Adjusting to Life Without Driving

adjusting to life without driving

Imagine the thrill of the open road, a clear schedule and the freedom of driving anywhere you choose, whenever you choose. Even the opportunity to drive short distances here and there, running errands, visiting friends, attending social functions, etc., all of these are signs of autonomy and independence. Now imagine life without driving. When age-related side effects force seniors to give up the keys, this sense of autonomy and independence simply disappears.

The loss of driving privileges can be one of the most devastating experiences for seniors. Never mind the health problems that have plagued them along the way. Forget about minor losses in mobility or memory; those are often taken in stride or with only minor complaint. However, the loss of a driver’s license and the right to drive a car strikes at the heart of a senior’s sense of identity, and this can have serious consequences.

6 Tips to Help Seniors Adjust to Life Without Driving

  1. Start the conversation early. The sooner you begin having conversations with your loved ones about driving and the aging process, the better. The important thing to stress is that safety is the top priority; the safety of the senior you love as well as the safety of other drivers and pedestrians on the road. Spend time reviewing the Senior Driving Website. It’s a wonderful resource and conversation starter for senior drivers and their families.
  2. Register for a senior driving assessment. Don’t make yourself the bad guy. Put it in objective hands. Contact the DMV or the AAA club in your area and ask about senior driver’s assessments. These assessments are designed to evaluate a senior’s driving skills, response times, vision, etc., to determine whether or not they are safe to drive. Sometimes, the senior is given the green light, sometimes they are given tips and recommendations and/or are referred to a refresher course, and other times it is determined the senior should no longer sit behind the wheel. A professional driving assessment puts the onus of judgment in professional hands, which can take the pressure off you.
  3. Let them remain in control of the situation. If it’s decided that a senior is better off being a passenger, he/she should still have control of the situation. Ask what your senior prefers: to keep the car and hire a driver, sell the car and pay for a driver who has his/her own car, rely on public transportation, or any combination of the options. The point is that life without driving feels like a loss of control and independence, so allowing the senior to have control over the solution is important.
  4. Research public transportation options. Do a thorough study of public transportation options in your area. Sometimes, the idea of taking a bus or a van is preferable to having a driver because the senior can maintain a sense of autonomy and privacy that is sacrificed when a driver knows everywhere you go and everything you do.
  5. Maintain their regular schedule. Another way to foster a sense of independence and autonomy is to ensure that seniors are able to maintain their regular schedule. Taking away their keys should not mean they are homebound and no longer able to participate in the activities they love. Find a way to accommodate their exercise classes, religious observations, clubs, meetings, etc. This includes an emphasis on their social outings and events. Keeping active will make the loss of the driver’s seat much less painful.

HomeAide Home Care is happy to assist you in finding a driver with a clean driving record and background check. Life without driving doesn’t have to be impossible. Contact us to get started.

10 Tips For Preventing Elderly Falls

10 tips for preventing elderly falls

Preventing elderly falls is crucial. Every year, more than 30% of adults over the age of 65 fall down. These falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for that age bracket and in 2010, direct medical costs as the result of an elderly fall totaled more than $30 billion dollars.

Of course, the “cost” of an elderly fall isn’t purely financial. Minor brain injuries can be more detrimental for adults diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s and increasing medical studies show the anesthesia associated with knee/hip replacement surgeries have more negative cognitive effects than we realized.

Preventing Elderly Falls

For these reasons, we highly recommend you adhere to these 10 tips to prevent elderly falls and increase your quality of life.

Keep exercising.

The weaker your muscles are, the more prone you are to falls. Exercise is good for the mind, body, and spirit. Plus, it will strengthen muscles and help to maintain your sense of balance.

Eat a well-balanced diet.

If your body is malnourished or your blood sugar drops, you are likely to become shaky, dizzy and/or disoriented. All of these side-effects put you at risk for falls. Drink lots of water. Eat five small meals a day, concentrating on healthy proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Observe your annual physical.

Things like low blood pressure can also contribute to falls. Make sure you attend your annual physical, even if you’re feeling “fit as a fiddle” so your doctor can catch and monitor things you might not be able to feel going on with your body.

Visit the eye doctor.

