By taking steps like the ones above, you can help make sure that your senior loved ones are happy and taken care of.