Seniors cannot afford to lose muscle mass. When combined with health conditions, medication side effects, and the natural aging process, muscle loss in older adults can raise the risk for weakness, falls, and injuries. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your senior loved one reverse muscle loss so he or she can actively enjoy the golden years.
Encourage Joining a Health Club
Joining a gym or health club allows your loved one to work with a staff trainer. The combination of low-impact aerobic exercise, resistance training, and mild weight training builds muscle while reversing existing muscle loss. It’s important for your loved one to start a new fitness regimen very slowly so he or she doesn’t sustain an injury. Before enrolling your loved one in a gym, talk to his or her physician to make sure it’s safe to increase activity.
Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to exercise on their own. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lehigh Valley live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Serve More Protein
Protein-rich foods build muscle while preventing muscle wasting. If your loved one has muscle loss, serve lean sources of protein, such as fish, chicken breasts, low-fat cheeses, and legumes. However, if your loved one is unable to tolerate these foods, talk to his or her healthcare provider about supplemental protein shakes. While an increase in dietary protein may increase muscle function, it may not be appropriate for seniors who have kidney problems or high levels of serum or urinary protein.
A trained professional caregiver can prepare meals that meet all your loved one’s specific nutritional needs. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide elder care, Lehigh Valley, PA, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.
Certain prescription drugs can cause muscle damage, and discontinuing the medication may reverse muscle loss. Medications that may cause muscle loss include statin drugs, which are used in the treatment of high cholesterol. While effective in lowering blood lipids, statins can cause serious side effects, such as liver abnormalities and muscle damage. If your loved one is experiencing muscle pain or weakness as a result of statins, make an appointment with his or her doctor to determine if muscle damage or liver problems are present. If so, the statins will be discontinued, and your loved one will be told to control his or her cholesterol levels through diet, weight loss, and exercise.
Consider Vitamin Supplements
If your loved one has poor nutritional intake despite your best efforts to provide nutritious foods, consider supplementing his or her diet with vitamins and mineral supplements. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to muscle loss. However, when deficiencies are corrected, muscle loss and subsequent weakness may be reversed. As always, talk to your loved one’s healthcare provider prior to supplementing with vitamins and minerals. Elderly people who don’t have true nutritional deficiencies may develop a toxicity and organ damage if vitamin and mineral supplements are taken, especially if consumed in large doses.
Muscle loss is one of many conditions seniors need to be aware of so they can make lifestyle choices that promote optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Lehigh Valley families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 484-350-3874.