Family caregivers want their elderly loved ones to be safe and healthy, but all too often the most dangerous places for seniors is in their own homes. When their home environment is not adjusted for age-related challenges and the elderly person’s physical and mental abilities are in decline, it can be bad for their health. Anyone who wants their aging relative to maintain the highest quality of life needs to pay attention to any areas where they are struggling.
Seniors are usually dealing with a combination of physical and mental issues that interfere with their ability to complete daily self-care tasks. From chronic illnesses and poor eyesight to reduced mobility and cognitive decline, elderly adults may be letting things slip. Physical challenges can interrupt an elderly person’s ability to carry out even simple tasks. Getting used to a cane or wheelchair can limit them even further.
If family caregivers notice that their elderly relative does indeed need help with daily activities, they can arrange for help from other family members and senior care agencies. Here are 5 daily tasks that may hurt seniors with reduced physical or cognitive abilities:
1. Mismanaging Medication
As people age, they often must take different doses of medicine to help with chronic conditions and health issues. When taken properly, the medicines allow their bodies to function fine. However, if they miss a dosage or mix out the time or amount, it can have severe health consequences. Mismanaging medication can cause complications or even death in elderly adults.
2. Hygiene and Grooming
The most dangerous thing that seniors can do is suffer from a slip and fall accident. From concussions to broken bones, slip and fall accidents are life-changing. Because most slips happen in the bathroom, seniors need to be particularly careful when showering or bathing. Also, when seniors have trouble with the toilet, getting dressed, keeping up with dental hygiene and more, they can develop many small health issues, too.
3. Driving a Motor Vehicle
Seniors can suffer from poor vision and hearing, slower reflexes and plenty of stiff joints and muscles. All this combines to make it unsafe to drive. However, because they are not ready to give up independence just yet, they keep driving. This makes them a danger to themselves and others.
4. Housekeeping and Home Maintenance
The basic chores that used to be easy can now be dangerous to seniors with certain physical issues. Examples include climbing ladders to change light bulbs, vacuuming strenuously, shoveling snow, lifting heavy objects, and cleaning showers and tubs can simply be too much for some elderly people. Yardwork and other maintenance tasks may also be beyond their ability.
5. Food and Nutrition
While cooking seems like an easy task, for many aging adults it is beyond their ability. Too many seniors don’t have the ability to make nutritious meals that are also affordable. The result is malnutrition and dehydration, which can negatively affect the immune system and numerous other body functions.
Hiring a senior care assistant may be the ideal answer to the problem of an elderly person that wants to stay at home and be as independent as possible, but really needs some assistance daily.