Have you ever heard of the health condition called sarcopenia? Learn more about what sarcopenia is and how it will affect your mom’s physical and mental health. With the right care plan, sarcopenia doesn’t have to keep her from enjoying her favorite hobbies and activities.
Understand What Sarcopenia Is
Sarcopenia is a medical condition that affects as many as 16 percent of the elderly. It’s a condition related to getting older where muscle mass diminishes. It occurs in people who lead more sedentary lifestyles, but that’s not the only factor. Hormonal changes and diet can also impact muscle health.
Muscle loss can start happening as early as 40 and increases faster after the mid-70’s. When this happens, the risk of falling increases. This increases the risk of fracturing a bone. Sarcopenia can also make it harder to do things around the home. Climbing the stairs, strenuous cleaning chores like scrubbing the bathtub, and carrying in groceries may become difficult.
What Stops Sarcopenia?
Daily exercise is important at keeping muscles strong. Your mom needs to aim for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of exercise. If possible, arrange for her to attend a fitness class at a local gym or senior center that works on fall prevention. Resistance training is ideal.
Your mom’s diet cannot be low on protein. It’s estimated that up to 41 percent of women over the age of 50 do not eat enough protein. Your mom needs to boost protein intake if she’s not getting enough. Women who are not overly active need 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If your mom weighs 150 pounds, she needs to eat 54 grams of protein each day.
Your mom’s diet also needs to focus on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, berries, and citrus fruits are a good start.
Make Sure She’s Safe at Home
Take steps to make her home safer. If she’s having a harder time walking up and down the stairs, install sturdy rails that she can use for support. They need to be anchored to studs so that they don’t come loose when she uses them. Put in grab bars near the toilet and bathtub/shower.
When your mom is diagnosed with sarcopenia, it doesn’t have to affect her ability to live in her home. Home health care services help her with any challenges she faces. You can help when you can, but you have caregivers available to keep her safe and active when you’re busy with work, errands, or family responsibilities. Talk to our home health care specialist to find out more.