Unfortunately, osteoporosis is quite common amongst the elderly. It affects mainly women, but men can easily suffer from this disease, too. Luckily, it is possible to reduce the ill effects that this disease brings with it. A diet with plenty of calcium can help build up bone strength, but one of the most overlooked methods of combating osteoporosis is through exercise. When you live in an assisted living facility, getting regular exercise becomes much easier and more consistent.
Osteoporosis is a disease that makes your bones weaker by increasing their porous nature. Calcium has long been known to strengthen bones, but exercise is another very important part of the battle. This might not seem logical at first—how can exercise strengthen your bones when you use muscles to move around? The fact lies within biology. Our muscles don’t just float freely within our bodies. They are anchored to our bones by a tough connective tissue called tendons. When you strengthen your muscles, the tendons translate that newfound power to your bones.
Resistance exercises work the best for strengthening bones. The most obvious example of this type of activity is lifting weights, but you certainly do not need to become a bodybuilder in order to reap the benefits here. There are many simple lifts you can do that will give you the maximum benefits—this becomes especially easy if your assisted living facility has a workout center. Planned activity nights can also double as a way to get your exercise in. Substitute weights with cans of vegetables held in your hands and you have a simple way to get some resistance training in.
Exercise in San Diego assisted living is pretty easy. When you are part of a group, exercise becomes much more realistic and more fun. Combining the physical benefits with the social aspect of group exercises makes exercise a lot more enjoyable. The group mentality is one of the best parts of assisted living. Doing things together has health benefits beyond exercise too; it can even improve residents’ mental health.
Many seniors are afraid of beginning an exercise routine, so if you have any doubts, consulting a doctor before you start is never a bad idea. If you are at risk of getting osteoporosis, you should begin with going to a doctor anyway. You want to make sure that your exercise routines are not going to worsen your conditions. Still, for most, getting exercise is a very good thing. It is never too late to start realizing the benefits that will come with this. Exercising in an assisted living facility is especially easy because of the close supervision you will have from trained staff members. If a problem were to arise, help is right there.
Senior community centers in San Diego provide a valuable service. Socialization is an important part of life and being lonely can lead to significant health problems—both physical and mental. Finding the right community center will improve the mood of your elderly loved one, especially if they do not get out of the house very often. Shut ins need to socialize too, so even if your loved one doesn’t necessarily want to try going to a community center, it is important that they at least try it a couple times in order to see if they will actually benefit from such an outing. In the vast majority of cases, they will want to return again.
Making friends when you are older is sometimes a bit more difficult. This is for a few reasons. The first is because they might have lost friends in the recent past. Losing your core group of friends to illnesses or age is devastating and recovering from this is hard. If your loved one has lost friends along the way, they might not even know where to turn to in order to discover new relationships. This is where community centers step in. By having a common meeting ground for senior citizens to gather, it becomes a lot less difficult to find peers. In San Diego, community centers are very important because they unite seniors together. If your loved one is having difficulty finding friends or is overly lonely, a community center is sometimes the best place to begin your search.
Another reason why seniors might have difficulty making or maintaining friendships is because they have trouble getting around. Handicapped accessibility is an important first step. The vast majority of senior community centers are accessible simply for the fact that they cater to seniors’ needs and this is a big concern. Many seniors also will require assistance besides their wheelchair or walker, so when looking for a senior community center, inquire as to whether or not they have staff on hand to assist their clientele in minor ways.
Finally, seniors might not want to leave their homes because of depression. Depression and other mental illnesses are common in the elderly but the good news is that this is usually very treatable through a combination of medications, exercise, and counseling. If you think your loved one is suffering from depression or anxiety, they don’t need to spend their days in solitude. In fact, being around others their own age might be all that they need in order to recover and improve their mood. Loneliness can be devastating and community centers play a large role in eliminating this problem. Many centers will have pre-planned activities too, making life not only more sociable, but more fun too.
If you are leaning toward San Diego based assisted living, there are still things you can do to enhance your experience. While assisted living is a great resource for most seniors, there are extra things that you need to look for if you want to get the most out of your senior living experience.
One of the easiest things to look for when choosing an assisted living facility is that particular home’s group activities. There are two reasons why this is important. The first is obvious. Group activities are fun. The more fun you have, the happier you usually are and the better your all around experience will become. Do not underestimate this fact—if you are constantly doing the things you enjoy doing, you will be more likely to remain happy.
The second reason is a bit less obvious. Activities, even the more sedentary ones such as board games, usually encourage some sort of exercise; either the traditional physical exercise or the mental kind. Both of these things are extremely important to retaining your overall good levels of health. Staying healthy is, of course, a great way to enhance your life. Mental exercise keeps you sharp and helps fight and prevent dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. This can come in any form that challenges you and forces you to think. Board games can be included here, as can conversations and word puzzles. Physical exercise keeps your muscles from atrophying and this help prevent injury. It also allows you to better fight off illness. Staying in shape is a huge part of enjoying yourself down the road because it lays a foundation on which you don’t have to think about trying to enjoy yourself. When you are in shape—mentally and physically—you have less to worry about and can take part in the things you enjoy without second thought.
Assisted living facilities play a large part in your health. Your home’s activity levels are a good way to gauge the amount of fun you will have, but it’s not the only way to do so. You can also look at the other people in the home for guidance here, too. For example, you want a home with upbeat and cheerful residents. If the home you are looking at is full of inactive and down residents, odds are you might fall into this pattern, as well. This will not be helpful to you at all. You want to live somewhere where there are high levels of encouragement and positive attitudes. Falling into a negative pattern increases your likelihood of depression and illness; obviously you want to avoid these things.
Your assisted living experience can be enhanced by tiny things. Paying attention to these nuances will help you to create a more positive experience for yourself and will likely increase your mood and might even expand your lifespan.