aging

Guest Blog: Reasons The Elderly Benefit From Aging in Place

In the movie classic, The Wizard of Oz, little Dorothy knew then what has become a staple in the lives of elderly seniors today; “there is no place like home!” Dorothy, the main character in the movie, was swept away by a tornado from her home to a far away fantasy land. The only way back home was for her to follow the directions of the Good Witch Glenda’s magic spell which required Dorothy to click her red shoes together three times and think of the phrase, “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!” Afterwards, she woke up from a deep sleep in her own bed and in her own home.

 

Today, roughly 90 percent of older adults aged 65 and over prefer aging in place rather than moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home according to a study conducted by AARP. Like Dorothy, these older people know what Dorothy knew then, that “there is no place like home”, and they plan to stay in their homes as opposed to living in a long term care facility.

What Does Aging In Place Really Mean?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines aging in place as “The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Although aging in place is the new trend for senior living, changes to an elderly senior’s body due to aging, may pose a problem. However, with a few low-cost home modifications, the goal to age in place is easily achieved and the benefits from doing so are rewarding.

There are however, some seniors living with medical conditions and other limitations that may prevent them from performing normal activities of daily living on their own. If this is the case, they may need to seek assistance from a home care provider or a family member. With in-home care assistance for routine daily life activities, aging in place is still achievable in spite of those limitations.

3 Common Reasons Elderly Seniors Should Age In Place

Elderly seniors choosing to age in place are doing so for any number of reasons. Even though assisted living facilities have been on the rise since 1979, over a million Americans are opting out of that option. Here are five common reasons why:

1.    The growing high cost of living in an assisted living facility!

According to LongTermCare.gov, the average cost for a one bedroom at an assisted living facility is over $3,000 a month. Of course, this price may increase if additional services beyond the basic ones mentioned in the contract are needed. For example, if the resident requires assistance from a healthcare provider or home health aid. This service could add an additional $1,600 a month. Therefore, staying in your own home will definitely save money, even if you had to hire a personal care provider. In most cases, an elderly person’s medicare will cover part or all of the cost of home healthcare.

2.    Aging in place is more comfortable!

Living in your own home is much more comfortable. All the treasures you hold dear are in your long term home. In fact, the American Society On Aging found that 56 percent of seniors 65 to 74 years old and 63 percent of those 75 years old and older reports that the “emotional” value of their home is worth more to them than the sales value. This is most likely because their home may be the same home they raised their children in and the memory recall is priceless.

3.    Aging in place offers more independence!

Maintaining an independent lifestyle is very important to the elderly population. The ability to go where you want, when you want is a very liberating feeling and doesn’t diminish your quality of life. Responsible adults do not like being told what they can or cannot do. In assisted living facilities, meals are served at a certain time of day, activities are scheduled around their schedules and outside visitors are monitored which can be intrusive.

Just like little Dorothy, “there is no place like home” for today’s elderly seniors choosing to age in place. The benefits for doing so are very rewarding. Aging in place offers elderly seniors an opportunity to save money to enjoy life’s extra pleasures as well as allows them to enjoy the comforts of living at home. In addition, aging in place allows elderly seniors to maintain their independence.

 

By |2023-03-31T19:30:39-05:00April 12th, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Reasons The Elderly Benefit From Aging in Place

Guest Blog: When Should Seniors Stop Driving?

On a list of the greatest fears many seniors have, failing health, hearing loss, and falling often rise to the top. One major fear that few actually talk to their families and doctors about though is losing the ability to drive. In fact, a new AAA study found that over 80 percent of older drivers never discuss their safe driving ability at all with their care networks or medical professionals.

For many seniors, driving is the hallmark characteristic that defines independence. Being able to drive allows seniors to travel, to run their own errands, to get out of their house and socialize. Losing that ability to drive doesn’t just strip those things away, but it also requires seniors to ask for help and coordinate transportation, all of which can leave them feeling like a burden on their caregivers.

What is the danger then? Well not only do older drivers who have outlived their ability to safely drive a vehicle endanger their passengers and other drivers on the road, they put themselves at increased risk for injury and even death. Because older adults typically have more fragile bones and higher rates of chronic illness that can complicate an injury recovery, they are more likely to get hurt or even die in a car crash than younger adults.

Talking About Driving with Your Aging Parent

The bottom line is that simply conducting a dialogue about driving doesn’t mean a senior will lose their license or be held back from driving. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Just as using a cane for walking empowers a senior with mobility limitations to keep moving, talking about safe driving can empower seniors to take helpful steps that keep them safe on the road.

For example, the Senior Driving division of AAA offers loads of helpful resources, tools, and information that connect seniors with local refresher courses on defensive road wise driving, help them understand how medicine can affect safe driving, and much more.

If you need to have a conversation with your aging parent about safe driving, experts recommend approaching it from a place of compassion and empathy. Instead of accusing them of being an unsafe driver, confess the concerns you feel about their safety on the road and ask them about their own perspective. Discuss helpful driving tools, safe driving refresher classes, and even consider attending a senior driving expo together.

By |2023-03-01T15:58:35-05:00March 10th, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: When Should Seniors Stop Driving?

Guest Blog: Age With Grace- The Proven Diets That Help Relieve Back Pain

Many foods in your diet have been shown to reduce or increase inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of the back pain you experience, typically as you age older. Inflammation can cause all kinds of problems, including low-back pain. Hence, creating a diet with foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties is how to keep a healthy back as you grow older and maintain good nutrition. For example, there are certain solutions that Talk Kratom can provide.

