Shrinking Height in Seniors - 5 Ways to Keep Bones & Spine Healthy

Author

The Brant Senior Living - Omaha

For more information about the author, click to view their website: The Brant Senior Living

Posted on

Jan 26, 2024

Book/Edition

Nebraska - Eastern Region

Can a Person Shrink in Height?

For some seniors, one of the effects of getting older is they can shrink in height. While this is not necessarily a sign of poor health, it is important to understand why it happens, and what can be done to keep older people’s bodies as strong as possible. If you have a loved one who is experiencing height loss as they age, there are ways you can help them maintain their spine and bone health.

Why Do Some Seniors Lose Height?

There are multiple reasons older people lose height as they age, including compression of the vertebrae or discs, curvature of the spine, and loss of bone density due to conditions such as osteoporosis. In addition, loss of torso muscle mass, and flattening of the feel can contribute to shorter heights. Metabolic changes in the body can also be the cause of a person’s height decreasing.

5 Ways Seniors Can Maintain Skeletal Health

Let’s look at 5 great ways a senior can keep their bones and spine as healthy as possible.

Health, retirement and senior with knee pain after workout or run. Tired grandpa with arthritis sitting alone with hand on leg and painful injury. Medical insurance for physiotherapy for elderly man.
Happy senior woman exercising arms with small weights with help from a physiotherapist and copy space

Preserve Bone Density

Simply put, the denser human bones are, the stronger they remain. A person’s bone density can be greatly affected by diet and exercise. Encourage your loved one to eat foods rich in calcium, such as leafy greens and seafood. Taking Vitamin D is also very helpful, as it aids in the body’s ability to absorb calcium into the bloodstream.

Keeping Spinal Discs Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water will help keep your loved one’s intervertebral disks hydrated, so they do not shrink. It’s also important to move regularly, up to one’s physical ability. This combination of adequate hydration and movement (which helps the disks absorb water) is a great way to minimize the potential for more serious back problems down the road.

Attractive female chiropractor explains to senior woman where her pain is originating and the prescribed treatment plan. She points to a model of the human skeletal system.

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Personal Care Communities Raise Seniors Living Standards

As you age, your future care plans may become a topic of conversation among your family members. Most seniors scoff at the idea of senior living communities. Still, many places that feature personal care services have the potential to renew your sense of purpose and improve your quality of life.Here are five ways personal care communities can help you to live better:Daily Support. A little help goes a long way. With 24-hour personal care services, staff members are available to assist you with dressing, bathing, and grooming. Many senior living communities include light housekeeping, laundry, and maintenance in the rental fee, so youre free to conquer the day on your terms. Safety. A fall-related injury could be detrimental to your health; even a fear of falling can keep you homebound. Personal care communities are designed with mobility challenges in mind, offering fall prevention programs and emergency call systems.Food. Leave the food preparations to the Dining Director. Most communities provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an emphasis on nutrition without sacrificing taste. Special dietary needs are also accommodated.Engagement. Through social, recreational, and educational programs, personal care communities can nurture your physical, mental, and spiritual needs. Senior Commons at Powder Mill in York engages its residents with an array of activities and events designed to foster meaningful relationships. Activities include card games, on-site entertainment, guest speakers, shopping and scenic excursions, devotions and more.  Fitness. Personal care communities provide on-site fitness classes like circuit training and yoga to help maintain your strength, mobility, and balance, so you remain as independent as possible.At Senior Commons, residents are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve with a focus on preserving overall wellness through life-enhancing programs and services. To find out if a move to a senior living community is right for you, schedule a tour to meet the staff and residents.Editors Note: This article was contributed by Kelly Golden, marketing director at Senior Commons at Powder Mill, which provides Independent Living, Personal Care, and Memory Care on one campus.

