3 Hidden Signs of Mobility Problems
While you don’t have to be overly observant to recognize that difficulty walking can spell trouble for your mobility, you may not necessarily be on the lookout for less subtle signs that can serve as red flags too. Check out this quick list of three hidden signs of mobility problems:
Are you opting to take the elevator more than normal? How about spending more time on the ground floor of your home to avoid using a staircase? Stairs can be one of the most difficult environments to traverse when mobility problems are starting to set in.
Stairs require extra leg strength, coordination, and balance. Avoiding stairs, whether conscious of it or not, could be a red flag. Same goes for exercise. If you are finding excuses to skip regular exercise because of mounting difficulties with getting around, it’s time to seek assistance.
While falls aren’t all that uncommon for seniors (one out of four seniors experiences a fall every year), frequent falling could indicate mobility difficulties. Even if you have not yet experienced an injury due to a fall, the fact that you fall even more than once a year could shed light on underlying risk factors negatively impacting your mobility including motor impairment and balance problems.
You may think that only chronic illnesses which directly affect your leg strength and coordination would impair your mobility, like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis, however, you would be wrong. Conditions including diabetes, arthritis, and even heart disease can play a role in reducing your ability to quickly and safely move with ease.
Heart failure, for example, can leave your short of breath when you walk or stand for long periods of time. Diabetes can affect nerves in the legs and feet and arthritic joint inflammation can make walking painful.
Researchers have found less common risk factors that also increase an older adult’s chances of developing mobility problems. These include drinking or smoking, recent hospitalization, having symptoms of depression and experiencing memory and critical thinking problems.
Mobility difficulties do not need to be the end of the line for you. Advancements in technology, design, and engineering have revolutionized the assistive devices people with mobility problems can use. Utilizing equipment to help keep you mobile like motorized scooters, walkers, canes, and specialty wheelchairs can play an important role in both your health as well as your outlook on life.
Aging Backwards: The Science And Secret To Healthy Aging
You will typically hear the word aging having negative connotations attached to it. This stems from the fear that as you age, you will not be able to enjoy life as you once did in your youth. But many ignore how it represents the beauty of life and the nature of the universe. While we cannot, in the literal sense, reverse aging, we can ensure that our aging process is as healthy as possible to enjoy life to its fullest.
Scientists are actively researching how to slow down to prevent age-related declines in physical health. However, we cannot ignore the archive of data on how to ensure a graceful aging process. Many have already discovered ways to improve the chances of maintaining optimal health. Small changes in your routine can go a long way. For instance, adopting simple, minimal, and healthy patterns like switching your diet and incorporating supplements like kava kava powder, limiting alcohol intake, or even managing exercise routines.
Let’s look at some secrets to healthy aging backed by science.
Prioritizing physical health
Indulging in physical activity is the cornerstone of healthy aging. People who exercise regularly not only live longer but also may live better with more years of life without pain or disabilities.
A study with adults aged 40 and older found taking 8,000 steps or more per day compared to taking 4,000 steps was associated with a 51% lowers risk of death from all causes. Increase the number of daily steps by engaging in activities that keep your body moving, like gardening, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking your dog.
You can also make smarter food choices to help protect yourself from health problems as you age and may even help improve brain function. Much of the Mediterranean-style pallet, which includes whole grains, fresh produce, and healthy fats, but less dairy and more fish than a traditional American diet, may positively impact health.
A good night’s sleep
The importance of sleep in your youth is not stressed upon enough. Staying up late can, in many ways, hinder how active your brain stays during the day or work hours. While the negative impact may not show immediately, it may lead to visible problems once you age. Sleep helps you stay alert and healthy, whereas a lack of sleep will cause irritability, depression, and forgetfulness are more likely to have falls or accidents. It is also an essential factor contributing to your memory and mood. In a study with adults over 65, researchers found that people with poor quality of sleep had a more challenging time problem-solving and concentrating than those who received a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.
