senior receiving occupational therapy

There are a number of reasons that completing everyday tasks gets more difficult as we age.

Occupational therapy can help seniors enjoy a better quality of life by addressing the physical, mental and psychological hurdles that can accompany the aging process. This can be especially true after surgery, stroke, fractures, heart attacks, arthritis, respiratory difficulty, and dementia.

doctor examines elderly man with breathing difficulty

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is particularly serious in the elderly due to weaker immune systems and other health conditions.

Pneumonia, which sends about one million people to the hospital and kills 50,000 every year, affects alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs. Infected alveoli can make it difficult to breathe, fill up with liquid – which makes it impossible for the lungs to function properly. The lungs are less able to oxygenate the blood as they do when healthy. Adults who smoke are more likely to get pneumonia.

Senior man experiencing congestive heart failure

In congestive heart failure (CHF), the heart is unable to effectively pump blood throughout the rest of the body.

CHF is not curable, although early detection and treatment can go a long way in improving a person’s life expectancy and quality of life. It can be caused by numerous conditions affecting the heart, such as a heart attack, coronary/congenital heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic alcohol abuse, thyroid disorders or damaged heart valves.

Grandchild visiting Senior in nursing homeThere’s always an adjustment period when someone moves into a new home.

One thing that helps a person ease into that transition is having regular contact with those who are most familiar to them. There are many reasons that regularly visiting and communicating with aging loved ones in skilled nursing and assisted living communities benefits everyone involved.

COPD 300x200Breathing is not something that’s taken for granted for the 16 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This progressive lung disorder, the third most common cause of death in the United States, manifests itself as both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These conditions reduce the airflow into the lungs, causing the person to experience shortness of breath and fatigue. Taking years to develop, COPD is most often found in older adults, with most cases diagnosed after the age of 45.

Seniors doing yogaAlthough it may be the last thing on your mind when you have an arthritis flare-up, doing gentle exercises can significantly help relieve joint pain.

Physical activity is an important part of arthritis treatment because it not only helps reduce pain, it increases flexibility and strength, promotes better sleep and helps you feel more energized. Reaping the benefits of exercise doesn’t mean intense activity if you’re not up to it – there are plenty of more gentle movements you can try to improve your overall health and reduce symptoms.

elderly man experiencing loss of balance from strokeAlthough stroke is the fifth leading cause of death, it is also largely preventable.

Nearly 800,000 Americans have a stroke every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

Senior woman smiling while drawing with the groupThe aging process can diminish the five basic senses, so it’s beneficial to engage seniors in activities that can help keep them stronger.

Our sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch may not be what they once were, but “exercising” them can keep them in better working condition. Embassy Healthcare helps residents with sensory activities that can have a profound effect on their quality of life.

Senior woman with caregiver at homeAs anyone who’s been a caregiver for a loved one can tell you, it’s not easy.

Oftentimes, those of us who commit to being the primary source of care for a spouse or family member find that their own needs take a backseat to those of the loved one. Although admirable, this makes it impossible to be the best version of ourselves so that we can take good care of someone else.

alzheimers

Although the number of people with Alzheimer’s is steadily growing, so too is the need to reduce the stigma surrounding this disease that affects one in three seniors.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, making it a logical time to take steps to increase awareness – and lessen the stigma – of Alzheimer’s. More than five million Americans are living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. That number is expected to balloon to 14 million people by 2050.