How To Find a Trusted Home Buying Company

Being up front with you, for the first 10 years (of the now more than 25) of being "in business" as a home buyer, I really didn't know why a home seller would sell to my company.  Although I looked at houses, made offers, and bought houses, I also had the question in the back of my mind... "why doesn't this person just list their house with an agent?"Then the real estate market, along with the rest of the economy "corrected" in 2008.  In the several years after that, I had more seniors and their families calling me that wanted to sell a house.  Because they typically had no or very little debt, they actually could sell their house if they wanted to.The way the market was back then, I would talk to numerous sellers who had listed their house with an agent (some more than once), and when the house didn't sell, would call me.  We are in a much different market now, but the reasons that a seller would sell to a home buyer haven't changed all that much.Sellers would typically tell me that they had spoken to one or more real estate agents, were told they needed to do this, fix that, etc, to list their house, but they didn't want to do those things.  They just wanted to sell their house.For years, one of the first things I ask a seller is, "why wouldn't you just list your house with an agent?"  And, they typically always have or had a reason or reasons why they didn't.A common item that I heard and continue to hear from sellers is, "I'm sure I could get more for my house if I listed it, but I like and value the benefits your company offers, so I would prefer to just sell the house to you."These were the hundreds of sellers that "taught me" why they would choose to sell their house to me.Not needing to get "top dollar" or finding value in home buyer company non-financial benefits are something that seems impossible to grasp for most real estate agents.Are Home Buying Companies A Scam?In my view, some certainly are.  As I've discussed in other articles and videos, beware of "wholesalers."  Wholesalers are individuals or companies that state that they buy houses, advertise that they buy houses, but actually have no intent or financial ability to do so.  Once they get a contract to purchase a house, they look for a "real" buyer to sell the contract to and close on the transaction.Because they have no financial risk, they can often overpromise what they can pay for the house.  And, if they cannot find an end buyer, it leaves the seller in a very precarious position, or the wholesaler tries to reduce the purchase price.Another problem is when a home buyer doesn't actually look at your house before making an offer.  When they make an offer without looking at a house, and the seller signs an agreement with them, and they do finally inspect the property, the price will likely be reduced based on some unknown item the buyer states that they weren't aware of.A real home buyer should be able to "close" and purchase a property as soon as a title company can check title and prepare closing paperwork.  With Home Downsizing Solutions, in less than 7 days, or when the seller wants.  We've even purchased a house within 24 hours of having an agreement signed!Characteristics Of A Good Home Buying CompanyI will provide several characteristics of what I think you should look for in a good home buying company, as these are items that I have done to ensure we are "one of the good guys."Have a Real Estate License.  I think its beneficial for a member of a home buying company to have a real estate license.  In an effort to serve sellers I work with as well as possible, I have a real estate license as well as an SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation.This allows me to provide information on the positives and negatives of listing a house as well as selling to a home buying company.  Have The Financial Ability To Actually Buy Houses.  As mentioned above, there are companies that state that they buy houses, but actually don't or can't.  In my company's case, we actually buy houses.  I encourage sellers to call the title/closing company that the home buyer says will close the transaction to confirm that they can actually buy the house, and not just act as a middleman to sell the contract to the end buyer.I also encourage sellers that I work with to call the title/closing company to ensure the purchase agreement contains the specific information that the seller is agreeing to or understands about the agreement, so that there are no misunderstandings before closing.No Pressure Sales Tactics.  