Quality Home Health Care

Keeping Your Eyes and Vision Healthy as You Age

Yes, it is true that the body naturally degenerates some as we age. However, this need not be as devastating as it is often presented to be. The truth is, with the right habits and knowledge, we can live active, full, and vibrant lives well into our senior years. Of course, health care is central to that vitality and our mobility and sight are key components of good health and daily living. Vision Loss For the purposes of this piece, we will be taking a closer look at our eyes, including the conditions that can affect them as we approach and live through our senior years, as well as how we can take the best care of our eyes so we can continue to comfortably and independently engage with the world around us.Yes, it is true that the body naturally degenerates some as we age. However, this need not be as devastating as it is often presented to be. The truth is, with the right habits and knowledge, we can live active, full, and vibrant lives well into our senior years. Of course, health care is central to that vitality and our mobility and sight are key components of good health and daily living. For the purposes of this piece, we will be taking a closer look at our eyes, including the conditions that can affect them as we approach and live through our senior years, as well as how we can take the best care of our eyes so we can continue to comfortably and independently engage with the world around us.

Seeing Clearly Until We Don’t

For most of us, 20/20 vision and the general good health of our eyes is something we take for granted in our youth and sometimes even middle life. As we continue to age, however, the condition of our eyes can deteriorate significantly as do so many of our other faculties. If we are not careful, soon enough, the vision we took for granted becomes a faded memory. Still, the more we are armed with information, the better the position we are in to take the best possible care of our eyes and to ensure that our eyes remain healthy as possible as we age.

First Things First: Knowledge Is Power

The adage is as true in our senior years as it was in our youth – knowledge is power and ignorance is not bliss. What you do not know can harm you, but what you do know can help you. As we learn more about our eyes and what can happen to them as we age, we are better able to treat them well and preserve our sight. Some of the common conditions of the eyes to be expected during aging include Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Dry Eye, and Diabetic Eye Disease. We will take a closer look at each condition by assessing the causes, symptoms, and treatments of each in the section below.

5 Conditions of the Eyes to Start Thinking About As You Age.

Macular Degeneration

One of the most common eyes conditions associated with aging, Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among aging Americans and occurs when the Macular (the center of the eye) deteriorates to the point of becoming blocked – resulting in a blurry vision (sometimes referred to as a blind spot) in the center of the eye. Persons with Macular Degeneration do not usually experience complete blindness. However, they may find it increasingly difficult to read, drive, recognize the faces of loved ones, and perform everyday tasks. Parts of the eye

Causes and Symptoms

This condition typically occurs in older adults, and genetic factors and bad lifestyle habits like smoking play a role in the onset of the condition. Symptoms of Macular Degeneration include:
– Distorted vision evidenced by straight lines appearing wavy and some parts of the grid disappearing altogether
– Slow return to normal vision after exposure to bright light(s)
– Being unable to properly differentiate color due to a reduction in contrast sensitivity
– Central vision is significantly deteriorated while peripheral vision stays intact

 Detection and Treatment:

There are no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the condition. Instead, one’s vision gets gradually worse as time progresses. The condition may affect both or one of the eyes. Currently, there are no treatment options or cure that can help restore vision already lost. Instead, there are treatments such as anti-VEGF medication (that is injected into the eye), photodynamic therapy, and laser coagulation that can be used to slow the deterioration of the eyes. As far as prevention of the condition is concerned, healthy habits such as not smoking, eating well, and exercising regularly all prove to be useful.

Diabetic Eye Diseases

Diabetic Eye Diseases is the name given to diseases of the eyes that stem from having Diabetes or affects those who have Diabetes. As such, there are different kinds of Diabetic Eye Diseases, all of which have the potential to cause full blindness or otherwise significant vision loss. One of the most common kinds of Diabetic Eye Disease is called Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy damages the retina, resulting in vision loss and impairment. Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is another kind that results from having Diabetic Retinopathy. DME refers to the swelling in the Macular (an area in the center of the retina located at the back of the eyes).  Diabetic Eye Diseases can happen at any age and therefore can occur before you get to your senior years.

Causes and Symptoms

Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when the retina (located at the back of the eyes) become damaged by blood vessels in the retina to bleed or leak fluid, thereby distorting vision and in some cases causing full blindness. DME is caused when the buildup of fluid in the retina that causes Diabetic Retinopathy builds up in the Macula region of the retina. DME can happen at any stage of Diabetic Retinopathy but is most common at the worst stages of the disease. The longer a person has Diabetes type 1 or 2, the greater the chance of contracting one of these conditions. Glaucoma and Cataracts can result from living with Diabetes.
Some of the symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy and DME include seeing floating spots which sometimes clear on their own. However, if it does not and the disease progresses undetected, blurred vision becomes the major symptom. If you have Diabetes and are experiencing blurred vision, then it is important to get tested.

