Category Archives: Senior Health

A doctor speaking with a senior resident at a NY nursing home.

Evaluating the Causes of Malnutrition in Seniors and How to Prevent it

Maintaining good nutrition is imperative for the overall health and wellbeing of seniors. However, it is seen that older adults are at an increased risk of malnutrition when compared to younger people. This could be due to many reasons such as low appetite, changes in taste and smell, and inability to enjoy food and following regular eating habits. Yet no matter what the reason is, inadequate nutrition can lead to many complications for seniors. The common problems caused by malnutrition in seniors include a weakened immune system, more likelihood of developing infections, poor wound healing, decreased bone mass, muscle weakness, exhaustion, and more. These problems can lead to a higher risk of hospitalization due to falls or new conditions. In some cases, malnutrition can also increase the risk of death. That is why you need to understand the factors that can lead to malnutrition in your elderly loved one and take adequate steps to prevent it. Assisted living facilities often have staff dedicated to ensuring all residents get proper nutrition. Below are some of the key factors that contribute to malnutrition in seniors. Chronic illnesses and decline in appetite due to any specific disease-related inflammation that affects how the body processes nutrients Difficulties in chewing or swallowing, inability in handling tableware, poor dental health Dementia or other behavioral or memory issues caused due to Alzheimer’s disease Taking medications that suppress appetite or affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients Dietary restrictions because of any specific medical condition, such as limits […]

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A senior learning about preventing the flu.

How to Prevent the Flu in Seniors in Assisted Living Homes

As we transition into the winter season, the change in climate and dropping temperature also brings along the risks of cold and flu in seniors. While younger people can manage the flu and recover in a couple of days, the influenza virus infection can be very serious in older adults. Seniors generally have a weak immune system, which can make them prone to developing other complications like pneumonia when they have the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even says that around 80% of seasonal flu-related deaths in the country every year are reported among seniors who are over the age of 65. This is why caregivers at assisted living homes take proactive measures to prevent cold and flu in their residents. How to Prevent the Flu in Older Adults Since the influenza virus can be life-threatening for your senior loved ones, it is important to be prepared and take the right steps to help them stay healthy and protected when the weather changes. The best way to do that is to take your elderly parent or grandparent to get a flu shot. A yearly flu vaccine can help to keep them protected against influenza, which is why caregivers at assisted living homes insist on following the vaccination routine. The flu vaccine is adjusted every year to protect seniors against the current flu strains, and experts recommend older adults as well as their caregivers to get the flu shot every year. The CDC says that flu vaccination […]

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A senior man sleeping in an assisted living home.

Everything You Need to Know About Insomnia in Seniors

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders in older adults. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, around 50% of seniors experience symptoms of insomnia and restless nights. It can be trouble falling asleep or waking up several times during the night; some seniors also experience fatigue, irritability, lack of energy, and loss of concentration due to the sleep disorder. Seniors with chronic insomnia are also at a higher risk of accidents and other physical and mental health complications like diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. That is why it is crucial to understand the causes of insomnia in older adults and help them improve sleep to stay healthy. Interestingly, changing a few daily habits can help seniors to enjoy better sleep. Below is a quick look at how you can help your elderly loved one to fight the signs of insomnia and get a good night’s sleep. Decoding the Changing Patterns in Sleep Changes in sleep patterns are common with aging. The internal clock in older adults becomes more advanced, making them get tired early in the evening and wake up early in the morning. This can gradually make your senior parent or grandparent take more naps during the daytime. However, that can eventually make it more difficult for them to fall asleep at night. As per the National Sleep Foundation, older adults need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to feel restored. So if you see your senior loved one […]

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a senior man enjoying his assisted living home.

