Recently, the Wall Street Journal published several articles about the maintenance of physical health through old age. One article, published in the “Health Matters” column discusses how to stay healthy even through old age. The article specifies middle age as the critical time to prevent physical decline. Although it may be apparent that exercise is a key factor in staying healthy, specialists emphasize that it is important to modify daily exercise routines in order to minimize injury. Studies have shown that many middle age adults eventually injure themselves from exercise routines, and consequently stop exercising altogether. It is important to address any pain that is experienced with a physician, as this may be a precursor to more serious problems that will eventually lead to physical decline.
The Wall Street Journal’s “Health Blog” featured a related article titled “Preventing Physical Decline in Middle Age Helps Preserve Good Health Later in Life.” This article was inspired by a study that is currently being conducted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. The study is called the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and observes the dependency of elderly adults upon others for assistance in activities of daily living. Such activities include walking, showering, dressing, and getting out of bed. The study hopes that its findings will help to improve quality of life for elderly adults in the future. Statistics today actually show that trends of disability levels among the elderly are declining. These optimistic results can be attributed to the many studies that have focused on improving the physical health of the elderly.
For example, the development of a new exercise regime called resistance training has led to a range of benefits, both mental and physical, for elderly adults. Resistance training involves exercises that are performed against an external, opposing force that increases as muscle strength improves. Various studies have proven that physical therapy can also have many unexpected benefits, including improvements in incontinence and mental well-being.
While skilled nursing facilities should be implementing these physical exercises into their residents’ daily routines, many homes, unfortunately, are so understaffed that they are unable to supervise such activities. Instead, many resort to the use of physical restraints, which has actually been linked to a decline in mobility in elderly adults. Not only is the use of physical restraints harmful to your loved one, however, but it is a direct violation of his or her rights as a patient if not used properly, such as when its done for the convenience of the nursing staff, and not the benefit of the patient.
Here at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, we proudly serve the greater Los Angeles area, including Burbank, Culver City, and Artesia. If you feel that your loved one’s nursing home is failing to provide for your loved one’s physical needs, please contact us immediately before his or her health declines any further.