Detection and Treatment

Both Diabetic Retinopathy and DME are detected using a dilated eye exam which includes an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Pupil Dilation, Tonometry, and Visual Acuity Testing. The combination of each method results in a comprehensive exam that allows the doctor to check for a range of symptoms on the retina like leaking blood vessels, damage to nerve tissue, any swelling in the Macula, changes in the lens and damage to nerve tissue.
Once detected, DME can be treated using:• Corticosteroids being injected directly into the eye,• In focal Macular laser surgery, or • Anti-VEG Injection Therapy.

There are also different kinds of treatments available for Diabetic Retinopathy depending on the severity of the condition. For example, surgically removing the vitreous gel located in the center of the eyes (the procedure known as a Vitrectomy) is used to treat the severe bleeding into the Vitreous caused by the condition.

Cataracts

Cataracts is the name used to describe when the eyes’ lens is cloudy. They tend to occur as people age, however, they can occur at an earlier age for those who have Diabetes. Also, persons with Diabetes are 2 to 5 times more likely than those without the condition to contract cataracts. By the time they get to 80 years, about 50% of Americans will either have Cataracts or have already had them removed by surgery. Like many other conditions of the eyes, Cataracts can occur in either one or both of the eyes. They can also increase in size, or grow slowly. As they grow, vision will get worse. Four types of cataract are Secondary cataract, Traumatic cataract, Congenital cataract, and Radiation cataract.

Causes and Symptoms

The lens of the eyes lie behind the pupil and the iris and behaves in a similar manner to a camera lens. The lens focuses light on the retina so that an image is recorded and adjusts the focus to near and far so we get to see. Importantly, the lens is made up of protein and water. Cataracts generally occur when the protein clumps and clouds the lens reducing the amount of light that gets to the retina – and therefore the quality of the image that the eyes see. Cataracts can form after undergoing other kinds of eye surgery (secondary cataract), having an injury to the eye (traumatic cataract), being born with them or developing them after childhood (congenital cataract) or developing after radiation exposure (radiation cataract).

Due to the fact that Cataracts cloud the lens of the eyes, one of the symptoms of the condition is increasingly dull and blurry vision. The clear lens become brownish/yellowish in color with age and vision may take on this said discoloration. Other symptoms include:• Faded color• Seeing a halo around bright lights and a constant glare• Having poor night vision• Having double vision in one eye• Needing frequent prescription changes for prescribed contact lenses or eyeglasses.

Detection and Treatment

As is the case with Diabetic Eye Disease, a comprehensive eye exam is needed to detect the presence of cataracts. This comprehensive eye examination includes a visual acuity test, a dilated eye exam, and using a tonometry. Once detected, a cataract can be treated in several different ways depending on the size of the cataract and the kind. For example, in the early stages, cataracts can be improved using anti-glare sunglasses, brighter lighting, and new eyeglasses. Should these options be ineffective, surgery to remove the cloudy lens to replace it with an artificial lens is the next step. As a rule, cataracts should only be removed when loss of vision begins interfering with daily activities like driving, reading, or watching television.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of diseases that damages the nerve fibers that connect the eyes to the brain. This bundle of nerve fiber is known as the optic nerve. There are various types of glaucoma. When left untreated, Glaucoma can result in irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Unsurprisingly, Diabetes can significantly increase the risk of glaucoma-causing it to occur earlier and more intensely.

Older woman beginning to suffer from glaucoma

Causes and Symptoms

Glaucoma has many causes, the most common of which is elevated eye pressure. That is, the eye produces a fluid known as the aqueous, and that fluid must drain from the eyes in order to maintain healthy eye pressure. Once this is affected and the eye pressure becomes elevated, one can develop Glaucoma.

Detection and Treatment

Admittedly, there is usually no noticeable symptoms for Glaucoma at the onset making it difficult to detect before the condition progresses. However, a comprehensive dilated eye exam can be used to detect early changes in the optic nerve and is consequently a good exam to help detect Glaucoma in the early stages. As we age and are consequently at a higher risk for Glaucoma, it is recommended that one does a comprehensive dilated exam every one to two years. This exam is especially important if you also have other risk factors for Diabetes.

Once detected, glaucoma can be treated using a variety of different methods including pills, eye drops, laser or traditional surgery. Depending on the individual case, a combination of these methods can be used to treat the conditions. As is the case with all eye conditions, any vision loss stemming from Glaucoma is irreversible.

Dry Eye

Dry Eye is a condition that is as the name suggests – a lack of sufficient lubrication in the eyes. It occurs when the quantity or quality of the tears in the eyes’ tear film is inadequate for keeping the eyes lubricated. In normal eyes, blinking cause tears to spread across the cornea of the eyes (the front surface), providing lubrication and reducing the risk of infection while protecting vision. Dry Eye is often chronically common among older adults.

Causes and Symptoms

Dry Eye is caused by not producing enough tears or from producing poor quality tears. Tear production diminishes with age and environmental factors can affect the production of the same. In some cases, if one of the three layers of tears (oil, water, and mucus) is produced in inadequate amounts, then Dry eye can result. Dry Eye most commonly happens when the water layer of tears production proves insufficient. In addition to age and environmental factors like smoke and dry and windy climates, the use of certain medications, medical conditions and even gender (women are more likely to develop Dry Eye) are all factors that can cause the condition.

If you have Dry Eye, some of the symptoms you may experience include scratchy, burning, gritty, or otherwise irritated eyes. In its advanced stages, Dry Eye may impair vision due to damaging the surface of the eyes.

Detection and Treatment

As is the case with most eye conditions, Dry Eye can be detected through a comprehensive eye examination that emphasizes the tear production of the eyes. Components of this exam include:• The patient’s history• Examining the blink dynamics and lid structure of the eyes• Evaluating the cornea and eyelids regarding how it responds to bright lights• Measuring the quality and quantity of the tear productions.

For the Good Health of You

As we age, it is important to maintain healthy habits. Eat well, exercise as vigorously as is safe a few times a week (daily if you can), rest and take care of yourself. Keep stress levels at a minimum and pay attention to changes in your body. Use the information above as a guide only, and should you notice any changes in your vision – even if it is not yet significantly affecting your daily life – be sure to contact your physician immediately for a checkup.

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What Seniors Need to Know About Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious concern for older individuals. It increases the risk of bone fractures, and broken bones are slower to heal. While it is more common in women, men can also develop it. Aging is the main risk factor.

What Is Osteoporosis?

This condition is characterized by weakened bones. Bone loss is a natural part of aging. Your bones are not as strong and dense as when you were younger.

Causes Of Osteoporosis

In addition to aging, there are other risk factors that cannot be changed or corrected. One example is the hormonal deficiencies that occur as you grow older. In men, lower testosterone levels can contribute to osteoporosis. In women, lower estrogen levels can cause loss of bone density. Women’s estrogen levels decrease after menopause, but it can occur sooner if the ovaries have been surgically removed.

Osteoporosis can have genetic causes. If you have a family history of this condition, your risk is between 25% and 80% higher than a person who did not have direct blood relatives with the condition.

Some medications can increase the risk of low bone density. Anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, glucocorticosteroids and proton pump inhibitors are a few examples.

Elderly man with Osteoporosis

There are other risk factors that are easier to control. Excessive drinking increases the risk of both low bone density and fractures. Individuals who drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day have a greater risk of bone issues.

The groups of cells responsible for bone remodeling are affected by smoking. Smoking can also result in earlier menopause and a lower body weight, both of which increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Exposure to heavy metals can cause bone density loss. Lead is only one example. Cadmium can also cause bones to soften.

Too much animal-based protein in the diet, a sedentary lifestyle, being underweight, and lack of adequate nutrition can all increase your risk of poor bone health.

In the past, bone issues were accepted as a natural part of aging. With many medical advancements, seniors today can look forward to healthier lives. Physicians can diagnose osteoporosis, and recommend appropriate treatment. Seniors can take steps to prevent osteoporosis, and reduce the risks that accompany weakened bones and loss of bone mineral density.

How Osteoporosis Is Diagnosed

Seniors should never wait until they are elderly, or have experienced broken bones. While you may show noticeable signs such as changes in your posture, loss of height, a curved back, sloped shoulders, or back pain, the early stages of osteoporosis do not always produce symptoms. You should ask your doctor to evaluate you for loss of bone density. The test is simple and painless.

Although women who have reached age 65 and men who have reached age 70 should be tested, all seniors who have special risk factors should have the test at age 50.

Osteoporosis is diagnosed by x-rays. As standard radiography is not as effective at diagnosing the condition in its earliest stages, the preferred method is Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DXA.

There are other diagnostic methods that can detect osteoporosis. Your doctor may choose to perform quantitative computed tomography, or QCT.

Blood tests may also be performed to determine whether there are any underlying problems that need to be corrected or treated.

All of these diagnostic tests are completely safe. If you have not been tested for osteoporosis, make an appointment to discuss it with your personal physician. He will choose the test that is appropriate for your particular situation.

How Osteoporosis Can Be Prevented

A healthy lifestyle throughout childhood and the young adult years is the best way to prevent bone issues in later life. This does not mean there is nothing seniors can do to keep their bones healthy. Regardless of your age, you can strengthen your bones.

A nutritious diet is one of the easiest ways to avoid bone issues. Replace the animal-based proteins with plant-based proteins. Legumes, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds, spinach, soy products, peas, beans, and lentils are all rich in dietary protein.

You need a wide range of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K are especially important. Do not consume soft drinks, and reduce the sodium in your diet.

Although obesity is unhealthy for many reasons, avoid becoming underweight. If you need to lose weight, avoid restrictive weight loss diets that do not provide adequate nutrition.

Exercise is beneficial for bone strength and bone density. You can lose less bone in your hip and spine, and also reduce your risk of fractures. Weight-bearing exercise is especially useful. Depending on your current health and preferences, you can try jogging, walking, hiking, and climbing stairs. You can dance or play tennis. When you participate in these activities, your body is working against gravity.

Sleep can improve bone health. When you do not have adequate sleep, the cortisol levels in your body increase. If your cortisol levels are too high, calcium is leached from your bones. It is only a myth that seniors do not need as much sleep as younger people. Eight hours of restful sleep each night can keep your bones strong and healthy.

Stress also causes cortisol levels to increase. As much as possible, reduce the amount of stress in your life. As you cannot eliminate all stress, learn some stress-reduction techniques to help you relax. Devote some time each day to reading, meditating, practicing yoga, or relaxing in a warm bath.

Increase the Vitamin D in your body with natural sunshine. You can have multiple benefits if you exercise outdoors. When your body absorbs this vitamin from sunlight, it helps your body absorb calcium.

Common lifestyle habits can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. One example is the amount of caffeine you may be consuming every day. When caffeine increases your output of urine, your body is losing calcium. Switch to naturally decaffeinated beverages, or switch to calcium-rich dairy drinks. Milk enriched with Vitamin D is the ideal beverage for bone health. If you do not like dairy products, you can find Vitamin D enriched soy milk.

Whether you want to prevent osteoporosis or reduce its effects and risks, avoid tobacco smoke. Do not smoke, and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. Whether you are actively smoking or passively smoking, it increases bone loss.

Limit your alcohol consumption. New bone formation can be decreased if you drink more than two beverages per day. Have only one drink, or none at all. Your risk of breaking bones in a fall also increase when you have been drinking.

It is not difficult to incorporate these prevention tips into your daily life. It is much easier to avoid osteoporosis than to deal with it after it has developed. This does not mean you must live with the potential complications and risks if you have already been diagnosed with this condition.

Treatment For Osteoporosis

There are numerous options for treating and managing osteoporosis. In some cases, it can even be reversed. If you have been diagnosed by your personal physician, he will recommend the approach that is right for you.

For some seniors, a nutritious diet can be helpful. Place special emphasis on calcium. Include other bone-building nutrients in your diet. You need Vitamin K, Vitamin D, trace minerals, and magnesium.

Exercise can increase your bone mineral density and strengthen your bones. Resistance exercises, weight-bearing exercise, and aerobics are the best options.

You may have heard of natural or alternative treatments for osteoporosis. However, you should not consider herbs and supplements appropriate treatments without your doctor’s approval. You do not want to waste money, and have your condition worsen, by purchasing useless products. Some natural products may help but talk to your doctor first.

Elderly man with osteoporosis exercising

Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is a controversial treatment for osteoporosis. As seniors lose bone density after the normal hormone levels start to decline, some doctors prefer hormone replacement therapy. Estrogen can be replaced in women, and testosterone can be replaced in men.

 

While bone density can be maintained with HRT, this method has disadvantages. Women who use estrogen therapy have a higher risk of breast cancer and endometrial cancer. The risk of heart disease and blood clots may also increase. Discuss these issues with your doctor if he has recommended hormone replacement therapy for your osteoporosis.

Seniors with a high risk of bone fractures may be prescribed medication. Bisphosphonates are the most common type of medication. They can be especially useful for individuals whose osteoporosis has already contributed to broken bones.

 

The medications are available in both oral and intravenous forms. Both options can cause side effects. Oral medication can produce heartburn, abdominal pain, and nausea. The intravenous medications may produce lingering muscle aches, headaches, and fever.

