It’s human nature to become keenly aware of the changes our bodies and minds experience as we age, but aging doesn’t have to mean the end of FEELING young.
In fact, the way in which we address the physical, mental and emotional transitions experienced during the senior years, especially after a hospital stay or medical diagnosis, can dramatically impact longevity and quality of life. Today we’re sharing some ways that post-acute care can help you feel young at every age.
A common fear for most seniors is the loss of independence. Health issues, Injuries, and reduced mobility can make tasks that were once a regular part of daily life harder or even impossible. Post-acute occupational therapy (OT) can play an important role in regaining control and autonomy.
During a post-acute stay, your OT care plan will be tailored to your needs by therapists trained in the most current and effective treatments for maintaining fine motor function. Areas of focus may include:
- Getting dressed
- Opening doors
- Using household items
Exercising for Balance and Strength
Every year, nearly 33% of adults age 65+ will experience a fall which makes it easy to understand why falls account for most causes of serious injury in senior adults. The good news is that post-acute physical therapy (PT) can aid in improving balance and strength to both recover from falls and prevent the likelihood of falling in the future.
PT caregivers are experienced in exercises that specifically address:
- Stretching – Increased flexibility leads to greater balance and better posture which encourage improved stability.
- Mobility – Stiff joints make it harder to move smoothly between positions, such as sitting and getting up. When you’re stiff, balance is reduced and falls are more likely to occur. Physical therapy will address that.
- Muscle Tone – Strengthening your legs, core and arms can result in significant gains in balance. When your muscles are stronger, you’ll feel younger.
Keeping a Positive State of Mind
Our state of mind is a key component of our overall health. Happiness, comfort, and general well-being work together to help trump the impact of the physical challenges that often come with getting older. Studies show that psychological factors influence the risk of mortality.
It can be difficult to remain optimistic when facing medical diagnoses and ongoing treatment. The right post-acute care facility will offer a more home-like setting, peaceful rooms, social interactions, and an encouraging therapeutic team, all of which lead to more positive outcomes both mentally and physically.
Eating Healthy, Staying Healthy
The body’s nutritional needs evolve over the course of a lifetime. Some of the dietary changes experienced in senior adults often include:
- Fewer necessary calories
- Loss in appetite
- Food sensitivities
- Interactions with medication
There are many strategies for keeping the body young through nutrition, especially when combined with a post-acute stay. Licensed nutritionists will work with you to create a balanced diet that focuses on:
- Nutrient-rich foods – Eating more food isn’t the objective. Instead, eating the right foods helps you get the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, and fiber your body still needs
- Well-balanced meal selections – Post-acute centers typically have excellent restaurant-style dining facilities that provide a variety of choices all prepared with nutrition in mind.
- Hydration – It’s important to drink plenty of fluids daily. It doesn’t have to be just water, you can stay hydrated with juice, tea, soup, or even high water content fruits and vegetables.
- Appropriate supplements – Your post-acute nutritionists may recommend adding vitamins and/or minerals to your diet. They will know exactly which supplements will complement your dietary and prescription protocol.
Setting Goals and Celebrating Success
Life is a journey. To maintain the joys of youth, make sure you’re taking the time to set realistic goals and celebrate when you reach them. If walking with your grandkids or traveling to visit national parks keeps you motivated, there’s no need to give those things up.
Post-acute care is designed to get you back home, doing what you love. As soon as you arrive, your care team will develop an individualized plan, set goals for your rehabilitation and celebrate your progress as you make your way to a full recovery.
South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier post-acute Partner
For our senior patients, remember – you’re only as old as you feel! We deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization.
South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider. Contact us today for more information on how we can help on your journey back to restored health.