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The Importance of Exercise for Seniors

Physical activity is one of the most important things a senior citizen can do to help preserve their independence and health as they age. There are numerous health benefits for seniors associated with regular physical activity. These include better balance, fewer falls, improved cardiovascular health, and better bone, joint, and muscle health. Regular physical activity also can improve mood, reduce the risk of depression, and promote better sleep quality. Choosing to improve fitness is a smart decision offering real, measurable health benefits.

Senior Exercise Targets

Even if a senior has never been much for exercise and fitness, fitness is a journey most can start at any age and see physical improvements, according to Harvard Medical School. The 10-year MacArthur Study of Aging in America project found that even people who had never exercised before could improve their physical fitness in their 70s and 80s with regular exercise. However, seniors should discuss plans to change physical activity levels with their health care provider before starting a new fitness routine.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises seniors just beginning their fitness journey to start out gradually and work up to the recommended two hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity and twice-weekly sets of activities that work all major muscle groups. The best exercise routines for seniors will focus on four primary fitness targets. These are balance, flexibility, endurance, or aerobic exercise and strength training.

Each of these focus areas has a role in improving quality of life and overall fitness. Balance and strength training can translate into fewer falls and bone fractures. According to the CDC, falls are the top cause of death due to injury for seniors. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that mortality risk could increase for a decade in seniors after a broken bone. Endurance or aerobic exercise can help cardio health and improve lung capacity. Flexibility and strength training support mobility. All of these exercise-related health benefits help to promote independent living for seniors.

Types of Exercise

Swimming is an excellent choice for low-impact activities that offer excellent health returns over time. For people with osteoporosis or joint ailments, swimming is a great option for strengthening muscles and improving cardiovascular health. Brisk walking is another great option, with the advantage of being readily available to almost everybody. With just a pair of comfortable shoes, you can walk your way to better fitness. If physically able, shoot for 10,000 steps throughout the day. Research shows that regularly getting 10,000 steps a day can reduce the likelihood of death during the next ten years by 46 percent.

Yoga and Pilates promote flexibility, strength, balance, and motor control. Both are typically low-impact, meaning easy on the joints and ideal for seniors. Regular range of motion exercises can help preserve and also enhance flexibility and mobility. Bicycling is another low-impact excellent option, helping seniors toward better cardiovascular health while working the leg muscles.

The Gym is Great For Seniors

While there are plenty of strength training exercises that can be done at home, there’s a lot of advantages to using a gym, especially for beginners. Strength training equipment is often the safest option for frail seniors just beginning their fitness and strength training journey. Weight machines, for example, can be safer to start on as compared to other weight and strength training options because they also offer stability in positioning.

Gyms also offer a variety of exercise and workout programs, including fitness classes. That can be very helpful for beginners, helping to avoid exercise-related injuries and to develop effective, efficient work-out routines. Many gyms offer classes especially for seniors, specifically targeting their exercise needs. One fitness chain that offers senior-specific classes is Chuze Fitness, with gyms in Tucson, Albuquerque, Denver, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

Make It Social

Social interaction is also vital to senior health and well-being. Exercising with a friend, a group, or taking classes at a gym is a great way to combine two of the most important elements of long-term senior health. Working out with friends helps everyone involved to be healthier, stronger, and to enjoy a better day-to-day quality of life.

6 Housing Options for Seniors

The housing options for seniors can vary; what works for one family can be completely different from what works for another. It’s always advisable to exhaustively research your options before making a decision that will ensure the highest quality of life possible for your loved one. Here are some of the options you might consider:

Living at Home

Many seniors feel that living in the comfort of their own home is most desirable. It’s likely where they’ve lived for a long time, and they may prefer the feelings of normalcy they experience there. Fortunately, private nursing care makes living at home possible even when the loved one needs assistance. To continue to live at home, an older person should be physically and mentally capable of living an independent life with a little help, if help is needed.

