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5 Common Age-Related Changes the Elderly Can Experience

As seniors age, their bodies undergo a number of normal changes. The degrees and types of change depend on many factors, which include family tendencies, lifestyle, and nutrition.

For many seniors in Temple, TX, 24-hour care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

While aging is inevitable, a healthy lifestyle can help slow down the process of aging. Here are 5 areas where changes occur as a normal part of aging.

1. Skin

Skin covers the entire body and is highly visible, which is why aging is more apparent here. Over time, fatty tissue diminishes, reducing the amount of subcutaneous volume. The skin loses elasticity and relaxes. This combination of effects causes fine lines and wrinkles. Oil gland production also slows down, leaving skin looking less supple, smooth, and soft. By taking the necessary measures to prevent sun damage in their younger years, seniors have a better chance of maintaining a more youthful appearance as they age.

2. Vision

By the time many adults reach age 40, their eye lenses become less flexible. Adults at this stage may find they need reading glasses, even if they have never worn them before. Those who wear prescription glasses may discover they need bifocals as they age. Glare can become more bothersome and some seniors might notice night vision problems. Even though these changes are generally normal, regular eye exams can rule out the possibility of a more serious condition.

Seniors who live independently and have vision problems may find it difficult to accomplish daily tasks. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust in Temple senior care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.

3. Metabolism

Older adults commonly find their bodies do not burn calories as efficiently as when they were younger. As a result, they can gain unnecessary weight. Hormonal changes can cause the body to convert food into fat rather than muscle. Reducing calorie consumption by choosing healthier foods and staying physically active helps stabilize or increase metabolism. Walking or engaging in light to moderate exercise three to five times a week prevents weight gain and also keeps the cardiovascular system healthy. Strength training exercises can prevent the loss of muscle mass.

4. Sleep

Although seniors require seven to nine hours of sleep just like younger adults, the circadian rhythm often goes awry with age, causing various symptoms. Older adults may have difficulty going to sleep, or they may awaken earlier in the morning. Deep or REM sleep can also be diminished, leaving seniors fatigued during the day. Some adults have problems staying asleep and wake frequently during the night. However, medical conditions and medications also play a role in sleep patterns. A chronic lack of sufficient sleep may need to be medically evaluated and treated.

5. Sexual Function

By the time adults reach their 50s, the production of reproductive hormones noticeably decreases. Sperm production slows down and men commonly experience varying degrees of erectile dysfunction. Women undergo menopause as estrogen levels diminish. The desire to engage in intimacy may also diminish. If changes interfere with a couple’s relationship, there are options for medical intervention.

While these changes can be considered a normal part of aging, seniors may experience other changes that cannot be ignored. For instance, memory loss disrupts daily life and may indicate a more serious health condition such as Alzheimer’s. For many families in Temple, TX, Alzheimer’s care is an essential component of helping their elderly loved ones remain healthy, safe, and happy in the comfort of home. From cognitive stimulation to help with tasks like meal prep, light housekeeping, and transportation, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance are the top choice for families who cannot provide the Alzheimer’s care their aging loved ones need and deserve. Call 254-856-0600 and speak with a Care Manager to learn about our services and schedule a free consultation.