Exercise helps us how?

We have all heard the studies about exercise and how it helps us physically, mentally, and emotionally care for our bodies. But does that really include senior citizens? They're too old to start to exercise right? They can't exercise because what if they fall? Their mental health won't allow them to right? My loved one has arthritis and can't exercise because it will increase the pain right? WRONG!! Studies have proven that exercise in senior citizens will help them in numerous ways.

In Healthy Living, Activities, Assisted Living, Welcome

Summer Safety For Seniors

 

 

Here comes the sun! The weather is bringing everyone outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. With the warmer weather we need to be mindful of protecting ourselves from sunburn, skin cancer and Melanoma. Here are a few facts and preventative tips to help you keep you and your skin safe.

 

GENERAL

  • Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.
      
  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
     
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
     
  • Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least once.
     
  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. More than 4 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
      
  • About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

      

    MELANOMA

  • One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 54 minutes).
     
  • An estimated 9,730 people will die of melanoma in 2017.
     
  • Melanoma accounts for less than one percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.
     
  • The estimated 5-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 98 percent in the U.S. The survival rate falls to 62 percent when the disease reaches the lymph nodes, and 18 percent when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.

SKIN AGING

  • An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.
     
  • People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.
     
  • Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18.

 

Ages Average Accumulated Exposure*
1-18 23 percent
19-40 47 percent
41-59 74 percent
60-78 100 percent
*Based on a 78 year lifespan
 
 

MEN/WOMEN

  • From ages 15-39, men are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group.
     
  • An estimated 52,170 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 34,940 in women will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017.
     
  • An estimated 6,380 men and 3,350 women in the U.S. will die from melanoma in 2017.
     
  • Women aged 49 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast and thyroid cancers.
     
  • Up until age 49, significantly more white women develop melanoma than white men (1 in 155 women vs. 1 in 220 men). From age 50 on, significantly more men develop melanoma than women. Overall, one in 28 white men and one in 44 white women will develop melanoma in their lifetimes.
     
  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 55.

There are a few simple steps you can take to prevent sunburn and skin cancer from happening. Try to stay out of the sun between 10am-4pm. This is when the sun is the strongest. If you have to be out and about, cover up. Wear a big brimmed hat to help protect you. Apply sunscreen with at least a SPF of 15 or higher. The higher SPF, reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.

Elderly people may burn more easily. Medication they are taking might make them more sensitive to the sun. Make sure they wear higher SPF sunscreen outdoors and  keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. Why is it so important to drink water? While 2/3 of your body is made up of water, your body still needs replenish the water it has lost during the day, especially if you sweat a lot or exercise. Not only does water quench your thirst, it's important to your body and health, especially for seniors.

Water carries nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy. It can help regulate your body temperature, lubricate your joints and give us healthy looking skin. Water also helps you digest and process your food better. If you can't drink a ton of water a day, juice and tea will help with dehydration. Watermelon and strawberries, vegetables and soups are a great source of water supplements. Educate yourself on the importance of water and how it can refuel your body and become beneficial to you and your health.

When you start getting older it's hard to sense thirst. Sometimes seniors don't want to drink more because they have to make more trips to the bathroom, their mobility is not great and they have a bigger risk of falling. If seniors do not get enough to drink their body could get dehydrated. Dehydration can be very serious. It can cause kidney failure and other medical problems. 

Signs of dehydration in seniors may include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness or headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Inability to sweat or produce tears
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low urine output
  • Constipation

If you suspect dehydration in an elderly loved one, you can check their skin. Pulling up the skin on the back of the hand for a few seconds; if it does not return to normal almost immediately, the person is dehydrated.

Bel Aire saw how not drinking enough water and dehydrated effected their residents, they wanted to establish a system to combat it. The Hydration Program began. Along with the fluids given to them at each meal, the residents receive a 16 oz water bottle in the morning around 10am. After lunch their water bottles are refilled, the amount they drink is tracked to make sure each resident has plenty of fluids throughout the day. Residents who live in our Memory Care unit are given 2 fluid ounces every 2 hours starting from when they wake up until they go to bed. We do this because having memory loss they forget to drink and therefore dehydration is a high risk in Memory Care residents.

