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How to Maintain Muscle Strength in the Golden Years

Existing health conditions, a sedentary lifestyle, and certain daily habits can diminish strength as people get older. Fortunately, there are some things your elderly loved one can do to maintain strength during the golden years.

Consume Plenty of Calcium and Vitamin D

As people age, degenerative diseases of the bones become more common. One such disease is osteoporosis. While more common in postmenopausal women, it can also develop in younger women and men. Before women enter menopause, their estrogen levels are high. Menopause causes a significant decrease in estrogen, and because the bones depend on estrogen for strength and resilience, low levels of this hormone can lead to bone thinning and weakness. Osteoporosis also raises the risk for falls and fractures, but there are ways to lower this risk. Talk to your loved one’s physician about recommending a combination calcium and vitamin D supplement, which can help your loved one maintain bone strength and slow the progression of osteoporosis. When your loved one’s bones are strong, he or she may feel more confident walking and being active.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking cigarettes raises the risk for cardiovascular disease and strokes and can also contribute to poor circulation, bone disease, and respiratory illness. All of these conditions could cause your loved one to feel weak and lose muscle strength. Quitting smoking can keep your loved one strong. If he or she is unable to quit, make an appointment with a doctor to discuss smoking cessation options, which may include nicotine gum or patches, medications, psychological therapy, or support groups. Once your loved one has quit smoking, optimal health and strength can be restored.

If your loved one needs help quitting harmful habits and adopting healthy ones, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. When considering in-home care, Tucson, AZ, 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.

Keep Moving

Staying active keeps elderly people strong. Physical activity promotes optimal circulation and blood flow to the internal organs, muscles, and joints while preserving cognitive function. Elderly people who live sedentary lifestyles can get weak and lose muscle strength. In severe cases, a sedentary lifestyle can raise the risk for muscle atrophy and immobility. Encourage your loved one to exercise every day to keep the bones and muscles strong and avoid developing an unsteady gait.

Some aging adults need help to get the exercise 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, Tucson 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.

Keep Doctor Appointments

At the first sign of illness or weakness, take your loved one to the doctor. When health problems are recognized and treated early, your loved one is less likely to develop deconditioning because of illness. Deconditioning—the loss of muscle tone due to chronic disease or immobility—can cause severe fatigue and bone pain, but it can often be reversed through physical and occupational therapy.

Some aging adults may need support to get the nutrition and exercise they need to stay strong in the golden years. In Tucson, elderly 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.