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.
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.
|Ages||Average Accumulated Exposure*|
|*Based on a 78 year lifespan|
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:
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
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