In most instances, bisphosphonates should be limited to five years or less. When they are used on a long-term basis, serious complications may occur. While some of these risks are rare, they can be avoided altogether. An additional reason to limit the use of medications is the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research has stated low-risk seniors do not need long-term medications.

This organization recommends oral medications be stopped after five years, and intravenous medications be stopped after three years. Men and women in higher risk categories can use oral medication for ten years, or intravenous medication for six years.

As some seniors cannot tolerate the side effects of bisphosphonates, and may want to avoid the health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy, there are additional options for treating osteoporosis. You may wish to consider one of these other options, and discuss it with your doctor.

Denosumab can improve bone density. It provides the most benefits to postmenopausal women. This drug is administered twice annually by injection.

Teriparatide is also beneficial for aging women. It stimulates bone growth while reducing the risk of fractures. The daily injections are generally given for two years. After treatment, the bone growth is preserved with another medication.

Similar to other medical conditions, there is no one treatment that is equally appropriate for everyone. Every senior should discuss options with their doctors, and make an informed decision. If you disagree with your doctor’s recommendation, you can request a second opinion. Treatment should be effective, yet not cause unnecessary side effects.

Osteoporosis Research

There has been much progress due to research. One example is the Osteoporosis Research Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Some of their conclusions include Vitamin D and calcium supplements to prevent fractures, five different medications for treating osteoporosis, the relationship between osteoporosis and gene mutations, and investigations into bone biology.

During recent years, other research has been conducted. They include new methods of treatment, assessing causes and risk factors. Strategies have been developed to promote healthy bone density during childhood.

Osteoporosis research in recent decades has resulted in hope and help for today’s aging seniors. Osteoporosis can be prevented, but it can be effectively treated if it has already developed. Better health and better lives are possible for this generation’s aging population.

In the past, elderly persons risked serious complications from osteoporosis. Hip fractures, especially, could result in life-threatening complications. Limited mobility after a hip fracture could lead to pneumonia. Pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis were additional risks. Even a vertebral fracture could result in chronic pain. An elderly person’s overall quality of life was reduced.Aide helping senior into bed

Today’s seniors do not need to experience these complications. Whether you are male or female, visit your doctor and ask to be tested for osteoporosis. Make changes in your lifestyle so your bones stay strong and healthy.

You can also make changes in your home to reduce your risk of falls. Install railings in your bathtub or shower. Replace rugs with carpeting in the rooms and stairways. Stairways and walkways should be well-lit. Consider LED lighting strips so you do not have to reach for light cords.

Osteoporosis does not need to be a fact of life, but you can live with it if you take proper precautions and cooperate with treatment. You never need to cope with broken bones during your elderly years. Seniors today can enjoy healthier lives.

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How to Manage Diabetes

Managing diabetes requires awareness. Maintaining your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor can be a challenging task. diabetes management instruction from aideListed below are some simple tips that can help you manage your diabetes.

Take your Medications Regularly

Taking your medication regularly as prescribed by your doctor is important to help keep your diabetes in control. Diabetes when left untreated increases the risk of complications such as heart disease and nerve damage. The symptoms of diabetes may not be very prominent. This can make it difficult for you to notice immediate repercussions if you forget to take the prescribed medication. A great way to remind yourself about taking your medicines on time is to set a daily alarm and keep it in a place where you see it every day. Using some smart phone apps that help remind you of taking your medicines can also be helpful.

Keep a check on your Blood Glucose Levels

The blood glucose levels can increase or decrease due to numerous factors including exercise, illness, food, stress or medication. For diabetes management, it is important that you monitor your blood sugar levels and see whether the levels or higher or lower than their target range. Take the advice of your physician about how often you need to check and the precautions that are required to be taken if your readings are abnormal.

Eat healthy

To control sugar levels and maintain an ideal weight, it is important that you keep a check on your eating habits. The type of food you eat or the combination of food types you include in your diet and the amount of food you eat can play a crucial role in affecting your blood sugar levels. A diabetic diet need not be complicated. A nutritional requirement of a diabetic is usually the same as a normal person. However, to keep your diabetes under check, it is essential that you learn how to identify hidden sugars and choose the right kinds of food, especially the carbohydrates you eat.

To help you understand your eating patterns, make a record of what you are eating, the time you eat, the amount of food you have consumed. Although, this may seem a little complicated in the beginning, keeping a record will help you identify situations in which you have made unhealthy food choices and allow you to make the necessary adjustments.

