Medical Alerts for Seniors with Sarcopenia

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Sarcopenia

time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Sarcopenia is defined as the degenerative loss of muscle strength and mass due to age. Adults usually experience a gradual loss of muscle mass in their 30s, and steadily lose muscle mass each following year. Sarcopenia primarily occurs as a result of aging, however, it can also occur as a result certain medical conditions including some chronic diseases or malnutrition.

Any loss of muscle mass is concerning for adults, since it directly ties to loss of strength. Sarcopenia contributes significantly to the decrease in quality of life. Sarcopenia is prevalent in seniors and increases the risk probability for fractures and falls. 

Sarcopenia Overview

Aging is usually accompanied by major changes in body mass and body composition.Loss of muscle mass can have a negative impact on the functional capabilities of older adults. When muscle mass is decreased, strength is affected. Muscle mass begins to decrease when an adult is in their mid 30s, however, the loss of muscle mass may progress rapidly once a person is in their 60s.

The approximate rate of decline may vary across the board, but on average, an adult may lose up to eight percent of their muscle mass per decade.An in-office strength test may be used by your physician to help identify sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia Impairment

A decrease in muscle mass directly reflects a reduction in an individual’s strength. As a result, seniors may experience difficulties with balance. Oftentimes, mobility is also an issue, since the gait is also affected.Over time, individuals may notice a gradual reduction in height, as well as poor posture. Other impairments often include: gradually feeling physically weaker and having difficulties lifting objects that were once easy to lift.

Decreased strength may reveal itself in multiple ways, to include walking more slowly, becoming exhausted easily and having less interest in being active. Sarcopenia can have an impact on a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

Common impairments experienced include:

  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Feelings of weakness
  • Feelings of tiredness
  • Diminished strength
  • Losing weight without trying
Medical Alert Benefits

Medical alerts provide the benefit of allowing one to have peace of mind should they lose their balance and fall. Sufferers may experience chronic injuries, aches and pains as a result of a fall or the inability to balance properly. Poor muscle mass may also cause poor circulation, consequently reducing immune functions and increasing the probability of developing other health conditions and complications.

Common symptoms experienced by those with sarcopenia:

  • Reduced muscle strength
  • Chronic inflammation and pain
  • Reduced physical performance or disability
  • Slowed walking speed
  • Inability to maintain balance
  • Difficulty ascending stairs
  • Difficulty rising to a standing position
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Sarcopenia naturally occurs as part of the aging process. Many seniors choose not to utilize M

medical alerts, but instead choose to adjust their lifestyles to help them safely cope with the effects of the condition.

  • Poor balance: Poor balance is a common symptom of sarcopenia. Canes and walkers can be utilized as balancing and mobility aids. These devices are designed so that seniors can shift their weight safely while maintaining proper balance. Using a cane or walker can also help individuals increase mobility and speed, and can also help seniors walk with more confidence while relieving tension on bones and joints.
  • Chronic inflammation: Individuals with sarcopenia often experience bouts of chronic pain and inflammation. Studies have found that individuals who completed at least two hours of moderate exercise per week decreased their inflammation markers by more than ten percent.
  • Amino acids: Loss of muscle mass is the chief complaint of those who suffer from sarcopenia. Fortunately, amino acids can assist in slowing the process. Amino acids are also essential for building and maintaining healthy muscle, as they trigger the creation of protein, which helps to build muscle mass. Amino acids can be found in a variety of foods, including dairy, salmon, chicken, beans, nuts and legumes
Sarcopenia Precautions:
  • Exercise: Resistance exercise has shown positive results in decreasing frailty while improving overall muscle strength in seniors. Regular exercise at least two days a week is recommended if the goal is to reduce muscle loss. Talk to your doctor about how often you can safely exercise given your individual condition; you don’t want to overdo it.
  • Increase protein intake: Protein is the most valuable food to consume if the goal is to build and maintain muscle mass. The recommended protein dietary allowance is generally 50 grams of protein per day for adult men and women, however, physicians may recommend higher allowance levels of dietary protein for seniors 65 years and older.
  • Vitamin D: Studies show that low blood levels of vitamin D are usually associated with lower muscle strength. Lower muscle strength usually increases balance instability and risk of falls.Vitamin D supplements can help increase low levels, while also improving muscle mass and muscle function.
Sarcopenia Medical Alerts Conclusion

Loss of muscle mass, or sarcopenia, gradually accelerates as the individual ages.Maintaining muscle mass and function is vital to sustaining independence, however, muscle deterioration cannot always be prevented due to other health conditions and illnesses that a person may have.

The decrease of strength and muscle mass increases the probability of a senor experiencing frailty and mobility issues, in addition to falls and fractures. Fortunately, medical alerts are available to ensure that first responders are notified in a timely manner should an emergency occur.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

Shae is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.