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. 

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 also read about how I can better support my aging parents, their spouses, and my in-laws. (My children have six living grandparents, born between 1934 and 1942.) 

I'm also learning more about the opportunities of late life. Aging is not all decay! There is richness in serving, connecting, learning, exploring, and creating. Opportunities abound from noting a new small detail to seeing overarching patterns that emerge with decades' of experience. 

Here is the FIRST HALF of my constantly expanding list (check back).

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

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

Last updated October 2022 with a review of Critical Age Theory (2022) by Mario D. Garrett. 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: