While COVID-19 concerns include the vulnerability of senior citizens to threats of infection, little has been given to the effects of quarantine measures.
Nearly a year has passed since quarantine and other prevention measures have kept millions of seniors from participating in activities that motivated them to stay fit and healthy. However as the pandemic have forced many active senior citizens to retire either voluntarily, or as deemed necessary by their employers, a considerable number of the retired senior population are now living a sedentary lifestyle.
Anxiety and Depression Over Uncertain Future Triggered a Shift to Sedentary Lifestyle
Since there is a great deal of uncertainty about the possibility of getting back their old job, or get hired by another employer, concerns about the physical and mental wellness of otherwise healthy seniors are now emerging. Apparently, many of the old folks now spend most of their time sitting in reclining chairs, or lying in bed, watching the latest Netflix releases; or binge-watching movies they missed when they were still busy at work. A significant number are also spending time at online gambling websites as an additional form of recreation.
Most of them do so to keep their minds off the possibility of not being able to go back to work, or to travel to places they had plans of visiting. Others who went back to community colleges prior to the pandemic are depressed that they can no longer complete the college education they had set their sights on completing.
What for? The general perception is that it no longer matters in a time when business organizations are looking to cut down on staffing requirements.
Change in Dietary Habits as an Offshoots of COVID-19 Restrictions
The coronavirus-related quarantine measure contributed in the way most senior citizens changed their dietary habits and engagement in physical activities.
As many senior citizens living independently have to limit their trips to grocery stores, or wait long before their online orders are delivered, not a few have also skipped eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, they have been stocking up on instant juice drinks, calorie-rich fruit preserves, frozen vegetables and other food items processed with additives for longer shelf life.
Many have also turned to so-called comfort foods as a way to fight off depression and in coping with anxiety, loneliness and boredom caused by feelings of isolation from the rest of the world.
Safe from COVID-19 but Susceptible to the Development of Sarcopenia
A major threat to living independently while having a less active lifestyle is a disease called sarcopenia. If not addressed at the soonest possible time, the disease can lead to depletion of muscle mass, reduced strength, and muscle function that progresses along with the aging process.
While being physically active is important, proper nutrition is equally essential to prevent the development of sarcopenia. While the elderly’s choices of food can be limited as a result of the pandemic, the most practical remedy in addressing this dilemma is to take health supplements aimed at increasing the nutritional value of food intakes.
Based on scientific studies, increase in protein nutrients can improve muscle health, as it works toward the prevention of sarcopenia, as well as in maintaining proper cardiovascular function. Many protein supplements have also been proven as helpful in maintaining energy balance and managing weight among seniors. The great news is that many of these supplements can be taken in the form of delicious protein drinks for seniors.
Nutrition experts focused on developing meal plans that meet the dietary needs of aging patients recommend higher protein intakes. Where the standard recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 g/kg/day, aging adults should take between 1.2 and 2.0 g protein nutrients per day.