There’s no question sleep disturbances affect most of the population at some point in time. However, over half of the elderly suffer from difficulty sleeping. More than 50 percent of people over the age of 65 who live in the community and nearly two-thirds of seniors living in an institutionalized setting are affected by sleep disturbances.
Why is this so?
Sleep patterns and stages change as individuals age. Older adults require more time to fall asleep. Seniors also suffer from more frequent nighttime arousals and awakenings. The circadian rhythm which governs wakefulness and sleep shifts as we age, with the result that we tend to go to sleep earlier in the night and awaken earlier in the morning.
As a staff geriatrician for Hebrew SeniorLife, I often tell my patients: “You’ve got to work on lowering your cholesterol number.” High cholesterol levels are widespread because we absorb cholesterol from certain foods we eat. Once absorbed into the bloodstream, cholesterol is broken down into LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol). While LDL can cause plaque buildup on artery walls, HDL helps reduce plaque. LDL can lead to cardiovascular problems and put you at risk for stroke and heart disease.
As an expert on arthritis, I’m often asked for the best tips on how seniors can stay flexible even while struggling with the pain and stiffness this disease often brings. While there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of steps you can take to care for your joints to either prevent or control the disease.
Arthritis strikes both old and young, but can be particularly debilitating in older adults. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis which occurs when the joint’s cartilage, the part that cushions the ends of bones, begins to breakdown. It is the most common of more than 100 forms of arthritis.
Food for our residents is more important than ever. Not only does it need to be nutritious, it needs to be tasty and appealing to the eye. Sal Filetti, Director of Food and Beverage at NewBridge on the Charles, took on the challenge of developing and implementing a “food philosophy” which will guide his department in meeting the needs and desires of NewBridge residents. I recently sat down with him for a quick Q and A on what this means:
While many retirement communities only provide regular exercise classes and fitness equipment, the Vitalize360 program at Orchard Cove goes further by providing individualized fitness programs for its residents. This groundbreaking approach—featured in a recent issue of the New York Times—takes the guesswork out of senior health and fitness and provides many benefits.