Living in an Active Adult Community

An active adult community can consist of houses, townhouses, apartments, condos, or even trailers. Most of these communities are open to people who can live an independent life and are at least 55 years old. The residents are capable of caring for themselves and their homes. The communities typically offer social activities that encourage seniors living in the community to interact with one another.

Living in an Independent Living Community

An independent living community is also called a retirement community or a retirement home. A unit in this type of living environment can be purchased or rented. People living here may have access to transportation and household services, and their meals may be included. The majority of the seniors living in an independent living community are independent. This is an ideal option for many semi-active seniors who enjoy living in a community with people their age and like having someone clean their house and prepare their meals.

Living in an Assisted Living Residence

Living in an assisted living residence is somewhat like living in an independent living community. Personal care is offered in an assisted living facility, however, and people with dementia live in units that are designed for people with this illness. Fairly active seniors who require assistance with everyday chores may want to consider living in an assisted living residence.

Living in a Nursing Home

A nursing home may also be called an extended care facility. Nurses and medical professionals are typically available round the clock to give the patients the health care they need. Depending on the situation, some people stay there on a temporary basis while others remain there indefinitely. If your loved one requires round-the-clock care, you may find that living in a nursing home is the best option.

Living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community

More expensive than all the other options is the continuing care retirement community. Here you can choose to live an independent living lifestyle, an assisted living lifestyle, or a nursing home lifestyle. Since all of these residences are in the same location, you can easily change your residence when your situation changes and you discover that you need additional medical assistance. Moving into a continuing care retirement community makes living in the same community for the remainder of your life possible. Doing so sets up a plan for the future.

What You Need to Do Before You Move Into a Senior Community

Before deciding to settle into a senior community, discuss what you are thinking of doing with your family and your friends. Ask your doctor for advice. Your health care professional should be able to help you decide which senior residence is best for you. If you are not well enough to make the right decision, have a family member do it for you.

You should also analyze your financial needs and create a budget plan. Choose a senior community that meets all of your needs. Locate senior living residences in your area. When you find them, request that you be taken on a tour of these places, then evaluate them. Before you sign a contract, carefully examine it. Let your lawyer look it over. Ask your family for help with selecting a senior residence.

Also, ask your physician to explain how to determine if you or a loved one is suitable to live in a senior community. Get information about the type of care needed. Ask your doctor if living in a senior community temporarily or permanently is recommended.

Making the Most of Open Enrollment

It’s time for open enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you want to add, change, or keep your current insurance policy, you have a limited time to complete the necessary application and documentation. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when choosing insurance and making the most out of open enrollment this year.

Premiums

The premium refers to the amount of money you will pay each month for your health insurance. However, you may qualify for assistance paying for your premiums. After you fill out your application, you’ll get to see how much money the Health Insurance Marketplace will pay towards your premiums each month. Each plan will have different premiums, as they will offer different amounts of coverage. You can compare online health insurance quotes to find the right plan that meets your needs and budget.

Copays

If you have to go to the doctor, you don’t want to have any surprises regarding how much your visit will cost. You can avoid this by choosing a plan with a copay. A copay is the amount of money you will need to pay for a doctor or specialist visit. When selecting a health insurance policy, you need to keep in mind that copays might be different for primary care physicians and specialists.

Deductibles

Before an insurance policy financially covers certain procedures, you will need to meet the deductible by paying a certain amount of money out of pocket. Once you meet your deductible, you won’t have to pay it again until the following year. Doctor’s visits tend to be excluded from deductible requirements, and many insurance policies will only require that you pay a copay for doctor’s visits even before you have met your deductible.

Prescription Coverage

If you take prescription drugs, this is one area that you need to pay extra attention to going forward. Insurance policies will vary quite a bit as to the amount of coverage that they offer. Some policies also require that you meet a pharmacy deductible before paying for part of your prescriptions, while other policies will only require that you pay copays. The amount of the copay will depend on the type of drug. Prescription drugs fall into four tiers. These tiers include Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4. Each tier can have a different copay amount.

Referrals

PPO and HMO insurance policies are the two different options you have when choosing insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. One requires the need for a referral, while the other does not. PPO policies don’t require a referral from a doctor, and you can see any doctor you’d like without the need for your primary care physician to approve it as long as the doctor takes your policy. HMO policies require that you get a referral if you want insurance to cover it. Many people choose PPO policies because they don’t want to wait to get a referral to see a doctor, but PPO policies do tend to be more expensive than HMO policies.

Open enrollment is upon us, and you need to act quickly if you want to have health insurance next year. Before choosing an insurance policy through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you need to keep the above information in mind. This will allow you to make the most out of open enrollment.

5 Ways Seniors Can Successfully Manage Chronic Pain

Science hasn’t yet discovered a way to halt the aging process (and its less-than-glamorous side effects) entirely. Most people will inevitably encounter problems with the aging process, regardless of how well-balanced their diets are or how much they exercise.

For seniors, the changes brought on by the aging process are all-encompassing. Some of the aging process’ effects are physically apparent, i.e., skin losing its elasticity, hair falling out or greying, etc., while others are more discreet. Unfortunately, these are some of the milder symptoms associated with aging.

However, the most unpleasant consequences of aging are those related to reduced bodily function and muscular deterioration. How does the aging process interfere with a senior citizen’s body function? During peak golden years, elderly folks report a loss of vision, hearing loss, the development of respiratory and circulatory issues, and the onset of gastrointestinal problems.

In most cases, these seniors spend the most time complaining about mobility loss and the onset of chronic pain. These are problems that result from changes in the bones, joints, and muscles.

Loss of bone density is one of the primary causes of brittle bones, brought on by the decrease of calcium and other minerals that promote bone health. As for a senior’s joints, the production of protective fluids that insulate the tendons and ligaments slows, causing wear and tear on the tendons and ligaments, stiff joints, and unbearable pain levels. If diagnosed with degenerative joint disease, elderly folks should expect the protective disks between their vertebrae to wear down.

As for an elderly patient’s muscles, muscle fiber deterioration occurs primarily due to nutrition issues and the lack of exercise, stirring a vicious circle. Because a senior’s mobility will inevitably decrease, they’ll lose muscle tone, exacerbating existing muscle fiber deterioration. Deteriorating muscles translates to limited mobility.

All of these bodily changes are worth mentioning, as they’re the primary culprits of chronic pain. When an older person suffers from chronic pain, it stands to rob them of their quality of life. They stay stationary and prefer not to move as a way of avoiding pain. Eventually, the onset of chronic pain leads to mental and psychological problems and further physical health problems due to a lack of exercise. As stated above, it’s all-encompassing.

How to manage life-altering chronic pain

The aging process is a normal part of life. However, seniors should not have to endure pain while advancing into the next stage of life. Pain management for seniors is necessary to help them maintain an active lifestyle. The good news is there are several strategies seniors can use to manage pain. Here are five examples:

  • Improve Sleep Habits
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pain Medications
  • Soothing Heat
  • TENS Therapy

Improve sleep habits

Getting a good night’s sleep should be a top priority for senior citizens struggling with medical challenges, including chronic pain issues. A terrific sleeping solution for seniors is a state-of-the-art bed like this that users can easily adjust for optimal comfort.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult for seniors to sleep when they can’t find a position that doesn’t aggravate their pain issues. With an adjustable bed, they can make adjustments until they find a sleep position that allows them to sleep free of pain. Remember, it’s easier for seniors to focus on improving their health if they’re well-rested.

Physical therapy

Even though a senior’s capacity to exercise diminishes, the body’s need for exercise continues. An excellent alternative for seniors is some type of physical therapy. An elderly individual can undoubtedly benefit from having a physical therapist, as these trained professionals can help seniors regain mobility. Other good pain management therapeutic options for seniors include massage therapy for seniors, acupuncture treatments, and chiropractic adjustments to improve back health.

All these options aim to keep the elderly individual’s body stimulated, helping combat the pain that comes from immobility.

Pain medications

When pain issues begin to disrupt a senior’s day-to-day life, these elderly folks can rely on pain medications as a chronic pain treatment alternative. With that said, caution is warranted when giving seniors pain medication.

It’s important to note that the average senior takes as many as nine medications a day, which can put a lot of stress on their circulatory and digestive systems. In a senior’s golden years, there’s an increased risk of an overdose, as aging causes the human body to metabolize drugs at a slower rate. Therefore, administer these doses of pain medication with a watchful eye.

Soothing Heat

When seniors experience muscle pain, they can’t always run out and get a therapeutic massage. However, there are self-treatment methods known to relieve debilitating muscle pain.

The secret is some form of heat treatment in the area from where the pain is radiating. While a warm bath or shower might help, applying a heating pad can yield consistently shocking results by relaxing muscles and soothing nerve pain.

TENS Therapy

TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS therapy involves a medical device that comes with two electrodes. When connecting these two electrodes to an area from where the pain is radiating, it provides low electric impulses that stimulate the local nerves, lowering pain levels.

Wrap up

Don’t settle for a life defined by chronic pain. After all, your golden years are an opportunity to embark on newfound adventures and enjoy the whims of retirement life. Whatever your pain management strategy, realize that chronic pain doesn’t have to be your new normal.

The Ins and Outs of Hearing Aid Maintenance

Whether you’re a seasoned wearer of hearing aids or just a beginner, getting your hearing aids cleaned is something that every wearer can struggle with at some point. Can you believe there’s a right and wrong way to go about it, based on your hearing aid of choice? Whether you’re looking for hearing aid cleaning tips or general maintenance advice, you’re in the right place. Here is some helpful information to help keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape.

Cleaning Your Hearing Aids

The cleaning process for hearing aids can depend on whether you have in-the-ear (ITE), receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), or behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. An ITE hearing aid can require a specialized brush to clean away excess wax or dirt. You may also use any sprays or cleaning cloths provided by your hearing care provider for removing dirt in hard-to-reach places.

The cleaning process of RIC aids is very similar but can also require cleaning the dome surface and thin wire with special cleaning wipes recommended by your hearing aid supplier. While cleaning your BTE hearing aids with a brush, you can use the loop on the end of it to pick wax out of the sound outlet.

Changing Your Hearing Aid Filters

Has wax built up in your hearing aid filter? Have you noticed that your hearing loss seems worse because the sound is not as clear as it used to be? It might be time to change your hearing aid filters. Fortunately, the process is relatively straightforward. Use a pen-like tool your hearing care provider gave you to push into the hole at the top of your filter. You can then pull it away.

Inserting a new one is equally as effortless as you can flip over your tool and press a new filter into place. Remember, every hearing aid is different, so consult your user manual for specific brand information.

Changing the Batteries

From time to time, you’ll need to change your hearing aid batteries. Fortunately, the process is straightforward, but it’s specific to your hearing aid type. Refer to your hearing aid user manual, or talk to your local hearing care expert.

Everyday Maintenance

One of the best ways of getting your hearing aids clean, regardless of the type, is by making sure they don’t get dirty in the first place. Preventative maintenance can be key.

Get into the habit of brushing your hearing aids daily to remove wax from around the microphone and sound outlet areas. In the morning is the best time of the day, as the wax hardens in your hearing aids overnight.

You can also use a cloth to wipe away debris or dirt, but make a point of regularly washing this cloth to avoid contaminants. Most importantly, keep your hearing aids dry. Avoid water, hairspray, and other fluids.

Cleaning and maintaining your hearing aids is one small thing you can do to improve their lifespan. If you need a helping hand for your specific hearing aid type, book an appointment with your local hearing care specialist.

Tips for Teaching Technology To Seniors

With an increased amount of staying in and limited interactions, it’s easy to feel isolated. This can feel especially true for people who do not have online communities or social platforms to turn to. Seniors are more likely to be offline, which can make the increase of staying indoors especially boring and lonely. Introduce your loved one to the beauty of interactive technology so they can keep entertained and in touch during this time. We’ve provided tips for teaching technology to seniors to help you prepare your lesson plan.

Make It Relevant

While instructing technology use to seniors, let them know how it can be useful to them. Relate the information to their life to encourage a genuine desire to learn it.

There are plenty of reasons seniors should want to take up technology. Social distancing in the digital age has led to an influx of video chatting and online streaming. Seniors can contact old friends, keep in touch with family, or stream their favorite TV show after grasping a few technology basics.

Before diving into the details, get an idea of where your lesson’s audience is at. Ask questions regarding technology to see which terms or devices they are familiar with and which they find more complicated. Moving forward, relate the material to concepts they already understand to minimize the learning curve.

Take It Slow

Learning technology can be overwhelming! There are lots of facets of smartphones, tablets, and even within apps. When teaching seniors, it is important to monitor your pace and make sure that everyone is up to speed with the tech lesson. Allow moments between steps for learners to comprehend what was relayed to them. This spare time also gives seniors the chance to ask any necessary questions while exploring their devices.

In addition to minding your pace, be cognizant of your tech jargon. Use consistent language and try to avoid using technical terminology in your instruction. Simplify the lesson to ensure that everyone has a basic understanding before moving on to more complex tech details.

One of the easier tips for teaching technology to seniors is to streamline processes when possible. Ease the steps to finding an available network by introducing a convenient Ethernet cable. The perks of an HDMI cable with Ethernet are that it nixes the abundance of cables for additional devices and increases Internet speed.

Enjoy The “Wow” Moments

When learning something new, it is important to celebrate the smallest of victories. If your learners send their own text, upload to Facebook, or just find the app they were looking for, you should praise them for their newfound skills. This builds confidence and entices them to learn more.

If you feel like you’re losing your audience, refer back to how technology can be beneficial to them. Instruct them on how to get a video chat going with a grandchild or friend to promote a moment of amazement. “Wow” moments are meaningful opportunities to let folks remember the purpose of learning technology.

5 Insightful Sleep Tips for Older Adults

Getting adequate, quality sleep is critical for your overall health and well-being. This becomes even more critical as we age. Unfortunately, many senior adults experience changes and troubles with their sleeping patterns, and this affects their health in different ways. Some resort to taking drugs to overcome insomnia and related problems. Here, we will briefly discuss a few insightful tips that can help seniors enjoy sufficient sleep every night.

Follow a Regular Sleep Schedule

As you age, it will help to adopt a regular sleep schedule. This implies that you should learn to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This will take a lot of discipline, but the result will be worth it. You can also set your alarm to help you wake up at the right time. Once your sleep schedule becomes a habit, you will enjoy the full benefit of quality sleep.

Exercise During the Day

The importance of exercise for overall health can never be overemphasized. Regular exercise can help improve your daily life. Even as you become older, it is still very important that you engage in physical actvitiy. You should do this during the day to get your body in the right frame for a quality night rest. You shouldn’t exercise within three hours of bedtime, however.

Have an Early Dinner

Eating late will affect your sleep habit as well as the quality of sleep you get each night you sleep late. The negative consequences will even affect you further when you wake up. Try to eat early so that you will have enough time to rest before going to bed. This will also make the food to digest properly without upsetting your stomach while you are asleep.

Identify Underlying Causes of Sleep Disorders

There are different factors that can cause insomnia and other types of sleep disorders in older adults. Some of the major factors are medical issues that can be treated. If you have any of the problems, you can visit sleep specialists like Dr. Krueger Sleep & Sinus Clinic for proper diagnosis and treatment. Stress is another major factor that can cause sleep deprivation. There are different natural ways to combat stress, anxiety, and other problems that can interfere with sleep.

Watch your Diet

Eating right can also help you sleep better. There are food choices and diet habits that can interfere with your sleep habit. Drinking alcohol before bedtime, for instance, can disrupt sleep. Coffee, tea, soda, and anything that contains caffeine shouldn’t be taken late in the day. Eat healthy meals at all times, but avoid big meals at night. Spicy foods just before bedtime should also be avoided.

Endnote

Many older adults experience changes in sleep patterns. You shouldn’t let this become your reality. As a senior, ensure that you keep to a routine sleep schedule, perform regular exercise, take your dinner early, and treat underlying sleep issues. With these tips, you can enjoy a restorative and deep sleep every night.

How Seniors Can Integrate Joy Into Their Daily Routine

Life as an elderly individual is different for everyone. Some senior citizens still have the strength to run marathons, while others are facing illnesses that deteriorate their physical condition. No matter what the circumstance, it is important for senior citizens to find joy in their days. There are many unique ways that people practice joyfulness. In this article, we will discuss ways that senior citizens can integrate joy into their daily routine.

1. Gratitude

Practicing thankfulness is one of the easiest ways that people can integrate joy into their life. When you are a senior, you have likely had a plethora of different experiences. Take the time each day to recognize one thing you are grateful for. When you think about your blessings, reflect on something specific. Reminisce on a day 20 years ago when you shot the best golf round of your life. Think about the way that your dog wags his tail when he greets you at the door. Recognizing the beauty in small things will help you maintain a positive outlook on life.

2. Living In the Present

For people of all ages, living in the future or in the past can be damaging. When you are constantly reminiscing on the past or fretting about the future, it is difficult to stay present in your day to day life. When you focus on the day you are in, you can experience joy and satisfaction. When you are present, you begin to notice the beautiful colors of the flowers, the flavor in your favorite cup of coffee, and the kindness expressed in the people around you.

3. Find Community

Whether you have the ability to connect with others virtually or in-person, community is critical for a joyful mindset. When you are interacting with family and friends, you can experience laughter and life with others. Try having a weekly video chat with your grandchildren. If you have neighbors, sit socially distanced on the porch and drink your coffee together. Put an opportunity for interaction on your calendar each day. These small exchanges help bring joy into each moment.

4. Do What You Love

Identify the things that bring you joy. Is it taking care of herbs and plants? Do you love reading nonfiction novels? Do you appreciate having a cold drink with your friends? Make sure you continue doing the things you love throughout your entire lifetime. If you are transitioning into an assisted living facility but love having a place to make your own, consider Long House.  They offer comprehensive memory care while helping seniors thrive with appropriate independence and care. Many hobbies help to boost overall cognitive function.

5. Get Fresh Air

Whether you crack a window or go for a stroll, fresh air is good for the body and the brain. By getting a little bit of fresh air each day, you can stay refreshed and rejuvenated.

Summary

In your later years, it is important to reflect on all of the things you have to be grateful for. By engaging in your hobbies and getting fresh air, you can stimulate your cognitive function. When you practice gratitude and prioritize community, you begin seeing the joy in day to day life. By mindfully integrating joyful experiences into your daily agenda, you will savor each day that life has in store.

Breath in Our Lungs: Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

In the last months, more emphasis has been placed on senior respiratory health, and the battle is far from over. As we enter cold and flu season, there is a whole new host of enemies bent on attacking the respiratory health of our senior living facility residents. As directors and administrators, it’s our job to do what we can to keep the air in our facilities as clean as possible. Being aware of some of the major causes of poor indoor air quality can help in the fight to keep our residents healthy.

Harsh Cleaners

In our efforts to keep facilities as germ-free as possible, senior living facilities have taken on a more stringent cleaning routine. While this is important for resident safety, one should consider the impact many cleaners have on indoor air quality. Cleaners that include ammonia, bleach, or volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) such as furniture polish, air freshener, dishwashing soap, and glass cleaners can exasperate previous breathing issues such as asthma and can lead to the development of new chronic breathing issues.

When choosing cleaners for your facility, review the ingredients list, and consider buying more natural-based cleaners.

Renovations

The building itself may be contributing to breathing issues, and many times these issues are exasperated by renovation projects in your facility. These are a few building projects that may cause poor indoor air quality.

Painting

Paints are a huge source of VOCs in buildings. This is true not only while paint is being applied, but even more so when the paint is drying. In fact, more VOCs are put in the air after painting is done. To reduce VOCs, follow best practices for indoor painting.  Keep areas being painted well-ventilated for several days following painting or consider buying low or no-VOC paints.

