Loneliness and Health Complications In Seniors

We’ve all felt lonely at some point in our lives. Usually, it is fleeting and resolved rather quickly, but loneliness poses a real problem for some senior citizens. It’s important for friends and family members to reach out to each other often, especially since seniors can see increased health problems stemming from loneliness.

So, be sure to visit your senior friends and family members. If you’ve ever felt unsure what to say to your loved one to keep the conversation flowing, that’s OK. Use some of these great Conversation Starter Tips for talking to your senior loved ones. And loneliness is often worse on the weekends and at night, so be sure to send a card or bring pictures for your loved one to look at long after your visit is over (or even make a nightly phone call after dinner!).

HEALTH COMPLICATIONS FROM LONELINESS

Lower Immune System

There are many theorized biological reasons why a lonely person suffers from a lower immune system than someone happy and surrounded by loved ones. The bottom line is this: Those who are socially isolated have an immune system that is working in overdrive and can’t seem to fight off every infection and virus that comes across. That means lonely seniors have higher instances of cancer and other sickness that make them ill far too often.

Loneliness and Health Complications In Seniors - American House Blog

Loneliness is often worse on the weekends and at night for seniors, so be sure to send a card or bring pictures for your loved one to look at long after your visit is over.

High Blood Pressure

Interestingly, loneliness raises levels of cortisol in the body — the stress hormone — and in turn, blood pressure goes up. Therefore, those who aren’t lonely are happier and as a result, generally have less stress and lower cortisol levels — and lower blood pressure.

Strokes and Heart Attacks

Along with elevated blood pressure comes the increased risk of strokes and heart attacks, as well as other coronary issues. When the blood pressure is high, the heart is pumping harder and less is actually accomplished. Blockages can’t be pushed open and clots can form.

Disrupted Sleep

A lonely person likely isn’t having good, contented sleep at night. As a result, that person’s body doesn’t have the best chance at using that sleep for all its restorative purposes. Plus, lonely folks often have more interrupted sleep.

Depression

It’s no surprise that loneliness breeds depression. And with depression comes a slew of other less-than-ideal health conditions: Lack of care for self (as in follow up appointments with doctors) and poor hygiene (which can lead to dental problems and more) are just a few.

AMERICAN HOUSE COMBATS LONELINESS

At American House, we do everything we can to make sure your loved ones are happy, having fun and anything but lonely. Give us a call at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a visit and see for yourself all the unique activities and events we have planned in our communities and interesting facts about the nearby areas.

How To Prevent Falls: 3 Simple Prevention Exercises For Seniors

BH_Exercise_2011Are you worried about falling? Just because you’re growing older doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to take a spill or two — it’s all about strengthening your core balance. Many senior citizens fear falling and unknowingly alter their posture to compensate. However, that could be what is making you MORE susceptible to falls.

Do you find yourself leaning forward when you walk so that in case you do stumble, you can fall forward and catch yourself on your arms? This poor posture isn’t the ideal form for your body to take and your center of gravity is off-kilter — leading to a higher chance for you to become off-balance. Your hips and knees are enduring a stronger and unnatural strain, plus the front of your feet are now bearing much of your weight. As a result, your stride becomes more of a shuffle because you are taking smaller steps with your feet not leaving the ground as much. Our 3 Simple Fall Prevention Exercises for Seniors can help!

Eliminating all other factors that can cause instability, such as medications that make you dizzy and underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, etc., the easiest way you can prevent falls is by incorporating a light exercise and stretching routine. And you don’t have to work hard and break a sweat; the point of this is to strengthen those muscles and keep them in tip-top shape to be able to support you!

3 SIMPLE FALL PREVENTION EXERCISES FOR SENIORS

So are you ready to begin? At American House, we are committed to helping seniors live their best lives. In fact, several of our locations have iBalance machines to help our residents exercise and reduce the chances of falling.

If you don’t have an iBalance machine at your disposal, you can still start stretching:

TOE RAISES

This exercise will strengthen the back of your legs, helping your balance and comfort leaning backward.

  • Stand behind a chair, with your hands on the back.
  • Using the strength in your legs, stand up and down on your toes. Repeat 10 times.
  • Try not to balance with your arms; the ideal goal is to do this without using the chair for support.

SIT AND REACH

This exercise strengthens your core muscles, which helps improve your balance.

  • Sit on a chair and place your feet flat on the ground.
  • Extend your arms straight in front of you and reach forward (not down).
  • Focus on using your hips, not your shoulders or your back, to stretch forward.
  • Sit back, straight up. Repeat 5 times.

HIP STABILIZER

This exercise will help strengthen your hip movements, which will help stabilize your walking.

  • Stand behind a chair, with your legs on the back of it.
  • Lift and extend your right leg to the side. Keep your knees straight and your toes pointed forward.
  • Slowly return your leg back to the ground.
  • Repeat 10 times. Switch legs and repeat 10 times.

BEFORE YOU EXERCISE 

  • ALWAYS check with your doctor before starting any new exercise or stretching program.
  • Wear proper attire: Loose clothing and shoes with support.
  • Hydrate. Drink water before, during and after any workout.
  • Stretch — before and after you exercise.

LEARN MORE

Want to learn more about staying healthy as you age? Check out the programs and amenities we have at American House Senior Living Communities! Give us a call today at (248) 579-4422 to schedule a tour or visit us online at www.americanhouse.com.

Residents And Their Families Get Connected Online Through Social Media

Last month American House launched ConnectedLiving, an interactive, cloud-based social networking platform aimed just for seniors. The platform will help our residents connect to their friends and families through social networking, email, photo and video sharing, games and even Skype!

The simple and secure web-based application uses a combination of color, images and words to simply display all the site has to offer. Its exchange features no technical jargon making it intuitive to use – residents can easily communicate with one another, get entertainment or access community information.

American House Connected Living

American House recently launched ConnectedLiving, an interactive, cloud-based social networking platform just for seniors.

Last month, American House celebrated the launch of ConnectedLiving in five of our Metro Detroit communities: Sterling Woods, MilfordDearborn Heights, Village and Baldwin House.

“Launching ConnectedLiving into our communities will bring a new way for our residents and their families to connect and safely explore the web,” said Rob Gillette, chief operating officer. “We hope this will make it easier for our communities to stay in touch with one another and their families.”

Each community celebrated the new addition of the platform with its own launch party. The events consisted of a full introduction to the network by the ConnectedLiving operations team and a ceremonious ribbon cutting of the front lobby’s interactive digital display screen. A few reporters had a chance to stop by and see everything in action as well. You can read more at the Milford Times or the Advisor & Source.

The latest stats show that as many as 43 percent of all seniors are now using social media to share photos and connect with their families. In fact, seniors are quickly becoming the fastest growing adopters to social networking and new technology!

To complement the launch of ConnectedLiving, American House will hold training programs for residents and families on the social networking platform, as well as some tips for browsing the web. Residents will learn how to view daily events and menus, read the latest news around the world, listen to music or watch their favorite movies, and even play games.

Best of all, you can access ConnectedLiving from any computer, tablet or smart phone, connecting you wherever you go. Learn more about ConnectedLiving or get connected with us by visiting any one of our five communities.