Growing older comes with its unique set of challenges. Changes to cognitive and physical capabilities as well as social opportunities lead some seniors down a dark path of isolation, impairment and depression. Despite the issues elderly face, caregivers can create an environment that helps seniors surmount everyday obstacles.
Cognitive decline occurs as people age. Dementia is a common cognitive health condition that affects nearly 50 million seniors worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease, which falls under the category of dementia-related illnesses, plagues the lives of five million people over age 65 in the United States.
Family members can learn to communicate with loved ones suffering from dementia. Speaking clearly and slowly, limiting distractions, offering comfort and reassurance, breaking down tasks into manageable steps and remembering the past are effective ways to communicate with these seniors.
Dementia caregivers are trained to placate seniors when dementia leads them to wander, experience paranoia or suffer fits of agitation. Caregivers skilled in dementia care are able to identify environmental triggers that set off dementia patients and utilize resources to soothe them.
Due to muscle weakness, seniors may no longer be able to stand over the stove to cook. Consuming inadequate nutrients may be the outcome of forgetfulness or depression in the senior. A limited income also prevents some seniors from enjoying nutrient-rich meals on a daily basis.
Malnutrition can easily be rectified by consuming enough fruits and vegetables and decreasing saturated fats and salt. When grocery shopping is near-impossible, seniors may rely on caregivers to shop for fresh produce and prepare meals in accordance to their care recipients’ dietary restrictions.
Weakness predisposes seniors to injury. Falls are the most common type of injury experienced by older people. Every half hour, an elderly individual dies from fall-related injuries. Aging bodies undergo the loss of muscle strength and flexibility, which introduces balance issues and the likelihood of bone fractures.
Falls may be avoided through home modifications, such as removing rugs, wires and other trip hazards. Seniors who exercise regularly strengthen their muscles and maintain balance. Caregivers who accompany seniors on walks and modify the home environment keep care recipients from injury.
A normal part of aging is the loss of social connections. Spouses and friends may have passed away, leaving seniors alone and lonely. Furthermore, depression may be a side effect of a chronic health condition. Depression among the elderly is common and affects seven percent of the aging population.
A healthy lifestyle and social support are instrumental in warding off depression. Caregivers are invaluable when it comes to transporting seniors to social activities that keep their minds and bodies engaged. Caregivers provide companion care, reducing seniors’ isolation and feelings of loneliness.
5. Hearing and Vision Loss
Sensory impairments affect adults over the age of 70. Poor vision may result from such conditions as cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Hearing loss is a common occurrence among the aging population. Eyeglasses and hearing aids are aids that restore vision and hearing.
Minor modifications to the home also ease the daily life of seniors with poor vision. Plug in night lights along the hallways. Use electronic magnification units to enlarge images. Purchase books and clocks with large print. Schedule a yearly eye exam with an eye specialist.
Chronic health conditions and a poor diet are often responsible for bladder issues and constipation in the elderly. Urinary incontinence is also likely to occur in people in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Seniors may forget to use the bathroom or not realize they need to urinate.
Prevent accidents by barring beverages, like caffeinated tea or soda, that increase urination. However, seniors should stay adequately hydrated with water. Ensure the senior takes regular bathroom breaks. Remove clutter in the hallways leading the bathroom and keep the light on in the bathroom.
7. Medication Noncompliance
Due to forgetfulness, seniors may neglect to take their prescribed medicines. When older people are faced with taking multiple medicines at different times each day, they may become confused and consume the incorrect dosage or pills. Either scenario can lead to health complications.
Fortunately, advances in technology facilitate medication compliance. Alerts may be set on a senior’s smartphone, for instance. Planners, dispensers and pill organizers make taking medications simpler. Professional caregivers, too, remind their care recipients to take the right medications on schedule.
Seniors who are reluctant to drive are likely to have difficulty completing necessary personal errands, such as getting to the post office, to doctor’s appointments or to social activities. The lack of reliable transportation can lead to isolation, poorer quality of life and an earlier death.
Government transportation programs are often locally available to seniors. County public transportation may be free or low-cost. Reliable errand and transportation services for seniors are also provided as part of the daily services offered by professional caregivers.
Seniors’ everyday hurdles may be overcome by the compassionate support provided by family members and enlisted caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care. Whether in-home care is required for the short- or long-term, our senior home care agency will prepare a customized care plan to fulfill all care needs.
Assisting Hands Home Care service providers are skilled and experienced. We offer in-home memory care services for seniors living with dementia and personal care to assist seniors with the activities of daily living. We also evaluate the senior’s home environment, removing fall and trip hazards.
Each of our caregivers is licensed, bonded and insured to offer maximum peace of mind to our care recipients and their families. Our professionals are trained in CPR, handling emergencies and delivering first aid. Your loved one’s non-medical needs will be met with our reliable home care services.
Families and their elderly loved ones living in Hinsdale, Downers Grove, La Grange, Illinois and the surrounding communities are encouraged to consult Assisting Hands Home Care for practical solutions to the everyday problems faced by seniors. Call us today at (630) 413-9899 to schedule your in-home consultation at no cost.