Friday, June 29, 2012

Protein Intake for Older Adults

Photo by Paula Steele aka pixieclipx
Older adults often struggle to maintain a proper dietProtein is one area that might suffer because of problems with transportation, finances, chewing/swallowing or mobility. 

Deficiencies in protein can affect energy levels, inhibit wound healing, and contribute to bone frailty. 

Protein deficiencies also accelerate muscle wasting aka sarcopenia.  

For these reasons and others, older adults should pay attention to dietary proteins

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for adults is .8 grams of protein for each 1 kilogram of body weight.  

However, some emerging studies suggest that older adults need 1 gram per kilogram or even 1.2 grams per kilograms.  

If a person is recovering from surgery, or if they are very active, they need to consume protein at a higher amount. If you have liver problems, you may need to consume less than the RDA amounts. 

Note:  The purpose of this post is to raise awareness. If you have concerns about your protein needs, consult with a licensed medical professional such as a general practitioner or a nutritionist. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Social Security Fixes: Increase Taxes or Cut Benefits?

Photo by 401K2012
I’d rather blog about every other dimension of aging but finances, but I should probably annually revisit the topic of Social Security. Each spring, the Social Security Administration releases a report, which includes projections for how long the program will be viable. The most current report was released on April 25, 2012. 

The report itself is very detailed. You could read the entire report, read only the overview, or you could read one of many summaries / responses to the report. However, it’s challenging to find a summary that stays neutral. Be sure to look at the biases of the reporting organization.  I prefer looking at the Central Budget Office’s response, penned by one of the directors as a blog entry. It tends to focus on the numbers.

The current projections show that the retirement branch of Social Security will suffer funding problems by 2033.  The recession’s lower wages and higher unemployment made a significant dent in the health of this program. A lot can change between now and then, so I don’t view this date as set in stone.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Books on Aging: A through L

Photo by Tourist on Earth
As a former college English teacher, I'm using my skill as a voracious reader to learn more about how I can make healthy lifestyle choices at midlife to increase my quality of life as I age.

I'm also learning more about late life--its challenges and its opportunities.

Here is the FIRST HALF of my constantly expanding list (check back) with links to reviews. I split this post on February 24, 2020.

Find the second half here: Books about Aging: M through Z.

Note: I am only including titles that I have actually read. 

Last updated February 2020 Aronson's Elderhood (2019) Review, and Applewhite's This Chair Rocks (2016). Review

Do you have recommendations for me?  Note that I strongly prefer reading physical books over e-books because my comprehension is poor for e-books. It's even worse for audio.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Head-to-Toe Risks for Falls

Photo by sheilaz413

People will mention that a parent or grandparent has starting falling with frequency.  The cause for such falls can be manifold.  The older adult should see a professional for an assessment since the cause might be difficult for the individual or the caregiver to discern. If the person has fallen twice in six months, it's a problem that needs professional intervention.  

The CDC reports multiple statistics about falls, including this: "Among older adults (those 65 or older), falls are the leading cause of injury death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma" (emphasis added).

One of the most effective means of fall prevention is activity, including strength-bearing exercises that help the muscles, joints, and bones work properly. Home modifications can decrease risk, too. However, falls can have causes that cannot be addressed through a fitness regime. 

Here is a list, organized head-to-to, for some of the more common causes for falls: