Tag Archives: assisted living

Aging and Thinning Skin

Is your skin becoming thinner as you age? Thin skin is a natural part of getting older, alongside wrinkles, less skin elasticity, and skin that is dry or easily damaged. While thinning skin is not reversible, there is help for thinning skin!
  • Moisturize your skin! It can make skin more flexible and less likely to break.
  • Drinking enough water helps keep the skin hydrated. Dry skin can be irritated or damaged more easily and is often less flexible.
  • Avoid anything that makes your skin red or sore. Protect yourself from the sun! You will burn more easily as your skin ages. Also, take care to avoid harsh chemicals that could damage your skin.
  • Wear long sleeves, gloves, and long skirts or trousers to help avoid bruises or tears.
  • Eat a balanced diet to help support overall health. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Vitamin E, found in foods such as almonds and avocados, can also support skin health. The fats in these foods may help to keep the skin supple.
  • Using creams that contain vitamin A, also known as retinol or retinoids, may help to prevent skin from thinning further. Your doctor can prescribe this medication or there are some over the counter products you can use. As with any medication, make sure you follow the instructions and talk to your doctor if you experience problems.
There is usually no need to see a doctor for thin skin that is caused by aging and is not presenting any health problems. If you find you are bruising or damaging your skin often, you may wish to seek medical advice.
Since specific treatment is not available for thin skin, prevention is the best option. Protecting your skin from sunlight and keeping your skin hydrated may help prevent further thinning of the skin.
Hearing aid photo

Hearing loss – you are not alone!

Are you experiencing some of these signs of hearing loss? At age 65, one in three people have hearing loss!

  • Sounds are loud but not clear, people may seem to be mumbling or talking too quickly.
  • You have trouble hearing when there is noise around you, like in a restaurant.
  • People you live with tell you the television is “too loud” or that you speak too loudly or softly.
  • You avoid social situations. They make you anxious or tired because you cannot understand.
  • Others notice you seem confused, depressed or your personality has changed. Because hearing loss is invisible, we notice effects but don’t always think that hearing loss could be the cause.

If you suspect hearing loss, what should you do? First, see your family physician to check for wax in ear canals, infection or some other treatable condition.  If that is not successful, arrange for a hearing test with an audiologist.

Audiologists, while not medical doctors, have a specialized graduate degree and training to evaluate hearing loss, fit hearing aids and help individuals with hearing loss.

If you need a hearing aid, do your research. Hearing aids can be a difficult product to buy and they can be expensive. It may take some time to be properly fitted and comfortable with a device so be patient.

We’ve put together some reputable resources for you about hearing loss.

AARP’s Hearing Center has a range of information, including a free telephone hearing test for AARP members and tips on how to pick the best hearing device for you. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/hearing-resource-center/

Consumer Reports Hearing Aid Buying Guide https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/hearing-aids/buying-guide/index.htm

The Hearing Loss Association of America, an organization representing people with hearing loss. http://www.hearingloss.org/content/understanding-hearing-loss

Tomato in the garden

Legacy of Love

Diane’s mother has gone on. She was not wealthy. All she owned was a 10.6 cubic foot chest freezer, which she had cared for meticulously. A few weeks after her mother’s passing, Diane was cleaning the freezer and found, carefully tucked inside a collection of freezer bags, a collection of short stories written by her mother.

About her daughter.

Diane takes those stories to bed with her every night. She reads them every night and every night, for just a little while, she has her mom back.

…….

Mary Ruth was handed a telephone and told she could call her father and tell him anything she wanted him to know.

“Hi, Dad. I want you to know that I still remember all those rainy, thundery nights you and Mom let me sleep in your bed. I remember curling up into your arms and feeling like all the thunder in the world could never hurt me. I remember all the times growing up when things didn’t go right in my life, you were always there to hold me in your arms and make me feel like the world couldn’t hurt me anymore. I want you to know that, Dad. I miss you. I love you. Bye, bye.”

Mary Ruth’s father had passed away in an assisted living home a year ago.

…….