8 Telltale Signs Your Elderly Loved One Needs Help

  As your elderly parents or grandparents age, they will need more and more help to manage their day-to-day chores. However, it can be very difficult to determine when you need to step in or when to transition into an assisted living care home. Yet there are some signs, which indicate that it is time to find the right solution for your senior loved one. Below are 8 things that say your older adult needs help, even if they do not admit it. Memory Problems If your loved one is forgetting bill payments or doctor’s appointments too often or has started to lose things around the house more regularly, then it indicates that their memory and cognitive functions are declining. The Aging Life Care Association says that poor memory can indicate the onset of many underlying conditions in seniors, such as dementia. That is why you should consult with a doctor for an evaluation to understand what to do next. Difficulty Getting Around If your senior parent or grandparent is having trouble walking, experience difficulties in navigating the stairs, or cannot get up from a chair or get out of the bed as usual, then you need to hire an in-home care provider to assist them with their daily activities. You can also move them to a senior care home because they maintain a safer living environment for seniors having difficulty getting around. Loss of Appetite If your elderly loved one has started losing weight, becoming dehydrated, or does not […]

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A woman discusses safety with a senior woman.

Conducting a Safety Assessment of Your Senior Parent’s Home

Home is the place where you relax, rewind, and restore your overall mood and spirit after a long, tiring day. This makes it important to have a place where you can feel comfortable and at ease. For seniors staying at home, it is even more significant. As an unplanned and unkempt home can pose many kinds of risks and safety concerns for older adults, you need to make sure that your elderly parent’s home is safe for them. Conducting a Safety Assessment of Your Loved One’s Home From accidental falls to fire hazards, there can be many things which can affect the wellbeing of your senior at home. That is why you need to conduct a safety assessment of your senior parent or grandparent’s home to substantiate that they can live there safely. Below is a quick checklist to help you in that regard. Check the Medication Management System It is seen that many of the in-home hazards are caused by improper medication management. In fact, many seniors find themselves in a hospital ER because of the mistakes they make with their medications. It can be because the senior patient either took too much medicine or failed to take the right dose. Therefore, a good medicine management system in place is vital to stay on track of the medication schedule and avoid any risks of overdoses or other issues. Check the Lighting Solutions Proper lighting at your senior’s home is more than a security feature for them. While exterior motion […]

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Seniors enjoying a healthy meal.

Diet Recommendation for Seniors with Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a serious condition that makes the heart muscles weak and severely damaged in seniors. This, in turn, prevents the heart from supplying enough oxygen-rich blood to the body and leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, frequent urges to urinate at night, swollen feet, weight gain, as well as many other complications. Seniors diagnosed with congestive heart failure need proper nutrition and support to cope with its symptoms effectively. That is why nutritionists at assisted living care facilities prepare a low-sodium diet plan for their senior residents. This helps to boost their heart health and allows them to enjoy their day-to-day activities in the senior living community. Below are a few diet recommendations for seniors who have congestive heart failure. Foods to Avoid in the Diet As the heart muscles in seniors with congestive heart failure become weakened, many kinds of foods can damage the heart further. That is why assisted living facilities prepare low-sodium meal plans for such seniors. Foods that have high sodium or salt can cause the body to retain more fluids and lead to increased blood pressure. This can be very dangerous for seniors with congestive heart failure. To steer clear of excessive sodium intake, seniors are advised to avoid consuming foods like frozen dinners, canned soups, smoked, cured, or canned meat, salted snacks and nuts, instant pudding, cottage cheese, salad dressing, and vegetable juice. Aside from that, foods rich in cholesterol and saturated fat should also be avoided to manage […]

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Lonely senior resident in assisted living facility looks out the window solemnly as he sits in his wheelchair.

How to Combat Senior Isolation and Loneliness

The feelings of isolation and loneliness are prevalent in seniors and can lead to serious health consequences. For instance, social isolation can cause psychological problems like depression and increase the risks of physical conditions like heart disease and immunodeficiency. That is why family members need to help seniors in combating isolation and loneliness. Although living alone does not necessarily lead to seniors’ social isolation, it certainly is a prime factor. That is why assisted living communities encourage seniors to socialize with other residents to stay physically and mentally healthy. Getting seniors to engage in social activities is one of the best ways to ensure that seniors stay emotionally engaged and find more meaning in their life. Below are a few tips that will help you to fight senior isolation. Keep Them Engaged Seniors who have a hobby that interests them will have a sense of purpose and are less likely to give in to the negative thoughts of being alone. Aside from stirring a sense of purpose, many hobbies naturally encourage seniors to socialize with others. A group activity can be more beneficial in this regard and keep all the participants emotionally connected. That is why assisted living facilities plan many events and recreational activities to help their residents socialize and remain active in their hobbies and interests. Ensure Proper Transportation The inability to drive or travel as they used to is one of the main things that strikes the sense of loneliness and abandonment in seniors. By ensuring they […]

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Male senior citizen holds his hands onto his chest in pain.