Some specific causes of back or knee pain can include injuries, incorrect posture, a sudden jerk, or lack of exercise. This can last you for up to a day or more extended periods. Although maintaining a proper fitness regime is an excellent idea to ensure your health, your diet is another way to enhance your body’s strength. This article will introduce diets that will help relieve and ultimately reduce back pain.

Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in properties that help reduce inflammation. It also contains oleocanthal which has a similar effect as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. However, avoid heating the olive oil to a temperature of about 410 degrees because it will kill some beneficial properties. At lower temperatures, it makes an excellent base for sautéing vegetables. You can even switch out unhealthy butter usage with extra virgin olive oil.

Calcium

Calcium is the most prominent known vitamin to improve bone strength and is essential for the health of your bones in general. Calcium helps maintain the required level of bone mass throughout the lifespan of a human being, especially older aged individuals. An adequate calcium intake will prevent the development of osteoporosis. This disorder is characterized by weak, brittle bones and can result in painful vertebral fractures in the spine. However, calcium alone will not do the job of ensuring your bones remain strong. It would be best if you balanced it with other synergistic nutrients. Calcium is found in foods like dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, some types of fish, and many more.

Vegetables

Vegetables are rich in calcium, as stated above. They are also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. This includes leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and spinach. They also offer a natural compound called sulforaphane, which is known to block the enzyme that causes joint pain and inflammation.

Green leafy vegetables are fibrous and should be incorporated into your daily diet plan to help your body maintain a healthy life. Other vegetables that come under root vegetables (beets, pumpkin, and carrots) have beta-carotene. It is a powerful antioxidant that significantly reduces knee and back pain.

Fruits

Another food rich in antioxidants and can help your back pain is fruits. Especially the juicy variants of fruits should be a part of your everyday diet. Fruits like oranges, apples, berries, pineapples, and grapes all contain flavonoids and antioxidants. They work in tandem to ease inflammation caused by back pain.

Regular consumption of tomatoes is highly recommended since it contains lycopene. It is an extremely potent antioxidant and prevents ligament cells from perennial damage. It also works towards repairing inflamed tissues in the body.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. When blood magnesium levels drop, magnesium is pulled from the bones. Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon as you may think, and supplements are needed to maintain your bone density to prevent further back problems. The nutrients help greatly relax and contract muscles to ensure that your muscles are strengthened enough to support the spine.

You can find magnesium in green leafy vegetables, beans, fish, nuts, seeds, whole grains, yogurt, bananas, avocados, and even dark chocolate with 70% or higher amounts of cocoa.

To sum up

Some specific diets and foods can help relieve back pain. Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal which has a similar effect as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore, use some in your salads and as a substitute for butter. Calcium is prominently known to increase bone strength, and you can find calcium in dairy products, dark leafy green vegetables, and some fish. Similarly, vegetables are versatile and contain vitamins C, E, or K. They offer a natural compound that blocks the enzyme that causes joint pain and inflammation. Another on the list of foods high in antioxidants is fruits. Magnesium consumption in the form of some foods is also necessary to maintain bone density to relieve and prevent any back problems in the future.

We hope this article has been informative and helps you discover a diet that aids you in relieving back pain. Thank you for reading!

By |2023-02-21T12:34:50-05:00February 21st, 2023|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Age With Grace- The Proven Diets That Help Relieve Back Pain

Healthy Eating Habits for Common Health Conditions

Having a healthy diet is important to your wellness as a whole, but when you have specific health conditions, it may be time to inspect how changes to your diet can impact your well-being. Check out these areas of health that recommend specific diets.

Heart Health

Your cardiovascular health is incredibly important to your overall health. As heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, having a diet that promotes heart health is crucial. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein will aid in your heart health. Choosing whole-grain options and minimizing processed foods, salt, and alcohol in your diet will also be beneficial to your cardiovascular health.

Creating a diet plan with your doctor can help you understand what foods help or harm you in the long run, as well as help you understand the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. You should monitor your heart health frequently as you age to ensure the swift identification of any changes to your cardiovascular wellness.

Eye Health

As you age, the health of your eyes changes. Between glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, it’s incredibly important for you to have your eye health top of mind. Introducing eye-friendly nutrients into your diet can ensure the longevity of your eye health. Lutein, which you’ll find in dark leafy vegetables, along with vitamin c, vitamin e, and omega-3 fatty acids, can all play an important role in the health of your vision.

Aside from your diet, reviewing your corrective lenses on an annual basis is a small task that can yield great results for your overall health. This can include making sure you update your prescription eyeglasses often so you can quickly identify any changes to your vision. Catching these changes early on ensures you take the right steps in adjusting your lifestyle for the sake of your eye health. Prioritizing your vision and making a diet conducive to the optimal health of your eyes can help ward off the onset of many age-related eye problems.

To keep the health of your gut top of mind, creating a gut-conscious diet is imperative. This diet should include probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, and fermented foods. Incorporating foods like this should increase the good bacteria found in your gut which helps ward off illness. If you have any of the above-mentioned autoimmune disorders in your family history, it is important to take care of your gut early on and learn about the ways you can make your health as optimal as possible.

Staying on top of your health will always need to be a top priority. Understanding any conditions you have, or could have in the future based on your family history, helps you create a prevention plan. Diet, exercise, and environmental changes are all things you can alter for the sake of your health. Prioritizing your wellness will always be a necessary step for the longevity of your life.

 

By |2022-03-16T10:19:39-05:00March 10th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Healthy Eating Habits for Common Health Conditions