America is getting older, with adults 65 or older comprising about 15 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, according to the Pew Research Center.
But older adults typically prize their independence and may not let on that they need help. “Sometimes you’re shocked when you visit,” says Dr. Michael Perskin, a geriatrician at NYU Langone Health. “You walk into a parent’s house and the bathrooms are dirty or there’s no food in the refrigerator. That represents a change.”
It’s natural for adults to experience age-related health changes. Eyesight and hearing decline, muscles lose mass, bones lose density, joints become stiff with arthritis and cognitive processing speed slows.
Small health changes may not seem like they would affect a person’s ability to live on his or her own. But the cumulative total can have a major impact.