Carpets

Carpet tends to hold more dust, allergens, and mold than other types of flooring if not regularly vacuumed. Even with regular vacuuming, most carpets are made with harsh chemicals that will end up in the air from the time that the carpet is installed. Consider using other flooring options, such as hard flooring, then add rugs that can be taken out of the space and cleaned. If carpet is being installed, make sure that the area is well ventilated.

Insulation

Many older insulation materials have now been declared dangerous. Even ones that aren’t dangerous in themselves can become dangerous as they get older. If yours is an older building, see if you have any of the following types of insulation before doing renovation work that may require breaking into walls:

  • Horsehair
  • Asbestos
  • Urea Formaldehyde Foam 
  • Vermiculite
  • Fiberglass (loose or batt)

Mold

Mold is common in any indoor facility and can aggravate allergies and respiratory health. It thrives in humid, dark areas such as under sinks, in basements, and in bathrooms. Check these areas periodically for mold. Even if you don’t see mold, if residents have sudden, unexplained breathing issues, there may be a hidden infestation.

Here Are Three of the Most Difficult Transitions in the Life of Seniors

At what point does a person become a senior? Identifying the various stages of life are more difficult than ever. People are living longer and it becomes easier for people to deny that they are getting older and losing a step along the way. Everyone pretends to be young except the young.

People in their 30s want you to think of them as older, wiser, and more worthy of respect. But somewhere in their 40s, people start denying their age and doing their best to convince the world that they are not a day over 25. They do this even as the joints start to ache and their breath gets harder to catch during a daily run.

In one’s 50s, that daily run becomes a daily walk. You are no longer interested in running with the young bulls on the basketball court. Your doctor has you on the same cholesterol medicine your dad used to take. And for the first time, you start seriously wondering how many good years you have left.

You are still a long way from being a senior. Both men and women do everything in their power to put it off. But at some point, people start treating you like a senior. Strangers call you sir and ma’am. One day, someone makes the mistake of saying you are a handsome woman, or a distinguished gentleman. You notice that at the cash register, the twenty-something gave you the senior discount.

Before you know it, and very much against your objections to the contrary, you have become a senior. More difficult realities are ahead. Here are three you should know are on the way.

Driving Is a Riskier Proposition

You might have to surrender your driver’s license. People around you don’t want to say it out loud. But it is becoming obvious to everyone except you that you are not as good of a driver as you used to be.

Washington collision repair shops can help you deal with the body damage to the car from the occasional garbage can that snuck up on you when you backed out of the driveway. But there are bigger issues for you to worry about.

Despite being the safest drivers, seniors have the highest accident/death rate. Seniors wear their seatbelts, drive slower, and are least likely to drink and drive. But despite taking more precautions, senior driving is a riskier proposition.

All the driving tips in the world will not change the fact that your eyesight, reflexes, and other senses are not what they used to be. Consider transitioning into a driverless lifestyle. Your golden years will be just fine without the stress of driving.

Loss of Independence

At this stage of life, many seniors start clashing with their kids about selling the family home and moving into a full-time care facility. No senior wants to feel forced to get rid of a home they have worked for all their lives. Unfortunately, improving your daily life might include giving up a bit of independence.

Often, seniors downplay things like falling or confusion. But it can be a deadly oversight to forget taking your medicine as directed. Your kids have a right to be concerned about you. Letting them help you with some of these big decisions can not only prolong your life, it can improve your life.

You Are Not in Charge Anymore

Before you became a senior, you were a leader, perhaps even a master of industry. You have become used to people deferring to your expertise. Whether it should or not, all that is about to change. And younger, less experienced people are in charge, now.

This is a natural progression. Rather than trying to hang on to power at all costs, you have to accept and let go. Accepting the fact that someone else is in charge is not the end of an era. It is the beginning of one.

Transitions can be hard when we don’t want or ask for them. But aging comes to us all if we’re lucky. Like it or not, driving is riskier business. You will be less independent. And it is someone else’s turn to be in charge.