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The Relationship Between Posture and Senior Health

By Erik Gans, 8:00 am on

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 the safety of their aging parents and loved ones, trusted Fairfield senior home care provider, Home Care Assistance, shares information about identifying poor posture in aging adults and tips for helping correct 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.

A study 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 harder it is to complete simple tasks such as standing, bending, walking and even eating. For some seniors, dressing and bathing may become impossible without assistance.

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.

Correcting the Problem

Fortunately, there are simple exercises that you should encourage your loved one to participate in to counteract some of the side effects of poor posture and to stop spinal misalignment from getting worse. One simple exercise is for a senior to stand with his or her back against the wall, with feet should width apart and knees unlocked. One hand is then placed behind the back, and the senior should try to flatten their lower back so their hand feels increased pressure. The senior can then relax the back and repeat 10 times.

It is also beneficial to schedule an appointment with your loved one’s doctor or primary care physician if you notice that he or she 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.

If your aging parent or loved one has trouble with mobility or is limited in his or her ability to perform daily tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Fairfield, CT. Our highly trained and compassionate caregivers provide hourly care for Fairfield seniors on an as-needed basis, and are also available for overnight or live-in care to maximize safety and comfort at home. To learn more or to request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, call 203-955-1915 and speak with an experienced Care Manager.