Exercise

Apart from allowing you maintain your weight; exercise plays a crucial role in diabetes management. Doing exercises regularly not only helps you shed those extra pounds and reduce body fat but also improves your body’s response to insulin and improve blood-sugar control. To exercise regularly, you do not have to necessarily enroll in a gym. Finding a physical activity (walking, jogging or running) that you enjoy and doing it consistently for about 30 minutes for about five days a week can do wonders in helping you manage your diabetes.

Quit Smoking

Smoking not only increases the risk of developing diabetes but can also worsen the problems and complications associated with diabetes. Additionally, smoking can cause inflammation, constrict blood vessels and raise blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients who are smokers are at a higher risk of kidney disease, blood vessel damage, and nerve damage and foot and leg infection. It is therefore highly recommended that you quit smoking to manage your diabetes.

Seek Help

To manage diabetes and stay healthy, it is important that you have a good supportive team. Ideally, your medical team should include your physician; dietitian, podiatrist, endocrinologist, ophthalmologist and a dentist who can help you manage your condition. Additionally, sharing your challenges and struggles with friends and family or joining a support group where you can connect with people similar challenges can be highly beneficial in helping you maintain a positive outlook on managing diabetes.

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Aging and the Benefits of Non-Medical Home Care

The process of aging is an inevitable reality that begins at birth and continues throughout one’s lifetime. Human beings and animals face aging and mortality. The same applies to fungi. Conversely, various other species can be regarded as immortal.

Some plants like strawberries grow runners with the aim to produce clones of themselves while bacteria is known to produce daughter cells. On the other hand, animals that fall under the genus Hydra are capable of regenerating themselves to avoid dying due to old age.

Aging is a major risk factor for a number of human diseases. As a result, up to two thirds of people who die each day around the world, pass on due to age-related health complications. The proportion is significantly higher in developed countries, reaching 90 percent.

Physiological changes

Humans experience a wide range of age-related physiological changes that have an impact on their overall functionality and appearance. For instance, the process of cognitive decline starts in the mid-20s. Photoaging causes the development of wrinkles, especially on areas that are exposed to the sun. Female fertility generally declines after reaching its peak in the mid-20s.

The risk of developing presbyopia increases by the age of 35 and the majority of people need reading spectacles between the ages of 45 and 50. This is due to the hardening of lens as the levels of a-crystallin declines marginally. The process may be exacerbated by environmental factors, such as higher temperatures.

aging manHair turns gray around the age of 50 while pattern hair loss also kicks in for 50 percent of males and 25 percent of women. Females typically undergo menopause between the ages of 49 and 52. Problems associated with arthritis become more prevalent after the age of 60. Meanwhile, 50 percent of individuals over the age of 75 experience hearing loss that negatively impacts spoken communication.

Cataracts affect up to 50 percent of senior citizens over the age of 80 in the United States. The condition usually necessitates cataract surgery. Frailty reduces mobility for a quarter of seniors over the age of 85. The condition is attributed to the loss of muscle mass and other factors.

Experts say the maximum suggested human lifespan stands at 115 years. The oldest human was Jeanne Calment who lived for 122 years and passed away in 1997.

Cognitive decline

Old age has the capacity to trigger dementia. The condition affects around three percent of people aged between the ages of 65 and 74. The proportion increases to about 19 percent between the ages of 75 and 84 whereas 50 percent of individuals over the age of 85 are affected by dementia.

The spectrum varies with some individuals experiencing mild cognitive impairment while others are faced with more acute neurodegenerative diseases. These include Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s, Alzheimer’s and cerebrovascular disease. In addition, it is possible to experience a wide variety of memory retention issues.

In some cases, the problems may not extend to general knowledge or semantic memory, which is involved in the retention of vocabulary definitions, among other things. These aspects eventually decline over time. Overall intelligence can be affected by cognitive decline and the degree or severity of the decline varies from one person to another. It is also possible for intelligence to remain unchanged throughout one’s lifetime.

Musculoskeletal problems

Musculoskeletal problems are generally caused by premature degenerative joint and bone disease. As a result, individuals experience considerable difficulty moving and may become disabled. Osteoporosis is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions that affects an estimated 54 million Americans over the age of 50.Elderly senior woman on wheelchair with aide

The condition drastically increases the risk of fractures, which affects quality of life for seniors. Some of the factors that elevate risk of developing osteoporosis include decreased strength, low physical activity, early menopause and low muscle tone. Up to 40 percent of elderly adults and 22 percent of middle age adults suffer from osteoarthritis of the spine.