Eyesight is a funny thing; the brain is good at compensating even when vision has diminished considerably. Unfortunately, vision loss causes depth perception issues and makes it harder to see things in your peripheral. Have your eyes checked at least once a year after you turn 65.

Schedule a consultation with your pharmacist.

Doctors and pharmacists try their best to make sure your medicines work in harmony with one another. Even so, there can be occasional glitches. Schedule a consultation with your pharmacist and have him/her review your medications to make sure none of them cause dizziness or drowsiness that may make you more susceptible to a fall.

Take your time.

Try not to rush around. This is especially true after moving from a seated or prone position to standing. Sudden drops in blood pressure can make you dizzy, and it increases the chances of instability or even a small fainting spell that can cause you to fall.

Install grab bars.

Hire a handyman to come install grab bars near your toilet, shower, bathtub, etc. You might feel like you don’t need them but you’ll be surprised how often you use them once they’re in place.

Remove trip hazards.

This is a good time to evaluate your home and eliminate trip hazards, such as cords, area rugs, small tables, etc., that are easy to stumble over.

Provide adequate lighting.

Make sure your lighting is adequate. If you have macular degeneration, cataracts or other vision issues, increase your bulb wattage just a bit to compensate. Put exterior lights and strategically placed interior lights on motion sensitive and/or time-sensitive timers so you never have to navigate your home or exterior in the complete dark.

Ask for help when you need it.

Don’t hesitate to get professional help for tasks like cleaning, yard work, running errands, etc. You can pick your favorite tasks and let a professional home care provider help with the rest.

Schedule a free consultation with HomeAide Home Care, Inc. and we’ll assess your home for potential fall risks and helpful tips for preventing elderly falls.

The Dangers of Dehydration

the dangers of dehydration

The dangers of dehydration is a constant elder care problem. In multiple studies of senior patients in long-term care facilities and those admitted to hospitals, as many as 40% of seniors were dehydrated. When left to their own devices, most seniors simply don’t drink enough water to remain properly hydrated, and this causes serious physical, mental and emotional side effects.

The Many Dangers of Dehydration

Understanding how dehydration affects the body, as well as dehydration symptoms, will improve a senior’s overall well-being.

Hydration is The Foundation of a Balanced and Healthy Body

Our bodies are predominantly comprised of water; it is responsible for balancing the body’s fluid levels, facilitating circulation, digestion, transportation, and absorption of nutrients, etc. Water is also required for eliminating toxins, kidney health, energizing muscles and maintaining normal bowel function. A breakdown in any of these processes causes medical complications.

Before age 60, the average person is about 56% water, after age 60 this percentage decreases to around 49% due to lost muscle mass. That reduction means seniors are even more prone to the effects of dehydration and the symptoms can be more serious.

Causes and Symptoms of Senior Dehydration

Dehydration occurs for a variety of reasons:

  • Not drinking enough water or liquids
  • As a side effect of certain medications, especially diuretics
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Certain medical conditions such as diabetes

The symptoms of dehydration come in many forms. The following are some of the most common:

Mild dehydration

The first symptoms of dehydration are easy to miss.

  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Thick saliva
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dark colored urine, typically dark yellow, orange or even brown
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Headaches or mental fogginess
  • Cramping, especially in feet and legs
  • Fatigue, weakness or general malaise
  • Crying without tears or very few tears
  • Unusual sleepiness or irritability

Symptoms of more severe dehydration

By the time dehydration progresses from mild to severe, the senior will need immediate medical attention so s/he can be placed on intravenous fluids until stabilized. Signs of severe dehydration include:

  • Severe cramping in limbs, back, and stomach
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Convulsions
  • Eyes appear dry and/or sunken
  • Little to no skin elasticity (if you gently pinch the skin on the back of the hands, it will remain in the pinched position and/or will retract very slowly)
  • Rapid breathing

If you notice any of these signs in a senior, call 911 or take them to the nearest urgent care facility immediately.

Simple Tips For Keeping Seniors Hydrated

While water is the best fluid of all, it’s not the only option for hydration. Here are some simple tips that can keep a senior better hydrated:

  1. Have a beverage (non-caffeinated is best) with every meal or snack
  2. Keep fresh water in a glass with a straw near the bed and chair-side tables at all times
  3. Eat an array of fruits and vegetables, which have naturally high water content
  4. Maintain an assortment of favorite beverages on hand to keep it interesting
  5. Try adding lemon, cucumber or strawberry slices to cold water to make it more palatable.

