Getting older may be viewed as full of opportunities, especially as individuals look forward to retiring and having more time to spend doing the things they love. However, there are some common physical changes associated with aging that can pose some challenges for older adults who want to remain active. Knowing about the most common age-related physical changes can help older people make the adjustments necessary to live fulfilling lives.
Changes in Mobility
Decreased mobility is a physical change many older adults experience. There can be several causes of limited mobility, including osteoporosis and painful arthritis. Bone mass starts to decrease as people get older, leading to the loss of bone density and, eventually, the possibility of osteoporosis. Older people with osteoporosis are at high risk for fractures and broken bones. Being fearful of injury makes some older individuals less likely to engage in healthy physical activities, such as walking. The pain and stiffness of arthritis make it difficult to move around and can lead to a sedentary lifestyle.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading senior care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
Changes in Vision
It’s not unusual for people to have difficulty seeing as they get older. Presbyopia, a condition that affects the ability of the lenses in the eyes to change shape, makes it difficult to see items up close. To read, an individual may need to hold a book or document farther away. Cataracts cloud the lenses, making it difficult to see. Some people describe cataracts as being like looking through a foggy window. Removal of cataracts helps individuals see more clearly. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the major causes of blindness in older adults, and it causes blind spots in central vision. For example, if an individual with AMD looks at a person’s face, he or she may see a dark spot in the center of the face.
Changes in Muscle Mass
Older adults may experience a loss of muscle mass due to a lack of physical activity. Healthy muscle mass is critical to good health because the more lean muscle an individual has, the more fat he or she will burn. Less muscle mass means more fat and can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
Changes in the Brain
Memory loss can be a concern for many older adults. The loss of brain cells can impact thinking, memory, and reaction time as individuals grow older. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can also affect memory and cause deterioration in both mental and physical functioning. Years of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise can cause plaques to build up in the vessels leading to the brain, which can lead to memory impairment.
Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Harrisburg Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Changes in the Digestive System
Older adults may experience difficulty digesting food because of decreased stomach acid. Seniors with dental issues, Parkinson’s disease, or other health conditions often find it very difficult to chew food, which can interfere with digestion. Additionally, the esophagus may not contract fully, which makes it challenging to swallow food.
The physical changes that accompany aging can make it challenging for seniors to live at home without assistance. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elderly home care Harrisburg seniors can trust and rely on. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (717) 540-4663 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.