Toby grew tomatoes in his backyard. Lots of them. More than one man could ever eat. But he didn’t grow them for just one man.

Every year, when he picked those tomatoes, he bagged them and, in the early, early hours of the day when no one was stirring, Toby was stirring, walking door-to-door, leaving a bag of tomatoes on doorstep after doorstep around his neighborhood. The morning after Toby died, his son stepped onto his father’s front porch and there, on that porch, were dozens of tomatoes – one from each person, each family that had ever woken up to a bag of Toby’s tomatoes.

…….

You can leave a house behind. It’ll be sold and the kids will thank you. You can leave a bank account behind. The money will be divided and the kids will thank you. You can leave an insurance policy; stocks, bonds, jewelry, antiques and the kids will thank you.

But if you leave your love behind, they will treasure you.

We don’t say it enough and too many times when we do say it, it’s too late. Tell everyone you love that you love them. Show everyone you love that you love them.

Write them a story.

Give them a call.

Grow them a tomato.

William McDonald
Author at www.oldfriendsendlesslove.com

Taking the First Step

By Karl Knopf, Ed.D.

The following are answers to some commonly asked questions by older adults poised to embark on the trail to health and fitness.

Q. What is the secret to a satisfying retirement?

A. Most gerontologists agree that in addition to doing something that is both mentally and emotionally rewarding, following a sensible and regular physical exercise program is the key. If exercise could be packed into a pill, it would be one of the most widely prescribed medicines in the world.

Unfortunately, although most Americans know that aerobic exercise is important for improving cardiovascular fitness and for losing fat, many neglect to stretch daily or to perform the two to three days per week of strength training that it takes to become truly fit.

Also, most people don’t stay with an exercise program long enough to enjoy the benefits. Instead they start out too hard, get sore and quit, then later feel guilty for quitting and start up again too hard __ and the cycle repeats itself!

It may help to know that in the fitness game, slow’n’steady wins the race!

Q. But I haven’t exercised in years. Isn’t it too late to start now?

Today, just as gender, social class or ethnic background does not preclude a person from enjoying and succeeding in sports or physical activity, neither should a person’s age.

Middle-aged persons should keep in mind that a fit 70_year_old who has remained active can be as strong as an unfit sedentary 30_year_old. In fact, an active person will decline physiologically only by about 1/2 percent per year compared to an inactive person who will decline by about 2 percent.

If you are deconditioned, a rejuvenating exercise program can be tailored to meet your needs through modification and adaptation. Gaining access to the exercise “Fountain of Youth” is not very expensive, nor is it a painful process. For many, it is actually quite enjoyable. Remember, age is a state of mind!

Q. How many minutes per week should I exercise?

A. The optimal amount of time varies among individuals. It is dependent upon many factors such as type of activity, intensity level, and your goals and abilities.

Some interesting findings have surfaced from research conducted in recent years which suggests that more than 300 minutes of vigorous exercise per week may be counterproductive for many participants. Of course, there are various possible explanations for this. The bottom line is: More is not always necessarily better. Everything in moderation is the key to good health.

Q. How can I stick with my fitness program?

A. Most persons who drop out of exercise programs do so because they are not having fun. People will repeat those activities that are enjoyable.

It is not enough to know the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If it were, no one would smoke or drink to excess. People cling to unhealthy habits because they provide security and comfort.

It follows that exercise, to be healthful, must be something that bears repeating. Therefore, we need to seek out physical activities that we will experience as pleasurable and satisfying. Many folks find that cross training __ that is, engaging in several different types of exercise activity each week __ helps them to maintain their enthusiasm. Some say they started exercising for wellness reasons but stuck with it for the friends they met, the improved self-esteem and extra energy they gained, and, yes, the fun they were having!

Remember, the benefits of regular exercise may not show up overnight like plastic surgery. But if you really pay attention, you will see some changes very quickly!

Reprinted from Mature Fitness (formerly published as the Senior Fitness Bulletin) by permission of the American Senior Fitness Association (800) 243-1478, http://www.seniorfitness.net/firststep.htm