Poor posture in senior citizens may be an important indicator of future mobility and health problems. If poor posture is left untreated, even the simplest activities may require assistance in the future. To help family members ensure their aging loved ones’ safety, here’s some information about identifying poor posture in older adults and tips for correcting the problem.
Causes & Risks of Poor Posture
Sitting for long periods without moving or stretching can cause posture issues at any age. But for older adults who have become more sedentary, the neck and back can become even more misaligned. It can also lead to a number of other issues such as back pain, gastrointestinal discomfort, and even reduced lung function. All of these health issues tend to discourage movement, which can cause a senior to maintain poor posture habits. Researchers at Toho University in Japan studied individuals over 65 years of age to determine the role spinal misalignment might play in subsequent years. The summarized results determined that “good spinal posture is important in allowing the aged to maintain independent lives.” Research showed that the more misaligned the spine becomes, the more difficult it is to complete simple tasks such as standing, bending, walking, and eating. For some seniors, dressing and bathing may become impossible without assistance.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Highland Park home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Identifying Problems in Aging Adults
Posture problems may first be indicated by a pronounced forward head tilt. This misalignment will eventually cause neck and shoulder pain due to the additional stress placed on the neck and upper vertebrae. Without conscious neck strengthening exercises and realignment, the situation may worsen and more pronounced back problems could result.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elderly care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Correcting the Problem
Fortunately, there are simple exercises you can encourage your loved one to participate in to counteract some of the side effects of poor posture and stop spinal misalignment from getting worse. One simple exercise is to stand with the back against the wall, with feet shoulder width apart and knees unlocked. One hand is then placed behind the back, and your loved one should try to flatten the lower back so the hand feels increased pressure. Your parent can then relax his or her back and repeat the exercise 10 times. It’s also beneficial to schedule an appointment with your loved one’s doctor or primary care physician if you notice your parent has poor posture or is walking with a hunch. The doctor will be able to determine what may be causing the problem and advise appropriate treatments.
Whether it’s related to posture or other issues, older adults often experience changes in their health as they age. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Highland Park seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (214) 363-3400 to find out how we can help.