I would warn sellers to beware of companies that pressure a seller to sign immediately, or before they were comfortable with signing a purchase agreement.For a similar reason, I would also beware of agents that just want to disparage home buying companies and not acknowledge at least some of the benefits sellers find of value and choose to work with them.Transparency.  I think a legitimate home buying company should share market information with a seller so they can be as educated as possible.  In my case, we typically always show sellers comparable information for their area.  I want them to see the gross selling price that houses have sold for and the condition of those houses.  I also want to provide a realistic explanation of all the transaction costs to sell a house.Realize that when an agent says they can sell a house for $200,000, for example, that is a "gross" number and not the "net" amount that a seller will put in their pocket.  The total amount of transaction costs and what a seller will "net" from the sale of a house will vary and is dependent upon a number of factors.  In average markets, transaction costs will typically amount to 10% to 15% of the gross selling price.Credible and Trustworthy.  Home Downsizing Solutions and their predecessor entity have had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for more than 25 years.  They also have numerous testimonials and 5 start Google reviews from those 25+ years.As mentioned above, I have a real estate license with an SRES designation.I've written books, articles, and provide other information to educate homeowners about selling a house and downsizing or moving to senior living.Home Downsizing Solutions is also an Industry Partner with the NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers).Why Would Someone Want To Sell A House To A Home Buying Company?What I tell every homeowner I meet with is, that if the benefits that Home Downsizing Solutions offers are of enough value, we can be a great solution.  Otherwise, one of the Total Solutions Agents we work with could be a better option to list and sell their house in a traditional manner.What Are Home Buying Company Benefits?No Need To Do Repairs or Updates to A House.  If your house is in great condition, this item is most likely not very important.  But to a person who has owned a house for 20, 30, or more years and has deferred maintenance or updates to be competitive with potential buyers, this may be a very valuable benefit.Contacting multiple contractors, getting bids, ensuring the work is done well, and living in a construction zone is not something that every homeowner wants to deal with.  I've also had numerous sellers say, "If I do all that work and put a bunch of money into my house, I just as well stay."No Need To Get Rid Of The Stuff.  With Home Downsizing Solutions, I always tell sellers to take what you want, sell what you want, and leave the rest...  we'll take care of it.  Unlike a traditional sale, where you want the house to show as well as possible, we don't care what the house looks like or the amount of stuff.  We purchase hoarder houses, so whatever stuff a seller has is not an issue.  This eliminates the need of getting a dumpster and the time and effort to go through stuff that a seller just doesn't care about.No Showings.  A lot of sellers we've worked with just don't want to get and keep their house in a show ready condition.  They don't want strangers in their house.  They don't want to have to leave their house every time an agent wants to show the house.  Maybe someone in the household has health issues that does not allow them to leave the house, or at least not without a great deal of effort and planning.No Whole House Inspections or Appraisal Surprises.  Most traditional buyers will, understandably, always want a whole house inspection.  And since most buyers need to get a loan from a traditional lender, they will need an appraisal.  In almost all but the very "hot" markets, these items notoriously will turn up "deficiencies" that give the buyer opportunities to renegotiate the purchase price.  In my company's case, we buy the house completely "as is."  Unless a structural issue has been discussed with a seller during the initial walkthrough or signing a purchase agreement, the price doesn't change.Move When You Want.  