Adequate hydration is not just a warm weather issue. Focus on hydration year-round for optimal senior health and avoid the dangers of dehydration.

8 Signs of Elder Abuse

8 signs of elder abuse

The signs of elder abuse can take place in many forms – physical, verbal, emotional and financial. While physical elder abuse can often be evidenced in person (although not always), verbal, emotional and financial elder abuse can happen insidiously and often goes undetected for long periods of time.

Whether you look in on a loved one on a regular basis, or live across the country and are only able to visit every once in a while, the following information can help you to determine whether or not your senior loved one is a victim of elder abuse. Never hesitate to begin an investigation the minute you suspect elder abuse.

8 Signs of Elder Abuse

Constant and repeat bruising, injury or broken bones. 

True, senior citizens are more prone to bruising from even the mildest of bumps or knocks that occur in day-to-day activities. Yes, the elderly are also apt to lose their balance and/or fall more easily. But, if you feel like accidents occur more frequently than normal, it’s worth looking into.

An unusual dynamic with a caretaker.

Pay attention to his/her relationship with the caregiver(s). If your loved one seems afraid, tense, excessively argumentative or withdrawn around the caregiver, it can be a sign of abuse or mistreatment.

Sudden financial difficulty.

Financial elder abuse is one of the most common, and silent, forms of elder abuse. Sometimes it’s as simple as a caregiver or family member who keeps the change for grocery bills or writes frequent small checks to him/herself. In worst case scenarios, entire savings accounts can be drained, lines of credit can be taken out in the senior’s name and then maxed out, etc. The effects can be devastating. If you notice a sudden and unexplainable shift in a senior relative’s finances, take note. Try to keep personal/sensitive documentation out of caregiver’s hands and range of access.

Unusual depression or sudden withdrawal.

Verbal and/or emotional abuse is another silent form of elder abuse. Adults who are experiencing symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, may not be able to communicate what is happening. In cases of sexual abuse, the individual is often too embarrassed or ashamed to come forward. If your loved one becomes unusually quiet, withdrawn or depressed – especially if it’s over a relatively short period of time, take the time to investigate.

Rapid weight loss or lack of energy.

Sometimes, the abuse happens via neglect, rather than any physical or verbal impact. Sudden weight loss, dehydration, or a rapid decline in energy can be signs of malnourishment and neglect.

Bed Sores.

If the senior is bed-bound, it is imperative that he or she is moved on a regular basis to keep the blood flowing and the skin from becoming irritated. A neglected, bed-ridden senior will end up getting bed sores on the areas of the body that are in contact with the mattress.

They are dirty and/or smell bad.

A well-cared for senior should have their hygiene needs met on a daily basis. There is no excuse for being dirty, smelling bad, or having to wear soiled clothing. This is a sign of caregiver neglect.

Poor living conditions.

If your elderly relative is living in a senior care facility, the environment should be clean, orderly and aesthetically pleasing. Dirty, dingy, or facilities with old, malfunctioning equipment should be considered suspect.

Never ignore the signs of elder abuse – take action!

Before you sign the dotted line, make sure you hire a home health care provider who has an excellent reputation and reviews, and who screens caregivers thoroughly to help your senior loved ones get the attentive care they deserve.

Fall Prevention: Be Proactive and Prevent an Accident

fall prevention be proactive and prevent an accident

The majority of our time is spent at home, especially during the retirement years, so it’s no wonder that 60% of all falls occur in the home. Falls are also the leading cause of hip replacement surgery and traumatic brain injury in seniors. The safer you can make your home, the better.

Fall prevention in the home can be done over the course of a weekend. While a few suggestions may require some tools and the assistance of a local handyman, most of the changes are easy to do on your own, or with the assistance of a friend, family member, or companion.

