What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is a disease that refers to the loss of muscle mass as one naturally ages. There are several factors that can lead to this loss of muscle, but inactivity is one of them. The lack of activity and inability to maintain the range of motion are all signs that one is suffering from Sarcopenia. These indicators should be taken seriously due to the impact it has on functionality, weakened bones, fall risks, and independence.

How to Identify Sarcopenia:

Since loss of muscle mass is a natural process as we age, it’s not always easy to identify Sarcopenia. Sudden physical changes and balance related issues such as rapid muscle loss, difficulty climbing stairs, and difficulty completing normal daily tasks can be indicators of sarcopenia.

Healthcare professionals may suggest a variety of X-rays to examine the skeletal mass. One specific type of X-ray is called a DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) which is used for bone density and osteoporosis testing. This alongside with speed walking tests, strength tests, and in cases blood work could be used to diagnose sarcopenia.

How Does Sarcopenia Impact Seniors?

In people as early as 65, the weakening of muscle mass impacts overall physical health if preventative measures aren’t taken. As their muscles weaken, they are unable to participate in their usual activity, which can hinder their muscle stability. There are a few other health factors that can lead to sarcopenia, such as an imbalance of hormones such as testosterone and other growth hormones, decreased ability to turn protein into energy, malnutrition, and reduction of nerve cells. These are important factors that can impact the overall health of seniors, which is why discussing options with a healthcare professional is crucial.

For Combating Sarcopenia:

There are no FDA approved medications to treat Sarcopenia right now, fortunately there are a few different ways to combat Sarcopenia. General treatments involve muscle building exercises and nutritional variation.

Increase Protein

The older you get, the more important it is to increase the amount of protein that is consumed on a daily basis.  If the body is having an issue processing and absorbing protein it is vital that you’re properly fueling yourself. It may be recommended to increase the amount of protein that is being consumed to ensure you’re absorbing enough nutrients. Incorporating grass-fed meats, almonds, eggs, greek yogurt, tuna, chickpeas, and a few other high protein foods. If the body is having a problem processing protein so you’re getting enough on a daily basis to fuel your muscles.

Resistance Training

Participating in weightlifting, using resistance bands, and working against gravity is important when fighting Sarcopenia. This ensures that you’re using a full range of motion and keeping your muscles strong.


Continual movement is going to be the strongest way to keep a healthy muscle mass. A stroll around the neighborhood, down the hall, or just around town can keep your muscles activated.

At Senior Living Communities, our wellness programming has been created with our Member’s needs in mind. Our C.L.I.M.B. (Confidence, Longevity, Independence, Mobility, and Balance) class specifically works to rebuild the confidence of our Member’s through wellness. As we age, balance and stability caused by sarcopenia can lead to worry and stress. This class assists in re-building strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility to ensure that our Members continue to be confident in themselves. Sarcopenia impacts the aging population. With proper types of strength-based exercises and activities focused on flexibility and mobility, sarcopenia does not have to be a debilitating condition. Our communities continue to research and implement proven methods, engage and embolden our Members, as they live the Weller Life.