With Home Downsizing Solutions, we can close and buy a house, but let the seller remain in the house for up to 90 days or more.We have worked with many situations where the seller had a "catch 22" where they could either move into a new living arrangement right away but didn't want to leave a vacant house, or they wanted to sell but their new home or apartment wasn't ready for them to move into.  By buying their house and letting them transition to their new home or apartment on their schedule, we eliminated those issues.By being able to buy a house before having to move, sellers are also able to eliminate the need of a bridge loan, if they needed funds from the sale of their house to move into a new living arrangement.We have also worked with situations where we purchased a house, and let the seller keep possession until they were able to have a local resource have an estate sale so they could monetize whatever "stuff" they could.  Then we took care of any of the stuff that didn't sell, so the seller or estate sale company didn't have the time or expense to dispose of the items.Sell Your House And Stay As Long As You Want.  If you love your home but don't want to worry about maintenance or repairs, we now provide an option for that.  We can buy a house and allow the seller to rent the property as long as they want.  We can even come in, make updates or repairs to "age in place," and create the home environment you want.Provide Concierge Services.  A good home buying company, like Home Downsizing Solutions, will learn and understand the logistical needs of the seller.  We have provided or introduced sellers to services such as senior placement agents, senior move managers, moving companies, or other resources that made the transition to a new home less stressful.What Do Home Buying Companies Actually Pay For HousesOne of the first questions I typically am asked is, "what do you pay for houses," or "what percentage of market value do you pay for houses?"  It is common for real estate investing "gurus" to teach their new students to make offers of 70% to 75% of market value, minus repairs.  However, for a good home buying company, this is not all that accurate, and is a very simplistic way to look at this.  It would be comparable to say, "all real estate agents charge 7% to sell a house."With Home Downsizing Solutions, it depends... it depends on what time of year (holding costs are higher in the winter).  It depends on the comparables we can find to determine values or potential values of an area or subdivision.  It depends if there are just cosmetic and "stuff" issues to deal with or if there are structural or potential structural issues.  Another way to state the above is, it depends on risk.  If we perceive more risk to buying a house, our offer is going to be lower than if we perceive less risk.When a real estate agent lists a house, they have no financial risk.  When a wholesaler makes an offer on a house, they have no financial risk.  When my company buys a house, we have a lot of financial risk.  If our calculations are wrong, or there are issues with a house that we were not able to determine before purchasing a house, we can't go back to a seller and renegotiate.  We have all the risk.I know that when we speak to a seller, we have to be competitive with our offers, because they have multiple other options to choose from.  If we were not competitive or provide value to potential sellers, we would not be in business after 25+ years.Home Downsizing Solutions home buyers provides multiple types of offers for sellers.  One example of an offer, other than an all-cash offer, is if a seller doesn't need all of the funds from the sale of a house immediately, we can pay a much higher than retail price by making payments to the seller and turning the equity in the house into an income stream.  Another way to look at this type of option is, the easier it is to buy a house, the more we can pay.Is A Cash Home Buying Company A Good Option To Sell A House?Everyone's situation is unique, and one size does not fit all.  If you're considering selling your house, we can provide a free consultation to discuss the positives and negatives of the multiple options you have to get your house sold.  We want to provide the information you need to make an informed decision of the best path forward for your real estate needs.For additional information, just go to www.HomeDownsiziing.com or call us at (855)-433-5854.

