- Increased heart rate placinggreater demand on the heart.
- Decreased volume of blood to thelungs, causing less oxygen to getto all the organs and tissues.
- Sluggish circulation.
- Clots in the veins, can be lifethreatening.
- Reduced efficiency of the kidneyswith increased urine output.
- Edema (swelling) in legs, hands, oroverall.
- Diarrhea from impactions.
- Decreased muscle fiber andmuscle wasting.
- Strength can decrease by 50% assoon as 3 weeks after inactivity.
- Muscle contractures causingdisfiguring and loss of motion andabilities.
- Loss of muscle strength andmuscle tone.
- Balance loss when postureschange causing an increase in fallrisks.
- Infections in urinary tract.
- Urine output is reduced, andstones can develop.
- Behavioral changes suchwithdrawing from friends andfavored activities, hostility, confusion, and belligerence.
- Decreased intellectual capability.
- Decrease in ability to cope.
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
- Changes in vision.
- Changes in pain perception.
- Changes in coordination.
- Lungs are not used to full capability.
- This can cause pooling of fluids inthe lungs that can cause coughing,accumulation of phlegm and canlead to pneumonia.
- Infections in lungs.
- Skin quality declines.
- Pressure sores can occur.
- It is important to encourage the elderly to remain active and if possible propose that they join senior citizen clubs. They should also be allowed to continue or to participate in everyday activities at their own pace.
- Families should avoid overprotecting them.
- Doctors should periodically evaluate the functional abilities of the elderly, as well as those who have been recently discharged from hospital.
- Recommended exercise for the elderly should include periodic reviews of their physical state of health and individual adjustments to the type of exercise and activities they can engage in.
- It is also important to establish certain minimum activity objectives depending on functional ability and to teach correct techniques. The motivation of the elderly should also be assessed, as well as their capacity for enjoyment, the major factor determining whether they will continue to exercise.
- For bed-bound cases, maintain proper body alignment and change positions every few hours. Pressure padding and heel protectors may be used to provide comfort and prevent pressure sores.
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