5 Main Ways Getting Older Affects the Musculoskeletal System

By 9  am on

How Getting Older Affects the Musculoskeletal System in Douglas County, CO

No matter how much care seniors take of their bodies, getting older takes a toll on joints, bones, and muscles. These important body parts are responsible for helping seniors move around, so it’s perfectly normal to have some mobility loss with age. Understanding how age impacts the joints, muscles, and bones can help seniors find ways to boost their health and stay active. 

1. Arthritis Makes Joints Stiff

Roughly half of all seniors have at least some arthritis in their joints. This condition develops when joints become inflamed due to repetitive use or damage. Arthritis can make it difficult to move joints through their full range of motion, and it can also cause pain and joint weakness. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments, including medications, physical therapy, and joint replacement surgeries.

2. Bones Weaken Due to Osteoporosis

The bones are constantly breaking down old cells and building new ones. However, as people age, the process of building new bone cells slows down, which causes bones to become fragile and brittle. Eventually, seniors may develop osteoporosis, a condition that makes the bones so weak they can break after slight falls or bumps. Seniors concerned about osteoporosis need to make sure they’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D to ensure their bodies can build as many new bone cells as possible. 

Weaker bones are not the only age-related condition older adults may have to experience. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

3. Lean Muscle Mass Is Lost

As seniors age, they lose lean muscle mass, which happens partially because muscle tissue is replaced more slowly, and it also occurs because muscle fibers themselves shrink. The lack of muscle can make it challenging for seniors to lift things, stand up, or perform other daily tasks. Overcoming this issue is simple but does require work. Seniors who do strength training exercises like lifting weights can manage to retain far more muscle mass as they age.

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Castle Rock, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

4. Bone Shapes Change

Even if seniors don’t have osteoporosis, it’s normal for the bones to gradually change shape due to the wear and tear involved in moving around for decades. The spinal column becomes more curved and compressed, foot arches flatten out, and finger bones can thicken slightly. All of this leads to changes to posture and may cause seniors to stoop and hunch over more. Over time, a senior’s gait may become shorter to respond to these changes.

5. Muscles Stiffen

Even with regular exercise, muscles become stiffer with age. This happens due to changes in how fat is deposited in muscle tissue, with muscle gradually being replaced by tough, fibrous tissues. This can throw off movements, making it easier for seniors to fall or accidentally harm themselves. Seniors cannot keep this from happening, but being aware of the problem can help them find ways of compensating. By retaining strength and practicing balance and flexibility exercises, seniors can do a better job of staying coordinated.

Making positive lifestyle choices is just one of the many ways older adults can delay the impacts of aging. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Castle Rock, CO, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 720-580-5378 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG

Request Free Information or
Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation