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What Signs of Aging Can Be Considered Normal?

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on January 20, 2020

As the body ages, certain physical symptoms become more and more common. Being able to distinguish between normal and concerning signs of aging can help seniors know what to expect and when to see a doctor. Here are some of the typical symptoms of aging that seniors may encounter.

Joint, Bone, and Muscle Changes

Joints gradually deteriorate with age, so seniors may develop slight stiffness or severe arthritis. At the same time, muscle mass decreases with age, and bones become less dense. These changes can cause some loss in mobility and increase the risk of fractures and other injuries. Seniors tend to have limitations in mobility, and they move at a slower rate. If the mobility loss becomes severe enough to affect daily activity or cause regular pain, it’s time to see a healthcare specialist and consider hiring a home caregiver for assistance.

Tucson elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Decreased Senses

Almost all sensory input decreases with age, due to changes in the tissues responsible for hearing, sight, taste, and smell. Seniors typically have some lowered peripheral vision, diminished hearing, and reduced visual acuity. These are normal signs of aging, but seniors should still bring it up with a doctor since glasses, hearing aids, and certain surgeries can restore lost sight and sound. 

Changes to Appearance

There are quite a few changes to appearance in the senior years, mostly due to skin thinning and losing elasticity. Wrinkles, sagging skin, and elongated earlobes are all common. Many seniors also experience hair that thins, grows more slowly, and loses color. Loss of muscle tissue and bone density may lead to stooped posture and weight loss. 

Slowed Cognition

As people age, the number of nerve cells and brain connections decrease, and at the same time, there’s a vast amount of memories and information the brain needs to store, which tends to cause slightly slower memory retrieval, logical thinking, and thought. However, any severe or abnormally frequent memory loss is still a sign of concern. Being mentally active and maintaining physical health can preserve cognition.

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

More Frequent Illness

The immune system becomes less responsive with age, which increases the risk of catching bacterial infections, viruses, and other diseases. Since the immune system cannot easily fight off these infections, when seniors do get sick, it may be more severe. This is normal, but older adults should visit a doctor for any illnesses.

Cardiovascular Changes

This sign of aging isn’t immediately noticeable to others, but it has a big impact on how seniors feel. The blood vessels and arteries stiffen with age, so the heart has to work harder to move blood through them, leading to high blood pressure and spikes in heart rate during physical activity. Eating a diet low in sodium and saturated fat and high in fiber, fish, vegetables, and whole grains can help. 

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Tucson seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (520) 276-6555 to learn how one of our trusted caregivers can help your loved one enjoy a higher quality of life while aging in place.