Are You Suffering from Too Much House

Have you lived in your house for 20, 30, 40 years or more?  Are there rooms or entire floors that you no longer use or need?  Are there maintenance or repair items that should be addressed, but you don't have the funds or want to spend what is needed for those items?These are common concerns homeowners think when they are considering selling their house and downsizing.  Like with any important decision, you need to educate yourself as best you can on this important life change, take time to digest the information, and study all of your available options.  Selling a house and moving to a smaller home, apartment, or other senior living arrangement provides new opportunities as well as potential challenges.Questions You May Be AskingJust some of the questions you may be asking are:  Where will I go?  What are the best living arrangements for my current as well as future needs?  What are the financial limitations or benefits with a move?  Is your present or future health condition a concern?  What items do I want, or can I take with me?  How much is my house worth in its present condition?  What repairs and maintenance items need to be addressed to make the house more sellable, and what are the costs of those?Is It Time to Sell Your House and Downsize?Only you can answer the above question.  One of the primary items to consider is whether your house is too large or is just not the best housing option for your current or future needs.Has the death of a spouse made you ask if now's the time to move?  This can certainly occur after the loss of a loved one.Has your house become too much of a burden?  Has navigating stairs become a challenge or a danger to your health?Are there repairs or deferred maintenance that needs to be addressed?  Ignoring these items will not make them go away.  You may no longer want to take on the do-it-yourself projects that you once did.  These items may not be possible because of your current finances, or you just don't want to spend the money on them.Is the condition of your health pushing you to move in with an adult child or move to an apartment community with healthcare options available for current and future needs?  This can often be a factor in determining that it is indeed time to make the move to a better living arrangement, and be able to enjoy life more!  If an adult child worried that you're no longer safe in your house and would like you in a living arrangement better suited for your needs?Would you like to stay in your house if you didn't have to worry about repairs, maintenance items, or outside tasks like mowing the lawn and scooping snow?  There are options available that will allow you to stay in your house and not have to worry about those items.Items to Consider Before Selling Your House and DownsizingSome things to consider before selling your house and downsizing include:  The timeline you are working with in regard to when you'd like to move, your current health, do you want or need to move sooner than later, and other factors such as what type and cost of living accommodations do you want to move to, and what items do you wish to take with you.Choosing The Best Real Estate ProfessionalThe right real estate professional can be a great asset in the process of selling a house and downsizing.  They should have the experience in assisting homeowners that have your unique needs when selling a house and downsizing or moving to senior living.Most importantly, they should be able to offer multiple solutions to accommodate your needs and desires to get your house sold.  Someone that I consider a Total Solutions Agent.The best real estate professional is someone that can offer or facilitate a direct sale of your house in its current "as is" condition and assist with your transition to a new home or other senior living arrangement, as well as being able to market your house in a traditional manner.Selling to a direct home buyer can be a great solution if you don't want to show your house, have strangers in and out of your house, do updates and repairs that you would not prefer to do or just don't want to spend the money on, or don't want to deal with the "catch 22" of selling your house before you know you can move into your new home or apartment, or moving and worrying about a vacant house.A direct home buyer may also be a good solution in situations where adult children, who live out of the area, are tasked with getting a parent or loved one into a senior living arrangement, and do not have the time or ability to get a house into show ready condition, especially if the house needs repairs and maintenance or is a hoarder situation.Listing and putting your house on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) may be the best solution if you don't mind those items mentioned above and want or need to maximize the value from your house.  Listing your house will expose your property to the market of buyers and their agents that are looking to purchase a home.  Current market conditions will dictate how easy or challenging selling your house in this manner will be.The best solution to sell your house typically comes down to the benefits a direct home buying company or real estate agent provides and the value you place on those benefits.Additional Resources to Serve YouThe best real estate professionals will also have additional resources available to make the transition from your house to a new home or apartment as stress and hassle free as possible.Providing "concierge like" services with connecting you with a move manager and/or moving company and possibly a "placement agent" that can discuss your needs of a new home or apartment community, can make the transition much easier.Are You Ready See If Selling Your House and Downsizing Is Right for You?If you're ready to see if selling your house and downsizing is right for you, just know that there are many resources available, starting with contacting us at Home Downsizing Solutions!

Local Services By This Author

The Brant Senior Living

Assisted Living 6991 S 178th Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska, 68137

Our five levels of assisted living offer individualized care to meet the unique needs of each resident. With support for activities of daily living including areas such as medication management which is included in the base rent, it is not an additional care level. We enable our residents to maintain independence to suit their lifestyle, as well as any acute and long-term care needs through a progressively supportive model of care.Senior assisted living isnt something many older adults like to think about for their future. However, there may come a time when aging in place is no longer safe or healthy. Our luxury assisted living community offers the high-quality care older adults need while encouraging them to live an independent lifestyle. Our pet-friendly community allows residents to keep their precious furry family members by their side as they navigate this new experience in their lives. At The Brant, we are dedicated to creating the most comfortable living environment for our residents. Were proud to offer conscious assisted living to give you the safe, comfortable lifestyle you deserve; a community that understands each human is unique and have different wants, needs and desires. When you visit us, we will show you around and answer all your questions to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle.

The Brant Senior Living

Independent Living 6991 S 178th Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska, 68136

Our approach to independent living is a balance of prevention and access to care services and availability of a number of amenities for active seniorsfrom recreational pursuits to onsite events and activities. Not to mention the conscious lifestyle at The Brant means the advantage of a connection to surrounding communities where there are plenty more opportunities to live well! And if the time comes when you need additional care and support, The Brant can provide it for you.

The Brant Senior Living

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Our residents can count on specialized memory care services for those experiencing the dementia and Alzheimer's journey. The memory care team at The Brant is equipped to support all forms of dementia for a personalized care model.To help lessen the effects of memory loss, residents are frequently engaged with enriching activities. These include thoughtful, holistic and purposeful games, classes, , music programs and more.