The condition is associated with a variety of symptoms, including pain, weakness and numbness. In some cases, other pre-existing health diseases may make it difficult to detect these symptoms. Flat feet, a congenital condition is another form of musculoskeletal abnormality linked to aging.

Heart disease

The chronic condition is known to affect approximately 26 percent of females and 37 percent of males who are older than 65. The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics released the figures.

Old age generates wide-ranging risk factors, including high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure. These factors drastically increase the possibility of suffering a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease.

Vision impairments

Visual impairments are another condition that affects one’s ability to handle day-to-day activities without assistance. Eye disorders are common among the elderly. The prevalence of this problem increases by 18 percent in the 30 to 39 age group and by 28 percent between the ages of 40 and 49. On the other hand, the prevalence rates for the 50 to 59 age group is 45 percent.

Some of the common ophthalmological complications include keratoconus, strabismus, refraction problems and cataracts. The prevalence rates of cataracts in adults in the general population stands at 17 percent. Visual issues can still persist even after an individual undergoes surgery. Some of the disorders faced by the elderly include poor use of bifocals and aphakia (absence of the eye’s lens).

Senile cataracts are characterized by the progressive thickening of the lens.

Cancer

Cancer affects millions of elderly people around the world and it is regarded as the second leading cause of death for individuals older than 65. Figures released by the CDC show that up to 21 percent of females and 28 percent of males over the age of 65 suffer from the disease. A significant number of cancer types are treatable when detected early. Doctors use a variety of screening tests to detect cancer, including skin checks, colonoscopies and mammograms.

Seniors with cancer can significantly improve their quality of life by following healthy senior living recommendations.

Respiratory diseases

Chronic lower respiratory diseases affect more than 10 percent of elderly men and women. The diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis (emphysema). Respiratory conditions can increase the risk of developing pneumonia and other infections.

Health practitioners recommend undergoing lung infection tests, using oxygen properly and taking the correct medication. This has the capacity to improve the quality of life of sufferers.

Alzheimer’s disease

According to a report published by the Alzheimer’s Association, this condition affects one in nine seniors over the age of 65, which represents a proportion of 11 percent. However, the figure does not show the full picture because the disease is difficult to diagnose accurately.

Alzheimer’s is one of several diseases that increase the burden of care. Elderly people suffering from the condition are faced with safety issues. For this reason, it is necessary to consider non-medical home care Florida or in an old age facility.

Self-perception of aging

Research studies have showed a link between positive self-perception and optimal wellbeing and reduced mortality. The correlation has been observed in many older people regardless of health status, psychological functioning or socioeconomic status. However, the finding is particularly is stronger for males when compared to females.

People who are objectively healthy tend to perceive their well-being better than those who are unwell. As a result, the subjective health of older people stays considerably stable. This is applicable even when the health status deteriorates. Studies revealed that perceived health can improve with age when an individual makes an effort to control objective health.

Scientists refer to the phenomenon as the paradox of aging. It is attributed to a variety of factors, such as social comparison. Many people tend to compare their own health status to people of the same age.

Successful aging

aide helping elederly woman with computerThe concept of successful aging focuses on the elimination of cognitive and physical disabilities. The concept was conceived in the 1950s and eventually gained popularity 30 years later. Successful aging has three key components that include:

– Social and productive engagement
– Freedom from disease and disability,
– High cognitive and physical functioning

Benefits of non-medical home care in Florida

Home-based non-medical care allows seniors to age in-place by avoiding the inconvenience of moving to an institution. The home environment is ideal for the elderly because they enjoy daily interaction with loved ones in addition to the familiarity with the settings. Institutions, on the other hand, are filled with strangers, which may lead to discomfort. In turn, this can worsen pre-existing health conditions.

A home care aide can provide assistance commensurate with the level of care required by an individual. Professional caregivers can help with a wide variety of daily tasks, including bathing and food preparation.

Opting for non-medical home care has the capacity to minimize chances of worsening health conditions. In addition, professional caregivers reduce safety risks faced by a senior citizen suffering from conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Families of the elderly can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their loved one is received personalized care by an aide at home.

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Healthy Living Tips to Help Seniors Live Longer

Many seniors today enjoy excellent health during their golden years, and in general, seniors enjoy a longer life expectancy than ever before. Growing older can’t be avoided, but taking the following steps can help to increase your life expectancy.

Diet and Life Expectancy

If you want to celebrate your 100th birthday, maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do. If your diet isn’t quite what it should be, you should seriously consider making some significant changes in what you eat.A healthy elderly man  with his family

Living a long life is common in Okinawa, which enjoys one of the highest life expectancies anywhere. Seniors in this chain of Japanese islands are more likely to be free from heart disease and cancer, as well as more likely to live longer.

