Tag Archives: Physical health for seniors

Exercising for Life

The health benefits of exercise for older adults are the same as those throughout life – increased longevity, improved mental clarity, energy and strength to meet the physical demands of daily living. This is true even if you don’t start exercising until your later years.

Read more from the National Council for Aging Care about the benefits of exercise and how to start and maintain an exercise plan and routine.

Parkinson’s Disease and Exercise: A Magic Formula

Parkinson'sIn general, older adults should exercise at least 30 minutes per day and a steady routine  will be necessary to gain protection against chronic diseases and to support overall ideal health. Studies have shown that performing physical activity or exercise for more than 30 minutes each day can even bring about greater health benefits. Regular exercise can help manage your body weight, control blood pressure, and decrease possible risk of heart attack. Regular sweating is also good for the skin.

Research has shown that  aerobic walking is safe, well tolerated, and improves aerobic fitness, motor function, fatigue, mood, executive control, and quality of life in mild to moderate PD.If you suffer from Parkinson’s Disease and if you are not exercising regularly, start today. However, always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Exercise can help make living with Parkinson’s disease easier by:

  • Helping you feel more in control of your movements.
  • Reducing gait problems and muscle/joint injuries.
  • Improving flexibility.
  • Increasing muscle strength and balance.
  • Increasing energy, stamina, and cardiovascular health.

Your exercise program should be tailored to your personal abilities and any other health concerns, such as high blood pressure or arthritis. For beginners, you might try these great exercises for people with Parkinson’s disease:

  • Stretching, which will increase your range of motion and relieve muscle tension.
  • Tai chi, which may improve your balance and provide mind and body relaxation.
  • Yoga, which uses stretching and breathing techniques to promote wellness

Some studies have also shown that assisted high-cadence cycling, referred to as “forced exercise,” significantly reduces the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

A new therapy brings hope and results to people with Parkinson’s Disease: the passive and voluntary cycling offers an alterative in fighting back against the disease. A device called Theracycle makes this cycling easier.  Joe Kapsch, a Theracycle rider talks about the importance and challenges of getting sufficient exercise when living with Parkinson’s disease. Joe explains, “Exercise improves your symptoms. Bicycling has done some tremendous things for people with Parkinson’s. … For me personally, it just enriches my soul and gets me going. Truth is I’d rather play basketball than exercise; I’d rather play golf… this is a means to keep playing golf and everything else. I can never get too much exercise on it, and it’s easy.” Read More and get the FREE e-book

Remember exercise helps you fighting against PD. Ready to start?

Playing softball despite Parkinson’s disease

Despite having Parkinson’s disease for the past 10 years, Bob Soulen, 69, continues to play in the Montgomery County Senior Softball League.

The Washington Post published a story and a video about Bob Soulen a well known athlete with Parkinson’s disease :”….The big first baseman trudges across the pristine infield, his walker leaving a crooked trail in the dirt. He has bandages on his knees, a bald spot where he hit his head against a door frame and an old shoulder dislocation from a spill at home… But it’s game time. The hot afternoon is giving way to the shadows of evening. And Bob Soulen, 69, who has Parkinson’s disease, is going to play some ball.

Twenty miles away, 30,000 people have streamed into Nationals Park to see Washington’s young pitching sensation, Stephen Strasburg. Here on Field No. 5 in Montgomery County’s Wheaton Regional Park, a lone fan – the wife of an opposing player – sits in the bleachers to witness a different phenomenon: an aging physicist’s determination to cling to the game of his youth.

As Soulen shuffles across the dirt, the other Mustangs are arriving, limbering up and playing catch, and Soulen is careful to lift his walker over the fresh white streak of the foul line. Like the diamond, the evening seems perfect, and in a few minutes there will be a pale moon rising over center field.

Robert J. Soulen Jr. of North Bethesda is a retired award-winning scientist who worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Naval Research Laboratory. His area of expertise is superconductivity as it relates to temperature measurement and ship propulsion.

He also plays softball in Montgomery’s senior leagues and can wax about the laws of physics as they relate to bat vs. ball…” Read the story

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Caring for The Elder at Home: The Need For a New Paradigm.