Additionally, inadequate sleep is associated with the buildup of beta-amyloid, which is a protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Conversely, getting good sleep is associated with lower rates of heart disease, insulin resistance, and obesity. It can also improve your decision-making skills and creativity.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Life may not be perfect, and you will encounter many hurdles in life that will take multiple forms. It’s important to remember that stress takes years off one’s life, so to counter stress, count all the blessings in life. Practicing gratitude is not just a simple “stay positive” outlook creating a placebo effect. The benefits of optimism are so powerful that they can help you to live a longer life. A study found that older adults with an optimistic disposition are at a lower risk of dying from any cause, with an exceptionally reduced risk of dying from heart disease.
Take a moment out of your day to report everything in life you are grateful for. Gratitude journaling will protect your physical and mental well-being as you age further into your life.
Staying social and connected
Staying socially engaged plays a vital role in maintaining cognitive functioning during your aging process. It helps the hippocampus, which is an area in your brain responsible for memory, stay active. Since depression is a significant contributor and indicator of poor mental health, keeping a social life will prevent loneliness and depression. Be more vocal about get-togethers, attend functions, and participate in activities that maximize your chance of socializing and making more friends.
Maintaining hobbies like baking or sports is also important since they are healthy for the mind and body and can provide more opportunities for social benefits.
Maintaining physical health is key to living better with more years of life without pain or disabilities. This includes a good diet and regularly indulging in exercise. Sleep is another important element that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. It ensures a healthy mind and body. Another activity that focuses on keeping a healthy mind is gratitude journaling, which helps you live a longer, more fulfilling life. Remember to keep your social life alive, stay in touch with family and friends, and attend several functions to keep your mind active and your memory strong. We hope you find this article insightful.
Guest Blog: How the Internet Has Changed How Society Cares for Seniors
Today’s technology is not only for the young. The digital age has brought with it innovations which aim to benefit seniors. A new age of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has made senior care better, more efficient and less costly. It aims to eliminate isolation, which has been a major concern for many years. It has provided caregivers in the healthcare industry a tool to allow seniors to be more independent and remain connected with friends and family.
When it comes to senior care, the IoT is revolutionizing the way seniors are living their lives. Assisted living communities are using the internet to connect and humanize senior care. Communities such as the K4Community leverage technology to make seniors’ life simpler, healthier and happier. These communities integrate IoT wearables such as watches or belt clips. They also have floor sensors that provide real-time monitoring to prevent falls and other injuries. Other types of sensors monitor heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels to immediately alert caregivers when there’s an emergency.
To lead a healthy, active lifestyle, IoT devices go beyond the standard activity trackers. Devices are more targeted towards the individual’s needs, alerting them when to rest, whether they’re standing up or down too fast and when to give their knees a break. Food and hydration is also considered, with wearables reminding seniors when it’s time to eat and how often to drink to maintain proper hydration. When it comes to sleep, sensors can also alert caregivers whether a senior needs help getting in and out of bed. With the internet being all about connection, keeping seniors in contact with friends and family is one of the best things the IoT can provide to improve senior health. Seniors are spending more time online, using social networks and other platforms to connect with loved ones.
This trend is only going to get more prevalent. Research shows that using the internet makes people happier and increases life satisfaction, especially for seniors. A study published in the Journal of Computers in Human Behavior shows that life satisfaction was much higher among seniors who use the internet than those who don’t. The ability to keep in touch and prevent the cycle of loneliness and isolation in an advanced age has done more for senior health than any medication. It is no wonder then that internet use among seniors rose from 8% to 34% between 2003 and 2012, as cited by the Journalist’s Resource. The empowerment that the internet and technology have given seniors is invaluable to their health. Such developments revolutionized the way society and healthcare providers care for the elderly.
With Baby Boomers contributing to an increasingly aging population, the need for caregivers and connected assisted living communities is becoming greater than ever. In order to provide quality healthcare to seniors, healthcare is not just about technology but also about the people who provide it. Maryville University details how general healthcare workers can specialize in senior services to provide care for an aging population. Healthcare and senior care are becoming two of the fastest-growing industries. Boosted with the aid of technology and IoT devices, they provide a way to create a better quality of life for seniors, while reducing the costs of healthcare at the same time.
Article submitted by Tanya Olivers