Category Archives: Active Seniors

The History Of Labor Day

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events. Continue reading

Four Tips To Beat The Heat For Seniors

beat_the_heatThough fall is nearly upon us, there are still plenty of days where we can expect very hot weather!  Some of the ways we think to beat the heat are kids jumping in and out of swimming pools, families at the beach, or perhaps sitting indoors enjoying a book in an air-conditioned room.  However, it’s also important that we remember the importance of making sure our senior loved ones beat the heat as well.

From ultraviolet (UV) rays to skin dehydration, there are many potential dangers that too much sun and heat can cause.  Excessive heat exposure can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause conditions like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

As a caregiver, it’s important to know how to keep your loved one from getting over heated. Here are four tips for you:

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Facts for Seniors

As the face of the Senior Citizen changes, it is helpful to understand facts about the Senior Citizen in your life. The following are some facts that may help you better understand your loved one.

11.3 million is the number of seniors 65 and older are engaging in exercise of one form or another. Exercise walking is by far the most popular sports activity for seniors (and for younger adults), followed by exercising with equipment, net fishing, camping, golf and swimming.

As the oldest baby boomers become senior citizens in 2011, the percentage of people 65 and older is projected to grow faster than any other age group. In fact, 26 states are projected to double their 65+ populations between 2000 and 2030.

About one third of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually.  About half (53%) of the older adults who are discharged for fall-related hip fractures will experience another fall within six months.

Only 3.6% of people over 65 years old are in nursing homes. Elderly men arefacts for seniors likely to live with a spouse while elderly women are more likely to live alone.

By age 75, about 1 in 3 men and 1 in 2 women don’t get ANY physical activity. You can keep seniors fit by hosting a dance class at your local senior center!

According to the data compiled by the Social Security Administration, a man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.3. A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live 86.6.

The ratio of women to men over 65 years old is 100 to 76. The ratio of women to men over 85 years old is 100 to 49.

5 million is the number of seniors age 65 and older who have jobs.

78 percent – Percentage of householders age 65 and older who own a motor vehicle.

These are just a few facts on being a senior citizen, and perhaps they will help you, the caregiver understand their needs and give you a bit of insight into their world.

 

Create Happiness in your Senior Years

Happiness in seniorsWe are all aware of the truths that seem to point to loneliness and depression in Senior Citizens, and how, as family members and caregivers we should be on the lookout for indicators that our loved ones may be struggling.

However, a growing shift has made itself apparent in our time as more and more senior citizens are choosing to live their ‘golden years’ out in experiences.  Happiness is more strongly associated with meaningful experiences than the accumulation of possessions. The iconic American Dream to own a home, have 2.5 children, a nice car, and a sizeable nest egg appeals for inherent reasons, but the ability to continue to make memories with either a spouse, family members, or friends is a growing trend in the lives of many seniors today.

Experiences can be as simple as taking the grandchildren to the beach, or traveling to an unexplored (for them) location.  If your loved one has the ability to get out on their own, let them.  Try not to be concerned about their ability to drive ‘that far’ on their own.  Perhaps they want to experience something new.  While the natural response is to say, not at your age, allow them the ability to do that thing, and perhaps even go with them.

One study shows that when people perceived they had less time left, they found greater happiness in ordinary experiences than younger individuals who perceived they had significant amounts of time ahead of them and who found greater happiness in the extraordinary.

The truth is, the older we get, we do gain more wisdom. We have learned that life experience gives you perspective. You know the downs don’t last, and the ups don’t last.   As a result, experiences, or those things that make us happy, begin to shift also.

Encourage them to go out and live life, and perhaps any loneliness or depression you were seeing will begin to disappear.  Being active at any age, and especially in seniors, is proven to have a positive effect on our mood and our health.

Let them enjoy the moment, and enjoy it with them.

