As seniors mentally and physically age, caring for themselves and their households may increasingly become more difficult. However, just because a senior slows down a little, or maybe walks a little slower, or takes a little longer to get certain tasks completed, that does not mean he or she is incapable of doing those tasks. With a little extra assistance, many seniors are perfectly capable of living the independent lifestyles for as long as they desire.
Assistance for seniors can come in a variety of forms and should be adjusted as seniors’ life conditions change. Modifications to home and lifestyle can go far in keeping seniors independent. It also helps to know where to turn to when your loved one needs additional assistance.
When checking on seniors, keep an eye on their safety—not just from theft, burglary, assault, fire, or emergencies—but also from unsafe conditions that could cause unnecessary slips, injuries, and falls. Help them keep their environments safe from objects that may be tripped over, knocked down, or fallen over. Simple things like adequate lighting also matter to aging eyes. Access to a medical alert button and/or a portable phone is also important in helping them feel self-sufficient and safe.
Having access to adequate amounts of food and drink is important to seniors’ health. Make a point to know if the senior you care about is eating an appropriate diet and taking medication as prescribed. A person’s mental clarity and physical dexterity can also be affected by improper or inadequate diet. Many times, seniors don’t have the desire or physical ability to prepare meals for themselves. Programs such as Meals on Wheels may be a solution (check your local area Office on Aging for other nutrition options). Also, make sure they are getting enough mental and physical activity to keep their moods positive; this includes interaction with others, adequately balanced with access to television, radio, magazines, or newspapers, along with any kind of purposeful activity or hobby.
Make sure seniors are mobile, not just within their home, but also with access to transportation to get them to where they need to go, particularly doctor appointments. They may also need help running errands, going food or clothing shopping, and doing housekeeping tasks such as vacuuming, laundry and dusting. As their physical condition declines, they may need assistance with more basic tasks such as personal hygiene, grooming, bathing, and help with eating.
Be knowledgeable about where to find assistance for seniors. Look into services offered by your local department of social services, community resources, local churches, and also local home care agencies. Home care services include helping seniors with everything from housekeeping, companionship, and shopping to personal care, hygiene assistance, and safety supervision. Licensed, professional home care aides can be with your loved one for several hours per day or week to round-the-clock live-in care. Home care is the perfect option to help keep seniors safely in the comfort of their own homes, rather than moving to a facility!
Click here to learn more about a reputable Home care provider in NJ.
- Photo Credit: title=”Grandma’s 80th Birthday” by Carolyn Coles, on Flickr
- Photo Credit: title=”Granny” by friend JAD, on Flickr