Family meetingThe increasing number of people turning 65, the high number of elders with health constraints, and the sky-rocketing price of health care posits the question of how are we going to care for all the elders who constitute, today the upcoming silver tsunami?

More than 40 percent of adult patients in acute care hospital beds are 65 or older. Seventy million Americans will have turned 65 by 2030. They include the 85-and-older cohort, the nation’s fastest-growing age group. Elderly people often have multiple chronic illnesses, expensive to treat, and they are apt to require costly hospital re-admissions, sometimes as often as 10 times in a single year. Living Well Assisted Living at Home has designed a new model of comprehensive care that will help care for elders at home, including those who are frail, recovering from surgery, accidents or any illness. The model also strives to care for those suffering from dementia, at home.

In an article written by Milt Freudenheim for the Health section of the New York Times, in June 28, 2010, we find how geriatricians and other professionals are lobbying for best practices in the field of aging.  In the article it is stressed the fact of how “..to stay independent, the elderly will need to stay healthy. Many of these people could be back on the golf course and enjoying their grandchildren if we did the right thing for them,” said Mary D. Naylor, a longtime geriatric care researcher and professor of gerontology in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsilvania. Her research showed that even fragile older people could avoid a quick return to the hospital if they are managed by teams of nurses, social workers, physicians and therapists, together with their own family members. Hospital re-admissions, which cost $17 billion a year, could be reduced by 20 percent — $3.5 billion — or more, she said…” Obviously a new approach to care for the elder is imperative if we wnat to promote wellness in this sector of the population and reduce the increasing costs of caring for seniors.

Mr. Freudenheim continues by saying: “…Many internists, family physicians and other primary care doctors are lobbying for payments for a team approach based in the physician’s office. The concept, which they call a patient-centered medical home, will be tried out under the new health care law by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurers. Secretary Sebelius has called the medical home idea “one of our most promising models for improving the quality of care and bringing down health care costs…”

Read the article.

How to Be Safe at Home and Prevent Falls?

Seniors and fall riskOne of the most common reasons why seniors are forced to leave their homes and move into an institution is the occurrence of a fall or the existence of a high fall risk. Adult children and friends are scared of finding their loved one, who has fallen, a little too late. Time is important when a senior falls and help an immediate response  is needed.

Despite of the widely use of the “emergency response buttons”, we realized that most of the times these devices are  not being used at the moment of the fall. The risk of falling increases with age and falling is the number one cause of injury in adults over 65. These numbers are cause for great concern, but awareness and prevention can help decrease the likelihood of falls in the senior citizen years.

Living Well Assisted Living at Home has researched thoroughly different alternatives to bring safety at home and enable seniors to live independently while keeping seniors safe at home and providing real time report and request for assistance. We partner with Grand Care Systems, Halo Monitoring, and Universal Design to tailor made the house to the senior’s needs and bring peace of mind to the family members and friends.

ABC News recently featured a video about how preventing dangerous falls.

Watch ABC News Video on Preventing Falls

Trisha Kellog supports independent living with some assistance and in a recent blog entry, Trisha stresses the need for systems that supports safety. She states that “…With age comes the risk of falls and falls can lead to serious injury or death. Improving health and being aware of potential hazards will help ease the mind of you or your loved-one…” Read the article

Avoid Sending Your Loved One Back to the Hospital!

Liivng Well one-stop-shop

Liivng Well one-stop-shop

The New York Times published on June 18, 2010, an article by Lesley Alderman that stresses the need of a coordinated and comprehensive discharge plan. The article states that “…According to a study published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine, one in five Medicare patients returns to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. The problem is an expensive one: in 2004, these readmissions cost Medicare $17.4 billion dollars, the researchers also found.

Hospital stays certainly are shorter now: the average stay was 4.6 days in 2007, down from about 5.7 days in 1993. But the readmissions problem is not simply the result of compressed care, experts say…” Read More

Exercise and Physical Activity: Tips For Older Adults

Older adults who are interested in becoming physically active, restarting a lapsed exercise regimen or getting more benefit from their current exercise program can check out the updated Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults topic on the National Institute of Senior Health. Click here to visit their site.

Try one of their exercise routine. Click here to see the video

The site has an extensive list of videos on wellness, exercises, eating right and more. To see a complete list of their videos, click here.