Managing Congestive Heart Failure in Seniors

Congestive heart failure (abbreviated CHF) is a type of chronic heart disease, which mostly affects seniors above the age of 65. The phrase “heart failure” does not mean that the heart of the person will stop functioning altogether. Instead, the condition weakens the heart’s muscles and affects how it pumps blood to the body. Heart failure can be of many different types; CHF refers to a specific kind of condition wherein seniors experience excessive fluid built-up in various parts of their body. Seniors with CHF generally have trouble with performing day-to-day tasks and cannot manage their heart condition adequately. This is why caregivers at assisted living facilities offer specialized care services to seniors with the congestive heart failure condition. With proper care, the risk of hospitalization due to worsening of the disease can be avoided. Below is how staffs at an assisted living community manage CHF in their residents. Providing Assistance with Daily Routines Congestive heart failure can lead to many health complications if not managed properly. The common symptoms of the condition include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. These symptoms make it very difficult for seniors to follow their regular daily routines. For instance, seniors experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue may not be able to walk around well or perform even simple tasks like taking a shower or getting dressed. Caregivers at the senior living facility will be there to assist them with all these tasks. Assisted living communities have experienced and trained […]

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Senior aged man is drinking in a fully stocked bar.

Everything you Need to Know About Alcoholism in Seniors

Alcohol consumption in seniors is a long-debated topic. While some experts say that alcohol use in a regulated setting, like under the supervision of assisted living staff, can be safe for seniors, others say that it can increase the risk of many health conditions. A recent study in Research On Aging suggested that around 70% of seniors in assisted living communities consume alcohol, while around one-third of them consumed alcohol every day. There is no arguing the fact that seniors drinking alcohol can experience a lot of health complications, especially when they already have underlying conditions like dementia or heart disease. Alcohol consumption in such cases can affect the behavior and mental health of the senior as well as lead to a rapid decline in their overall quality of life. The West Virginia University School of Public Health reported that alcohol use could worsen the existing medical conditions in seniors as well and lead to many complications in their treatment. Their reports highlighted that conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis, and malnutrition can be aggravated by alcohol intake and even cause new conditions in some seniors. Generally, seniors in assisted living will be taking multiple medications, be it prescription or over-the-counter medicines. Combining alcohol with these medications can be very dangerous and it could lead to adverse drug interactions that may reduce the effect of the medicines and even cause substance abuse. In the worst cases, the reaction could be toxic and fatal as well. Moreover, alcohol use can also heighten the […]

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Regularly exercising or maintaining physical activity can help senior citizens in assisted living facilities avoid boredom as well as reduce the risk of sedentary health problems.

Avoiding Sitting Disease in Seniors in Assisted Living Facility

Exercising is one of the key elements to ensure a healthy life, which is why assisted living communities encourage their residents to lead an active lifestyle. It is also seen that a lack of exercise can be very dangerous to the overall health of seniors and can cause a host of ailments. Sitting disease is one of those conditions, which can in turn lead to a lot of health problems like type II diabetes, heart diseases, decreased flexibility and mobility, and even certain types of cancer. A recent study by Northwestern University found that sedentary behavior could be a potential cause of future physical disability and can make it difficult to manage even basic daily activities like eating, bathing, and dressing. According to the study, “Every additional hour a day you spend sitting is linked to a 50% greater risk of being disabled regardless of how much moderate exercise you get.” Many other studies have also highlighted how prolonged sitting can heighten the risk of chronic kidney disease, circulatory problems, heart disorders, and musculoskeletal issues. Besides, inactivity for a long time can lead to a feeling of isolation in seniors and take a toll on their mental health as well. This makes it very important for seniors in an assisted living facility to follow a regular exercise schedule to stay fit and active.  Avoiding Sitting Disease in Seniors A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine said that maintaining a high level of physical activity every day helped to […]

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