Category: Seniors (page 1 of 2)

Exercise Can Help Prevent Falls in the Senior Population

Exercise Can Help Prevent Falls in the Senior Population

Exercise Can Help Prevent Falls in the Senior Population

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Here is an article from our frequent guest blogger Claire Wentz. claire@caringfromafar.com

Many seniors experience debilitating injuries from falls every year, sometimes even resulting in death.  Exercise can play a vital role in preventing falls.  By incorporating fall prevention exercise options into seniors’ lifestyles, they can live fuller, healthier lives.

Scary statistics.  Falls are the most common cause of injury in older adults.  In fact, falls are the leading cause of senior deaths due to traumatic brain injury, and some researchers estimate up to half of senior falls result in injuries of some sort.  Many seniors break hips in falls, and 40% of those who do experience complications which lead to death, such as developing pneumonia while trying to recover from the fall.

Further implications.  According to some statistics, as many as 1 in 3 seniors experience falls each year.  Once an elderly person falls there is often a ripple effect.  Confidence and health can wane, with seniors reining in their activity levels out of fear of falling.  This can quickly lead to a reduced quality of life, including less independence, isolation, loneliness, and reduced exercise, which in turn can lead to less strength, more balance issues, and added health concerns.

Why do seniors fall?  There are several issues which contribute to the risk of falling, but the top concerns are simply slipping and tripping.  Due to failing balance, strength and perception, seniors are more inclined to become off-balance, and then to be unable to correct themselves as they fall.  In other words, when younger people slip they take a few steps and correct themselves, whereas catching themselves and becoming upright again isn’t typically an option for seniors due to their reduced capacities.  As Verywell Health points out, many times added to the situation are other issues such as arrhythmias or medications which can cause dizziness.  Altogether, there is a perfect storm.

Exercises that help.  Many seniors can benefit from the addition of fall prevention exercises.  Medicare.org recommends three categories of exercises which can help prevent falls:

  • Balance exercises. Balance training can strengthen the muscles that help seniors to remain stable.  Seniors at risk for falls should add 3 days per week of balance exercise training, in addition to a proven fitness program for fall prevention.  Balance exercises include things like standing on one foot for several seconds while holding a chair for balance, and walking heel-to-toe for 20 steps.
  • Step exercises. Participating in an aerobic step exercise program will strengthen leg muscles and encourage knee flexibility.  Participants should use a sturdy, broad, elevated step platform.  Exercises include stepping onto and off the platform during the workout routine.
  • Strength exercises. Enhancing strength is important for fall prevention so seniors are strong enough to catch themselves if they become off-balance.  Exercises can include resistance band training, weight training, or simple body weight resistance exercises.  Those with access to a gym or weight equipment can also use weight machines.

Easing into a program.  While many people believe physical complications leading to falls go hand-in-hand with old age, as explained by some professionals it’s possible for seniors to begin an exercise program to avoid that situation.  For seniors who never exercised before, adding a fitness program to their lives may seem overwhelming.  One suggestion is to focus on the casual and routine aspects of fall prevention exercises.  All of the primary exercises above can be performed in the comforts of home.  Some are subtle enough that seniors can do their exercises while engaging in other activities, such as washing dishes or standing in line at the grocery.  Seniors at risk for falls should be encouraged to perform the exercises as often as possible, making it a part of their daily lives.  Note that experts cited by AZCentral suggest discussing each individual situation with a physician before beginning an exercise program.

Exercise Can Help Prevent Falls in the Senior Population

Fall prevention is possible  Falls pose a serious threat to seniors.  Through balance, step and strength exercises, seniors can reduce their risk of injury and even death.  A simple, preventative fitness program can greatly increase quality of life for older adults.

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House Hunting for Seniors: Tips for Finding the Right Home

House Hunting for Seniors: Tips for Finding the Right Home

Guest Blogger Claire Wentz claire@caringfromafar.com

While we often think of buying a house as something for younger people, statistics show 25 percent of homebuyers are between the ages of 60 and 89. Whether they are trying to downsize, move closer to family, or simply want a different living situation, seniors are clearly not staying in one place these days. Here are some tips for caregivers who are helping seniors with the homebuying process.

House Hunting for Seniors: Tips for Finding the Right Home

 

Finding the Right House

 

The reasons a senior decides to move will largely determine the type of house they are looking for. If they are living all alone in a 4,000-square-foot house, for instance, it’s probably becoming too difficult for them to maintain. They will likely start looking for a ground-level condo/apartment or one-story house near family that will include no yard work and is close to restaurants and stores. If they have health problems but would like to remain in a home environment, they should look for a home that will allow them to age in place. If they want to do some traveling, selling a more expensive home to move into a smaller place will free up cash for them to spend. The right house is out there if they know where to look.

