Archive for Health

Staying Healthy as You Age

A healthy lifestyle early on in your life will have big benefits for you later on. For those people who are in their middle aged years, this is especially true. An active and healthy lifestyle at this point can increase your health levels when you are elderly, giving you more enjoyment out of your retirement life. Whether you choose to live in an assisted living facility or stay in the home is up to you, but taking the right steps now will make life a lot easier later on, regardless of where you choose to live.

Healthy habits are a good place to start. Moderate alcohol consumption and no smoking cigarettes are both musts. Either of these things can speed up the aging process and lead to a poor quality of life later on. Both activities are linked to multiple health problems and should be avoided.

Another healthy lifestyle choice revolves around your activity levels. Aerobic exercise is linked to better health, both physical and mental. The more you exercise, the less obese you are likely to be, as well. This is a major health problem in our country right now, and you can avoid a lot of health problems simply by taking 30 minutes out of each day to get your heart rate up a little bit. Plus, when you are fit, you have more energy and feel better, too. This attitude will be of great help to you.

Your diet also plays a large role in maintaining your health. You’ve probably heard this many times, but fruits and vegetables are absolutely vital to a healthy lifestyle. They provide you with countless vitamins and nutrients. They can help you stay strong and can even fight off some diseases. There are a lot of nutrients packed into these foods, and not a lot of calories. This means that you can eat a lot of this type of food while trying to maintain a healthy weight. For the obese, this can be a great way to lose weight.

There are really two components of improving the quality of your life earlier on. The first is obvious: the healthy things you do now pay off for you down the road. If you eat healthy today, you will be healthier tomorrow. The second component of this is a little less obvious. The healthy habits that you employ today will likely still be in place for you later on. For example, if you make it a priority to exercise daily when you are 50 years old, you will be more likely to exercise on a daily basis when you’re 70 years old, too. Healthy habits really do carryover and the sooner you begin, the better off you will be.

Home Test for Dementia

Just recently, a new home based test for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia related illnesses has been devised. The test is conducted upon the computer, however, and this makes it quite difficult for some senior citizens to apply this test on their own. However, in a controlled setting with support—such as within an assisted living facility—this test becomes much easier to apply. The test involves drawing hands on a clock and labeling them correctly using a computer mouse or a stylus. The purpose of the test revolves around the fact that in the beginning stages of dementia, people have problems with these basic tasks; oftentimes they will draw hands in the incorrect places or put the clock numbers on the outside of the circle rather than on the inside where they belong. It’s a fairly basic test, but it checks for several different things and can be a very effective way of identifying dementia much earlier than traditional doctor-based tests where the patient must come into the office. This is because people don’t usually go to the doctor until they believe that there is a problem. Home based tests can be conducted at anytime, even if there isn’t a direct need to do so.

Assisted living facilities are a great place for conducting this test for a number of reasons, the first being that senior citizens might not always be 100 percent confident with how to use the technology. This can put them at an automatic disadvantage and could possibly make them perform poorly on the test even if they are healthy and dementia free.

Also, an assisted living facility can provide a safe haven for the person if it is determined that there is some sort of dementia present. Aging in place is extremely important to aging people and provides a great sense of continuity, as long as the person is in a safe place. An assisted living facility can be this safe place quite easily and can allow the person to have a familiar location as they grow older.

Finally, assisted living provides a place where the test can be applied. This might sound over simplistic, but in reality, not all seniors will bother taking a test like this. If it is applied by the home they live in, they are more likely to get tested and help themselves out than if they were responsible for this on their own.

The tests are really easy to score and a clinician can provide feedback to the test taker within a very short period of time. The test can be submitted via email and if there is some sort of problem detected, the patient will be alerted as soon as possible. This is important; even though there is not currently a cure for dementia, if it is detected early enough, the patient’s standard of living can be maintained for a longer period of time. The sooner a problem is detected the better.

Using Exercise to Beat Osteoporosis

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.