The numbers of people over 45 is growing every year. People are hoping to stay active and vibrant as long as possible. There are over 76 million baby boomers today over 50, and the first of the 82.1 million Generation X-ers are about to reach that milestone in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).According to Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging Magazine and creator of September is Healthy Aging Month(Opens in a new window), its never too late to find a new career, a new sport, passion or hobby. Healthy Aging Month is an annual observance month designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older that began over 20 years ago.Tips for Reinventing Yourself As You AgeTo get you started on re-inventing yourself, here are 10 tips from Healthy Aging Magazine(Opens in a new window):Do not act your age or at least what you think your current age should act like. What was your best year so far? 28? 40? Now? Picture yourself at that age and be it.Be positive in your conversations and your actions every day.Have negative friends who complain all of the time and constantly talk about how awful everything is?Walk like a vibrant, healthy person. Make a conscious effort to take big strides, walk with your heel first and wear comfortable shoes.Stand up straight. You can knock off the appearance of a few extra years with this trick your mother kept trying to tell you. Fix your stance and practice it every day. You will look great and feel better.Hows your smile? Research shows people who smile more often are happier.Lonely? Stop brooding and complaining about having no friends or family. Do something about it now. Right this minute.Start walking not only for your health but to see the neighbors.Make this month the time to set up your annual physical and other health screenings.Find your inner artist. Sign up now for fall art or music classes and discover your inner artist!WebMD - Healthy Aging TipsFollow these tips from WebMD to stay at your peak!Get moving - Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain.Stay social - Take a class, volunteer, play games, see old friends, and make new ones.Bulk up - Eat beans and other high-fiber foods for digestive and heart health.Add some spice - Add herbs and spices to your meals if medications dull your taste buds.Stay balanced - Practice yoga or tai chi to improve agility and prevent falls.Take a hike - Brisk daily walks this September can bolster both your heart and lungs.Sleep well - Talk to a sleep specialist if you dont sleep soundly through the night.Beat the blues - If youve been down for a while, see a doctor.Dont forget - To aid your memory, make lists, follow routines, slow down, and organize.Fall PreventionFall prevention is an important component to healthy aging. Elderly people can lose their sense of balance, judgment and motor skills as they get older. This results in awkward falls, and with weakened bones, extreme cases can lead to severe breaks or even further gravely complications.
Winter Wellness for SeniorsBy Patrick Troumbley, MS, CSCSBalancing the 8 Pillars of Wellness for Seniors in Winter: Evidence-Based Insights Introduction As winter descends, the well-being of seniors becomes a paramount concern. Aging individuals must navigate the unique challenges that colder temperatures and reduced daylight hours bring. This article delves into the intricacies of balancing the 8 pillars of wellness for seniors during the winter season, substantiating insights with scholarly references. Physical Wellness Physical wellness, a cornerstone of senior health, demands careful attention during winter. Maintaining physical activity is essential for avoiding the adverse effects of inactivity and cold weather. A study by de Rezende et al. (2014) emphasizes the importance of regular physical activity for seniors, citing its role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Indoor exercises like yoga and chair exercises, as recommended by the American Heart Association (2021), offer viable options to stay active during winter. Mental Wellness The winter months often usher in feelings of isolation and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A study by Melrose (2015) underscores the prevalence of SAD among older adults. Engaging in cognitive stimulation activities can alleviate symptoms. Seniors can find solace in local clubs, virtual classes, and community events, as advocated by Forrester (2017), who highlights the significance of social engagement in mitigating SAD symptoms. Emotional WellnessEmotional wellness hinges on effective emotional regulation. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are integral components of emotional wellness. A systematic review by Rusch et al. (2019) supports the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress and anxiety. Seniors can access mindfulness resources and guidance on emotional wellness through organizations such as Seniors Blue Book Utah. Social WellnessMaintaining an active social life is pivotal for seniors. The adverse effects of social isolation on senior well-being have been extensively documented (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015). Seniors are encouraged to participate in local clubs and community events, as promoted by Senior Expos, to foster social connections. Intellectual Wellness Intellectual wellness necessitates ongoing learning and mental stimulation. Seniors can embrace hobbies like reading and learning new languages to foster intellectual growth. A study by Verghese et al. (2003) associates intellectual engagement with a reduced risk of cognitive decline in aging individuals. Occupational Wellness Occupational wellness transcends traditional work and relates to engaging in purposeful activities. Volunteering, as explored in a study by Okun et al. (2016), offers seniors a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Seniors can explore volunteer opportunities through organizations like Seniors Blue Book Utah. Environmental Wellness Winter introduces environmental challenges, such as slippery sidewalks and heating concerns. Seniors must ensure their living environments are safe and comfortable. The National Institute on Aging (2021) provides valuable tips for creating senior-friendly environments. Spiritual Wellness Spiritual wellness revolves around finding meaning and purpose in life. Engaging in spiritual practices, such as meditation and prayer, can provide solace and inner peace. A study by Carlson et al. (2016) explores the positive effects of mindfulness-based spiritual practices on well-being. Conclusion Balancing the 8 pillars of wellness is paramount for senior well-being, especially during the winter months. Evidence-based insights emphasize the need for regular physical activity, cognitive stimulation, social engagement, and emotional regulation. Seniors can access resources and information from reputable organizations like Seniors Blue Book Utah and Senior Expos to aid in their pursuit of wellness. By integrating these scholarly insights into their winter routines, seniors can not only survive but thrive during this season, enjoying a life marked by health, happiness, and purpose. References: American Heart Association. (2021). Recommendations for Physical Activity in Older Adults. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-older-adults Carlson, L. E., et al. (2016). Mindfulness-based interventions for coping with cancer. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373(1), 5-12.de Rezende, L. F. M., et al. (2014). Physical activity and preventable premature deaths from non-communicable diseases in Brazil. Journal of Public Health, 36(3), 514-522. Forrester, A. (2017). Seasonal affective disorder in older adults: improving mood and well-being through leisure interventions. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 41(1), 39-53. Holt-Lunstad, J., et al. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227-237.Melrose, S. (2015). Seasonal affective disorder: An overview of assessment and treatment approaches. Depression Research and Treatment, 2015, 1-6.National Institute on Aging. (2021). Winter Safety Tips for Older Adults. https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/infographics/winter-safety-tips-older-adults Okun, M. A., et al. (2016). Volunteering by older adults and risk of mortality: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 31(6), 634-645. Rusch, H. L., et al. (2019). A randomized controlled trial of the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on posttraumatic growth among survivors of interpersonal violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32(6), 936-946. Verghese, J., et al. (2003). Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(25), 2508-2516.Patrick Troumbley, MS, CSCS
Health Affairs estimates that 4 million older adults can only leave their homes with assistance, making accessing care challenging.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1.3 million Americans receive care in nursing homes. According to A Place for Mom, more than 810,000 reside in assisted living.Home health care presents an alternative to nursing homes and assisted living, providing care for homebound people. Those who receive home health care can remain in their residences, reducing expenses, preserving autonomy, and maintaining community ties.Although Medicare funds some home health care services, a recent study has found that Medicare beneficiaries are underutilizing the programs home health care options. Many older adults do not receive the home-based clinical care or home-based long-term services and supports that could benefit them.Medicare Coverage of Home Health ServicesMedicare Parts A and B cover certain home health services. Homebound individuals can receive part-time or intermittent skilled services. Part A covers home health care for people following a hospital stay or a stay in a skilled nursing facility. Part B provides home health care for homebound adults who need skilled nursing care.A Medicare beneficiary is considered homebound in the following situations:Because of an illness or injury, they have trouble leaving their home without help, such as a cane, wheelchair, walker, or crutches, special transportation, or another persons assistance.Their physician recommends staying at home.Leaving their residence takes a major effort.The program covers medically necessary part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and health assistance, durable medical equipment, and medical supplies for use at home.Medicaid also covers long-term services and supports (LTSS), which include medical and personal care services that aid with activities of daily living (ADLs). These are the kinds of services an assisted living facility typically provides.Use of Home-Based Clinical Care and Long-Term Services and Supports Among Homebound Older AdultsA 2023 study published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association looked into home-based clinical care and home-based LTSS among homebound older Medicare beneficiaries. The researchers examined the Medicare claims of 974 beneficiaries to shed light on their use of in-home services.The study found that while homebound individuals used these services, no group received high levels of all care types.Homebound individuals more commonly utilized LTSS services than home-based clinical care.Approximately 30 percent of participants received some home-based clinical care.About 80 percent of the sample received home-based LTSS.The researchers identified three levels of home clinical care and LTSS usage among older adults:Low Care and Services (46.6 percent). The largest group of participants received little home-based care. These individuals tended to be younger with fewer chronic conditions and functional impairments.Home Health Only with LTSS (44.5 percent). While this group used some home health services, such as assistance with ADLs, they received little home-based clinical care.High Clinical with LTSS (8.9 percent). Only a few participants had extensive home-based clinical care. In addition to tending to be older, they were more likely to have dementia and live alone.In finding that only roughly 9 percent of participants receive high levels of clinical care and LTSS, the study points to a gap between those who could benefit from these services and the care provided. Although in-home care and support could meet the needs of older adults, many homebound older adults do not take full advantage of the services available.Learn More About Your OptionsIf you or your loved one need help with medicare care of activities of daily living at home, contact Sharek Law Office at 412-347-1731 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15-Minute call to learn more about your options. This article is a service of Sharek Law Office, LLC. We dont just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than youve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life and Legacy Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge. Please note this is educational content only and is not intended to act as legal advice.