 

Work With a Realtor

 

Working with an experienced realtor who understands the senior’s situation will improve the home-buying process immensely. Choosing a realtor from among the dozens in town may seem daunting, but they should start by asking friends and family if they recommend anyone. Check their credentials, ask for past customers, and ask if they are a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), meaning they have completed training designed to help senior homebuyers and sellers who are more than 50 years old. Remember, when a realtor is helping a senior buy a house, they are paid through the seller, so there’s no reason not to use their services.

 

Keeping Costs Down

 

Expenses can add up during a move, but there are a few ways to keep costs down so moving is still an economic benefit. Closing costs are always associated with a home purchase, but buyers can lower those costs in couple of ways. Aim for a closing date at the end of the month so interest for the entire month is not added to the loan. Some banks offer help with closing costs if their customers use them for a home loan, so seniors should definitely check what their bank offers. Buyers can also ask sellers to pay some of the closing costs.

 

Seniors can also save money during a move by purging as much as possible from their possessions – this is especially relevant if they are downsizing significantly. Not only can they sell things they want to get rid of, they will pay the movers less to move a smaller amount of goods. As for packing materials, ask liquor stores and grocery stores for boxes – they will often give them away for free. And don’t buy expensive bubble wrap. Wrapping dishes in towels or even newspaper will keep them safe.

 

Moving Day

 

One of the best ways to help things go smoothly on moving day is to hire professional movers to get the job done. This will save the hassle of trying to organize friends and family to help with the move, plus it will speed the process along. Even if the homeowner is paying a company to pack and move them, it’s a good idea to pack valuable keepsakes and fragile items themselves if they are particularly important. If larger items are important, make sure the movers know to take extra care with them. A couple of small tips that can pay off in a big way: clear any walkways of plants, door mats, rugs, etc. that could cause the movers to trip, and make sure to block off a parking space for the moving truck at the new residence.

House Hunting for Seniors: Tips for Finding the Right Home

 

While moving as a senior includes certain challenges, they are nothing that can’t be overcome with a little determination and wisdom. A senior’s home is one of their biggest assets, so it’s important to help them manage it well. Moving provides a clean start in a fresh place, so following these tips will help things get kicked off on the right foot.

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition

Photo from Pixabay

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition

Guest Blogger Claire Wentz (claire@caringfromafar.com)

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition? For many seniors, daily life can be a struggle due to health or mobility issues. When a home is too big or too full of clutter to maintain, it can make things even more difficult, affecting even the most basic of activities. For this reason, many seniors are choosing to downsize their homes and their lives, trading in a large house with a lot of upkeep for a smaller space that favors their health and continued comfort.

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition

Photo Via Pixabay

This can be a big job, so it’s important to understand what goes into downsizing and how to make it a smooth transition. It’s more than just moving; it’s also going through your belongings to declutter and organize, learning how to live smaller, and preparing for a major life change. Fortunately, there are several ways you can make the process go smoothly and reduce stress. It just takes some good planning and a little help from your loved ones.

Here are a few of the best ways you can begin a downsize.

Get organized

One of the most important aspects of moving into a smaller space is getting organized. This means going through each room in your home and removing items you no longer need or have the room for. Keep things neat by sorting them into piles: “Trash,” “Keep,” “Sell,” and “Donate.” Consider handing down items with sentimental value to loved ones or consolidating things like photo albums by scanning your photos on a computer and keeping them digitally. Finding new ways to make room is all about being creative and thinking outside the box.

Save your memories

After living in a house for many years, you’re bound to hold onto many memories and mementos that have sentimental value. Downsizing may mean giving up some of your belongings, but that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything. Hold onto the things that matter most, or gather your family members to see if they’d like to take anything off your hands.

Keep it safe

Preparing for a move—especially one that requires a lot of decluttering—can be messy, so it’s a good idea to make sure your home is safe throughout the process. Keep boxes and packing material out of walkways and designate an area for packed boxes to keep them out of the way.

It’s also a good idea to create packing lists for each box so you can easily find any item you might need. Save important items, such as medication and cleaning supplies, for last.

Get some help

Moving day comes with a lot of work, so choose your help carefully. Ask friends or family members to lend a hand, and do some research when it comes to picking out a mover. If you have pets, designate someone to watch over them so they don’t get hurt or lost during all the activity. Hand out different jobs to each person so you won’t be tripping over one another.

How Seniors Can Downsize and Make It a Smooth Transition
Make some lists

Moving takes organization. Make some lists of everything you need to take care of. This includes finding out when trash day is at the new house, meeting your neighbors, changing your address and utilities, and mapping out the new neighborhood so you can easily find what you need.

Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a good plan and some simple organization tips, you can make your downsize a success. Remember to practice self-care during this time to ease your stress. Get enough sleep. Stay hydrated, and eat well-balanced meals during the entire process.

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