Soy, legumes and small amounts of fish are an important part of the diet in this area, which helps to increase the life expectancy of the residents. Many residents eat purple sweet potato rather than rice, and green and yellow vegetables typically make up about 30 percent of the diet.

If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to consider moving to Okinawa, as the diet there is especially conducive to weight loss, comprising about 1785 calories. Fewer grains, sugar, meat and polyunsaturated fats are consumed there, in contrast to the rest of Japan.aide serving elderly woman a healthy meal

Plenty of beans, fruit, nuts, whole grains and fish are staples of the Mediterranean diet, which is also known for its extensive use of olive oil. This diet is popular on the island of Sardinia, where residents enjoy a higher than average life expectancy. Heart disease and depression are less likely with anyone following this diet, which limits the amount of cheese, meats, and sugary foods.

Seafood is healthy because of the presence of Omega 3 fats and it features heavily in the diet of the European country of Monaco, whose residents also enjoy a high life expectancy. Fruits and vegetables are also eaten often by Monaco residents.

People in Macau also enjoy a long life, partly due to their diet which focuses on vegetables and seafood. Different spices, the use of fresh ingredients and a combination of Portuguese and Asian flavors also feature in the local diet.

The high amounts of antioxidants in the Japanese diet help to contribute to the long life of residents of that country. However, eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, seaweed, fish, and tofu also help to increase the life expectancy of Japanese seniors and minimize the possibility of cancer or heart disease.

In the US, seniors also enjoy a higher life expectancy in the California city of Loma Linda. Plenty of exercise and a healthy diet are characteristics of the Seventh-day Adventist religion, which is practiced by many of the residents here.

It doesn’t take too much to see what most of these communities have in common, and why their residents enjoy a long life. Natural and non-processed foods are common in all of these diets, and it can make a huge difference to anyone looking to increase their life expectancy. Red meat and poultry are eaten sparingly or are replaced by fish and seafood.

Plenty of vegetables and fruits in the diet are also essential for anyone seeking a long life. The typical American diet contains more calories than the healthy diets described above.

Adding some of these healthy choices into your own diet can help to increase your life expectancy and also improve your overall health.

Lifestyle and Life Expectancy

The right lifestyle can make a huge difference, whether you are a senior or you are in your teens. Increased life expectancy and better overall health can be the results of taking more exercise.

Too little sleep can make you feel tired and listless, and can actually adversely affect your health. Good mental and physical health is essential for seniors, and making sure that you are getting 8 hours sleep every night is important. Don’t be fooled by the popular misconception that less sleep is needed as we get older.

Elderly man exercising with aides helpA lack of exercise can be detrimental to your health, whether you are a teen or a senior, and getting plenty of exercise is important, regardless of age. Simple workouts at home, walking, riding a bike or swimming are all excellent and inexpensive ways to stay in shape, although before you commence any exercise routine, always talk to your doctor first.

A long life is more likely if you do all possible to avoid stress, which is more harmful than you might think. Soaking in the bath, exercising, reading or listening to music are all excellent ways to lower your stress levels. If you are routinely stressed out, consult your doctor or confide in a close friend if you have something on your mind.

You can enjoy better health and an increased life expectancy if companionship and friendship are important parts of your life. A life spent socializing and interacting with others is much healthier and much more enjoyable, and if you live alone, make a point to address that. Volunteering, participating in a sport or craft, or taking part in a community activity can all be beneficial and enjoyable.

Giving up unhealthy habits are just as important as diet and exercise for any seniors wanting to increase their chances of living a long life. Make a point of not drinking to excess, quitting smoking, and avoiding illegal or addictive drugs. Your doctor can help if you are having difficulty giving any of these things up.

Seniors also have a better life expectancy as well as better health if they have a sense of purpose. Meaning and purpose in life are important to anyone, but especially so as we get older, and you can find purpose in volunteering, writing a diary, taking up a new hobby or simply babysitting for a friend or neighbor.

You can get useful tips on prolonging your life and improving your overall quality of life by consulting your doctor regularly. And of course, your doctor can also keep track of any treatment you might need or preventative measures to be taken.

Regular visits to your dentist are a must too, whether you still have your own teeth or have succumbed to dentures. Serious medical issues can be prevented by visiting your dentist regularly, as oral health often affects our overall health.

If your goal is to reach your 100th birthday, the diet, exercise and healthy living tips above can really help to make that dream a reality. It is never too early or too late to make positive change and you really can take steps to increase your life expectancy.

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