The most common reasons senior citizens require nursing home care are muscle weakness, known as sarcopenia, osteoporosis and dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease. While there has been publicity on osteoporosis and dementia, Americans know very little about Sarcopenia – age related loss of muscle mass. To minimize muscle loss as you age participate in strength training, eat a healthy diet, low in fat and high in protein, keep your weight in a good range and walk 30 minutes 3 times a week.
Information shows the muscle ailment begins around 40 years old affecting 40% of people over 80 and 60% of all nursing home residents. Sarcopenia also may contribute to other health problems such as arthritis, pulmonary disease and heart failure.. The University of Florida (UF)received a grant to establish a Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. The Center’s projects will include research on sarcopenia.
As more research is done, more awareness gained and more action is taken to prevent this muscle weakness there is the hope of less need for nursing home care with resulting less expense and less potential for nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse.