Tips for Preventing Hernias in Aging Adults

By , 9:00 am on

A hernia occurs when an organ bulges through openings in tissues or muscles. This condition most commonly occurs in the abdomen when the intestines push through a weakened part of the abdominal wall. This painful condition affects many seniors, but there are ways to prevent hernias from occurring. Here are a few effective hernia prevention methods for seniors.

Maintain a Healthy Weight 

There are many reasons hernias develop, but one of the most common causes is excess weight. When seniors carry too much weight in their abdominal region, it can put greater pressure on the area, which can lead to painful hernias. To maintain a healthy weight, seniors should try swapping fatty foods for lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Seniors who are trying to lose weight should do so gradually, as unhealthy crash diets can leave the abdomen weak and susceptible to herniation. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. 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.

Prevent Constipation

Chronic constipation can cause the muscles in the abdomen to strain, which can lead to hernias. Seniors can prevent hernias by switching to high-fiber diets. Staying hydrated also prevents constipation and staves off hernias. If the problem isn’t corrected with dietary and lifestyle changes, seniors should talk to their doctors, who can prescribe medication, supplements, or dietary restrictions to solve the problem.

Don’t Smoke 

Smoking is a lifelong habit for many seniors, and it can be difficult to quit. However, seniors who are prone to hernias should try to give up their daily cigarettes. The coughing caused by prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke can lead to herniation. Nicotine is also believed to weaken the abdominal wall. Seniors who want to quit smoking should consider joining support groups, seeing therapists, or using nicotine patches.

Exercise the Abdominal Muscles 

Smoking, constipation, and leading a sedentary lifestyle can weaken the abdominal muscles. To prevent hernias, seniors should try to strengthen their abdominal muscles through gentle exercises. They may want to try ab exercises suitable for seniors, such as the bridge pose, the Superman pose, and the bird dog pose. They may also want to increase their overall fitness level via cardiovascular exercises. 

Seniors who need assistance with exercising or other daily activities can benefit from professional in-home care. Green Valley respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Don’t Strain Muscles 

Hernias are also caused when people lift heavy objects incorrectly. Seniors shouldn’t spend a lot of time doing heavy lifting, and they should avoid activities that strain the back. Something as simple as moving a lamp from one table to another could cause unnecessary strain or exacerbate an existing condition. 

In Green Valley, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 520-625-2050.