With these tips and facts from www.skincancer.org  everyone should be able to keep their loved ones safe, enjoy the beautiful sunshine and have fun outdoors with friends and family. 

www.belairecare.com #belaireseniorliving #assistedliving #skinprotection #seniorsafety #sunprotection 

In Healthy Living, Main

Alcohol Use Amongst Older People

There is a hidden epidemic amongst American seniors that they and their families are largely reluctant to address: Alcohol abuse.  The fact is that anyone at any age can develop a problem with alcohol and as depression, loneliness and isolation, all problems regularly experienced by seniors living alone, are common triggers for the development of alcoholism, the condition is becoming increasingly common amongst seniors that are aged over 65.

When seniors are living alone without anyone to take regular note of how much alcohol they are consuming, many families, friends, and even medical professionals and healthcare workers often overlook their concerns about older people drinking. Problems with balance and memory (common amongst alcoholics) are often attributed to other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, when they appear in seniors, when in reality it could be that these are signs of excessive alcohol consumption.  The over 65 population is currently the fastest growing population in the United States, with 40.3 million people over the age of 65 currently recorded as living in the country. Among seniors living in the United States, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recently reported that about 17% are abusers of either alcohol or drugs (largely alcohol) and this number is expected to double by 2020. Clearly alcohol abuse poses a very real problem for our elderly population, and one that is under-addressed.

Alcohol and Medications

Whilst excessive alcohol consumption can be problematic at any age, it is of particular concern amongst seniors who are more likely to regularly take other prescription and other the counter medications than any other age group. Almost all of these medications will specify explicitly that they are not consumed in conjunction with alcohol, as they can cause reactions that can be both dangerous and lead to adverse side effects. One example of this is that common aspirin is used in conjunction with alcohol then it can lead to increased risk of intestinal bleeding. Another example is that alcohol used in conjunction with cold and allergy medications can make you feel very sleepy, increasing your likelihood of having a trip, fall, or other accident. The combination of excessive alcohol consumption and medication can be particularly dangerous for individuals who are taking sleeping tablets or anti-depressants, as combining these medications with alcohol could lead to an increased risk of premature death. It is clear, then, that those with alcohol use disorders who also regularly take medication are putting their health at increased risk.

Seniors in general are at an increased risk of sustaining injury as a result of a trip or fall, due to common problems with balance and increasingly frail and brittle bones. Alcohol consumption will only exacerbate that risk, meaning that seniors who drink excessive amounts of alcohol increase their likelihood of sustaining an injury that will reduce their independence and could ultimately affect their ability to live alone.

Everything in Moderation                     

This doesn’t mean that all seniors have an alcohol problem, and of course grandpa shouldn’t be discouraged from having a glass of wine or two at his grandson’s wedding. Everything can be enjoyed in moderation, and there is no set amount of alcohol that you can consume before you are have a problem with disordered drinking: alcohol use disorders are diagnosed based on the psychological relationship you have with alcohol, rather than the amount of alcohol that you consume. If you become aware that a senior friend or family member is drinking on a daily basis, drinking alone, or feels irritable and angry when they cannot or do not have access to alcohol then you may wish to discuss the problem with them and take the first steps towards getting them some help and support. Loneliness and isolation is a very real problem amongst seniors, and removing this social disconnect  can be key in helping to reduce problem drinking: assisted living facilities provide great social networks for their residents, enabling seniors to reach out to those with similar interests and enjoy regular conversation and company. Whilst many seniors are reluctant to live in a care home environment, the reality is often enhanced health and enhanced social interaction, leading to an improved quality of life.

 

Post Written by Anne Reynolds

In Healthy Living