 

Spring Allergies

Spring is a welcome relief from the long, cold winter, but for about one in five people, budding flowers and trees bring their seasonal pollen allergies into full swing causing all types of discomfort. Symptoms can be cold-like, including itchiness in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat, eyes and ears, along with watery eyes, runny nose, congestion and sneezing. Allergies can also trigger asthma, restricting airways and making breathing more difficult. And even if you don’t have symptoms now, new allergies can be acquired at any age.Spring Allergies

Allergy symptoms for older adults can pose additional challenges. Those with chronic conditions such as cardiopulmonary disorders are at increased risk of serious complications during allergy season. Over-the-counter medications that people have taken for years may cause side effects as they age, including reactions with other medications. Seniors may ignore their allergies or try to self-medicate. Neither option is advisable. These symptoms need to be discussed with a physician.

LifeFone can help. The emergency profile we keep for each subscriber is used to relay vital information to emergency responders when needed, including medical conditions, medication, emergency contacts, physician, and preferred hospital.

If you’re a LifeFone medical alert system subscriber, you can update your profile using the LifeFone Caregiver Portal. You can make this update directly online or call us at 1 800-940-0262.

Why Tai Chi Is Good For You!

Tai Chi is a Chinese practice and tradition that was originally developed for self-defense but evolved into a graceful exercise that can help reduce stress & anxiety and helps to increase flexibility and balance.

Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints which makes it generally safe for all ages and levels of fitness. It may be especially suitable for older adults who can’t (or may not) otherwise exercise. It also requires no special equipment and can be done inside or out. As with any exercise, it’s always a good practice to check with your physician before starting any routine. Continue reading

Walking Is Ideal For Physical And Mental Health

Getting up off of the couch and moving is a way to not only combat obesity, but it can help you as you age by keeping your physical and mental being in balance. Chances are, your doctor has stressed the importance of getting up and moving. You have likely heard the reports that people who sit for long periods of time are more likely to die at an earlier age than those who are more physically active.

Walking is an exercise that virtually anyone can undertake as a way to get and/or stay healthy. In addition to helping your cardiovascular system, walking may prevent cancer and diabetes and help strengthen your bones. Because falls are so prevalent in individuals over the age of 65, being active and in shape may help prevent a fall as you age.

Did you know, though, that walking can also help ward off dementia? Physicians believe that consistent cardio exercise – like walking or even swimming – can help prevent your brain from shrinking as you age. A study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh showed that individuals who walked six to nine miles a week had more brain volume after nine years in the study than did those who were not as active. Consider that a walk a day can reverse age-related brain shrinkage and you can see the benefit in slipping on your sneakers and getting out there!

If you’ve been sedentary, here are some steps you will want to consider before you start a walking routine:

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes. They should fit well and have stable soles.
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat when you walk to prevent sunburn.
  • Invest in a pedometer so you can track how long you’re walking and challenge yourself to walk a few more steps each day.
  • Don’t start a walking or other exercise routine until you’ve checked with your doctor. He may advise starting out slowly (getting a few thousand steps a day) and working your way up to the recommended 10,000 steps a day.

What’s the best way to start a walking workout?

  1. Plan to walk at the coolest parts of the day – early morning or at dusk.
  2. Walk in well-lit areas and stay on sidewalks and try to avoid uneven terrain
  3. Use walking sticks to not only improve balance but to work your upper body as well
  4. Start out with a five to ten minute walk – this is especially important if you’ve been inactive prior to this. Increase your walk time by five to ten minutes every time you go out
  5. Look for ways to incorporate walking into your every day routine – walk to the mailbox, park further away from the grocery store than usual and use those steps to add to your daily total, get up and move around during television commercials, walk up to get your daily cup of coffee.
  6. Change up your routine so you don’t get bored. Walk in a different direction. Walk indoors one day and outdoors the next. Find a walking buddy.
  7. Once you’ve been walking for a week or two increase the intensity by walking up some hills or even by doing “interval” training – walking at a faster pace for a minute (to the point of being almost breathless) then slow back to your usual pace.

Make today the day that you commit to being more active; it just may help you stave off dementia as well as helping improve your all around health.