The human body contains 600 muscles, and if you’re over the age of 60, you might find they just don’t work as well for you as they did when you were in your 20s. Maybe it starts with not being able to grip something as hard, or maybe you find it harder and harder to get up from your chair.
Age-related muscle loss is something many Americans face. After the age of 40, you can lose up to a quarter pound of muscle each year, which can lead to an 8 percent decrease in mass by the time you’re 50. After that, you’ll continue to lose more mass, with up to 15 percent lost each decade after 70.
This is one of the reasons why 25 percent of Americans suffer a fall-related injury each year. Once you’ve had a fall, you then are at an increased risk of having another one, as even 3 days of being bedridden can lead to you losing 2.5 pounds of muscles.
However, age-related muscle loss isn’t something that you have to shrug off and accept as an inevitability of growing older. There are some changes you can make to your lifestyle and diet to avoid this—and it’s easier than you think!
There are certain nutrients that are important to building muscle mass, and protein none more so than them. Most people don’t get as much as they should. Protein can be found in eggs, meats and beans. Other nutrients you should seek to ingest regularly include:
- Vitamin D: Supports muscle density.
- HMB: Supports muscle health.
- Zinc: Builds testosterone, which leads to more muscle mass.
- Magnesium: Allows muscles to contract properly.
Finally, doing even low-intensity exercise early on can help, as long as you are doing it regularly. Activities such as walking, throwing a ball and using resistance bands can all aid in helping your muscles stay in shape over the years.
Choice Health Management wants your Golden Years to be healthy ones. If you’re looking for a place where you can age well, contact us today to see the Choice difference!
If one of your parents has Alzheimer’s, you’re probably familiar with the memory loss, disorientation and the struggle to express themselves properly. But have you noticed a sudden shift in behavior at night? Does mom strike out at those trying to help her? Does dad go on rants about people who are long in his past?
This phenomenon is known as “Sundowner’s Syndrome,” and it affects approximately 20 percent of those who have Alzheimer’s disease. It causes their moods to darken, their memory and confusion to worsen and leads to difficult behavior.
Some of the things that can trigger it include:
- Vision Impairment: If your loved one is visually impaired, the darkening lights at the end of the day can make it harder for them to see.
- Exhaustion: If the day has just worn out your loved one, Sundowner’s Syndrome can be triggered.
- Seasonal: If Seasonal Affective Disorder is already an issue for your loved one, it can exacerbate Sundowner’s Syndrome.
- Hormones: A hormonal imbalance or disruptions in their internal clock are thought to be some of the top contributes to Sundowner’s Syndrome.
- Too much chaos: The end of the day sometimes brings a lot of activity, including staff change, visitors leaving, and other residents going back to their respective rooms. All this hustle and bustle can get to someone with Sundowner’s Syndrome.
If you think your parents may have this, try the following things to help mitigate it:
- Light therapy, or “Happy lights”: These are devices that mimic the infrared light that comes in from the sun, bringing with it the elements responsible for lifting our moods. It also helps to make sure the rest of the room is well-lit at the end of the day, so they can see.
- Establish a routine: This can cut back on the anxiety you loved one feels at the end of the day, leading to fewer Sundowner’s incidents. It can also allow you to monitor their energy level, so they don’t become tired and lash out.
- Avoid certain foods: Caffeine or large amounts of sugar can trigger Sundowner’s Syndrome, especially if it’s eaten later in the day.
- Medication: It might help to talk to their doctor about being on medication, especially if they suffer from SAD or other types of depression.
Remember, your loved one is not acting this way on purpose. By following some of the above tips, you can help soothe them if they are suffering from Sundowner’s Syndrome. The staff at Choice Health Management can help as well. We offer memory care services, to ensure your loved one is looked after.