Home Care in Arlington VA
Anti-aging is a new era phenomenon that is has become a central topic of discussion as it relates to aging populations. However, considering the culmination of factors that contribute to aging including stress, poor diet and sedentary lifestyles this topic can be relevant to people in various stages of development. Many articles and books highlight some of the detrimental factors that expedite the aging process but do not provide a comprehensive understanding of how this occurs scientifically. In other words, what is the scientific basis for the “aging”? Moreover, how do we reverse the clock on the process at the biological level? This article will discuss the process of aging at the biological level and some anti-aging tactics that can be used by caregivers to directly slow down the process.
Aging is a natural process that occurs throughout one’s life. However, there are different factors that can speed up this process and cause rapid health declines. These factors include sedentary lifestyles, poor diet, and stress. At the cellular level, our DNA is designed with protective fibers at the tips that hold them together known as telomeres. Telomeres enable our DNA to replicate efficiently. However, over time these fibers unravel or become shortened due to stress, poor diet and lack of exercise. Once telomeres unravel or shorten DNA are not able to properly replicate leading to vast health declines in the human body including decreased muscle mass, damaged memory cells, wrinkles, weak immune system, weight gain and gray hair. Health declines can impact emotional, physical and social well-being. Although, aging is a natural part of the process of development there are various lifestyle changes that can be made to prevent speedy declines. Overall, our lifestyle can play a pivotal role in whether aging occurs at a natural versus abnormal pace.
In a world in which healthy living can be challenging due to fast pace industrious approaches, high stress, and financial pressures, caregivers are tasked with facilitating healthy ways of being with whom they work. Promoting healthy diet, movement and de-stressing tactics are essential to providing holistic care that accomplishes healthy aging. What are some ways to facilitate healthy ways of being? Firstly, a healthy diet is imperative. The coined phrase “we are what we eat” is accurate in capturing the importance of consuming foods that promote vitality. Research shows that eating more plant-based foods can help lengthen telomeres. Over time, our cardiovascular health declines due to blockage caused by fat/plaque deposits resulting in poor circulation to the heart, brain, and extremities. Regular engagement in cardiovascular exercise helps increase blood flow through the body enabling good nutrition to reach tissues that need it the most. Research also shows that regular exercise increases bone density, which commonly declines as we age. Finally, maintaining mental health is essential in the process of anti-ageing. Aging brings about many life transitions that can be overwhelming and emotionally disturbing to the aging population. The stress associated with aging and everyday life can impact both physical and mental health. Quality care recognizes the need to address these challenges and implement ways to keep the detrimental effects at bay. Regular engagement in mindful meditation, prayer, nature, and even laughter has been shown to lengthen telomeres. Implementing these tactics in caregiving provides a more holistic care that treats the whole person and facilitates healthy aging. It is essential that caregivers recognize that health is a fluid and is related to how we care for our “whole selves.”
Tips for Providing Anti-Aging Care
- Incorporate more plant-based foods into a client’s dietary plan. Review a vegetable chart and learn about the client’s favorite veggies and create new recipes to incorporate them in meals.
- In cases a person is completely aversive to fruits/vegetables learn delicious smoothie recipes that make them seem more appetizing.
- Educate seniors on ways nutrients from vegetables work in the body and reverse aging.
- Create fun exercises tailored to the person’s unique ability and interest. Don’t push clients into “overdoing it”.
- Engage or encourage clients in activities that are distressing (i.e. nature walks, meditation, deep breathing, yoga).
- Incorporate humor into your work with clients. Find funny jokes online and create a “joke of the day” tradition.
- Provide clients a space to ventilate and talk about their difficulties/frustration.