Loss of strength isn’t uncommon as people age. While the natural aging process may be responsible for diminished strength in old age, other factors—such as preexisting medical conditions, prescription drug side effects, and nutritional deficiencies—can also play important roles. Here are four tips for boosting strength in old age so your senior loved one can better enjoy the golden years.
1. Stay Active
Staying active can stave off anxiety and depression, and it can also promote strong bones and overall body strength. Your loved one doesn’t need to engage in strenuous exercise to enjoy the strength-boosting effects of increased activity. A leisurely walk after dinner promotes optimal cardiovascular function and muscle tone while aiding in maintaining respiratory function and healthy blood pressure levels. Always check with your loved one’s physician to make sure your loved one is able to start a new fitness or activity routine.
If your loved one needs help adopting healthy routines that build muscle strength, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. When considering in-home care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
2. Consume Nutrient-Packed Foods
Since it’s not unusual for elderly people to eat less, efforts should be made to ensure they consume enough nutrient-dense foods to boost their strength. Eating nutritious foods also reduces the risk of muscle atrophy, anemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and immunity issues. If you’re unsure which types of foods to offer your loved one, talk to his or her doctor, who can recommend the best foods based on your loved one’s medical status and, if needed, refer him or her to a nutritionist for further dietary recommendations.
Some aging adults need help to get the nutrition they need, and the amount of assistance required can vary, from occasional to around the clock. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Lincoln Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
3. Spend Time in the Sunlight
As people get older, they may develop a vitamin D deficiency, which can cause bone pain, loss of muscle strength, and impaired immunity. While seniors shouldn’t take vitamin D supplements unless they’ve been diagnosed with a true deficiency, spending a few minutes outdoors in the sunlight can help the body process natural vitamin D, which promotes strong bones, enhances sleep quality, and boosts energy levels.
If your loved one is unable to go outside due to being bedbound or having impaired mobility, encourage him or her to consume vitamin D-rich foods such as milk and cheese. Before increasing the intake of milk and cheese, check with the doctor to make sure your loved one doesn’t have any dietary restrictions due to high cholesterol or hypercalcemia.
4. Evaluate the Necessity for Certain Medications
Many seniors have been taking the same medications for years. Certain medications can lead to fatigue and diminished strength. Ask the physician to reevaluate the necessity of your loved one’s current medications to determine if they’re still needed or if they’re causing weakness or loss of strength. If the medications are causing severe side effects, the doctor can either lower the dosage or discontinue the medication altogether and replace it with a different one that’s less likely to cause weakness or other adverse reactions. By doing so, your loved one may enjoy a renewed sense of strength and energy.
Some aging adults may need help choosing healthy foods and getting the exercise they need to stay strong in the golden years. In Lincoln, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (916) 226-3737 today.