7 Simple Steps to Fall Prevention

  1. Remove obstructions. This may seem like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised. We get used to our homes the way they are and forget that the corner of the area rug by the couch sticks up, or the lamp cord in the living room forms a barrier between the couch and the television. As eyesight begins to dim, steps grow less steady, and balance wavers, the obstructions we have become used to can cause a fall.
  2. No-slip mats for area rugs. Ideally, surface rugs should be removed completely in a fall proof home to prevent the edges from becoming trip hazards. However, if you won’t budge with a favorite rug on your hard surface flooring, make sure you have no-slip mats underneath to keep it in place.
  3. Widen the space between furniture. Make sure there is ample room to navigate around tables, chairs, and couches. You may want to eliminate an end table or chair in order to create more space.
  4. Adequate lighting. The better lit an area is, the better you will be able to see. If you are experiencing vision loss, increase the wattage on your lights to provide a brighter interior. Replace light bulbs as soon as they go out. Consider using motion-sensitive exterior lighting fixtures so you don’t have to remember to turn them on/off, but will always have ample lighting at night when you need it. Use night lights in bathrooms, bedrooms, hallways, and the kitchen. Make sure to have a bedside light within reach of your bed.
  5. Clear stairways and hallways. It is often a habit to place things on the stairs, or in the hallway, with the intention of “putting them away later.” This is a dangerous habit. Put things away immediately and keep all walkways free of objects that can trip you up.
  6. Attach carpet on stairways. Make sure any carpet on your stairways is securely fastened on every stair. Otherwise, remove the rug/carpet and attach slip-proof tape for added security.
  7. Handrails and grab bars. There should be easily accessible hand rails and grab bars on all stair ways, in your tub and shower, and next to the toilet. The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, so give extra special attention to fall prevention measures here.

The sooner you fall proof your home, the less likely you will be to suffer unnecessary pain and injury. For more information about home health safety, contact HomeAide Home Care, Inc.

The Dangers of the Elderly Living Alone

the dangers of the elderly living alone

You know the familiar expression, “you can’t see the forest for the trees?” The same can be true of the way we view the people who are closest to us. Sometimes, the aging process happens so quickly that children and grandchildren don’t realize how vulnerable their aging parents and grandparents really are.Don’t let a tragic incident, or unnecessary injury, take place before you acknowledge the dangers of the elderly living alone. The more proactive you can be to allow your loved ones to age safely in their home or move them to the appropriate facility, the better quality of life they will have.

Why The Elderly Living Alone Is A Bad Idea

Falls.  The greatest danger of elders living alone is their susceptibility to falls. Balance begins to decline throughout the aging process. Poor vision and weakening muscles and bones decrease balance even further. What might have been a small stumble before, resulting in a bruise or a bump on the head, can result in a major injury for the elderly.

Here are some alarming facts and statistics:

  • The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house for senior citizens.
  • Adults who are 75 years and over account for the largest percentage of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) that result in hospitalization and death.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in adults 65-years and older.
  • Senior citizens are more susceptible to hospital-, surgery-, and anesthesia-related delirium that can last for weeks. This has been linked to other complications and higher mortality rates.

If your aging loved ones have refused to be moved into an assisted living or retirement facility, make sure their home has been adapted for safety. Contact a professional home health care provider who can help make the necessary adaptations, and who can provide health care and/or companion services as needed.

Depression.  The dangers of elderly living alone aren’t always visible on the physical level. When seniors live alone, they are much more likely to become lonely, disinterested in normal day-to-day activities, and depressed. This is a very real concern because depression has been linked to more rapid onset and/or progression of other age-related mental conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

If you have family members who insist on living alone, make sure you know how to recognize senior depression. You may need to be equally insistent that they join a local senior center, participate in a local retirement facility’s day care program, or hire a companion who can visit them weekly, or daily if you aren’t able to do so yourself. Not only will s/he have access to activities, entertainment, and exercise classes specifically designed for seniors, s/he will be a part of a community, which can help to keep depression and loneliness at bay.

General Health And Well-being.  Even without the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s, seniors are prone to be forgetful. One of the dangers of elders living alone is they can forget to take important medicines or can overtake them. Meals, exercise, and basic day-to-day hygiene routines can begin to slip. A home health caregiver is one way to ensure your loved one is taken care of. House cleaning, basic hygiene care, meal preparation, and medication reminders are all well within the scope of a well-trained home health aide. This will allow your aging loved one to remain in his/her home without you having to worry about their day-to-day care.

Not sure if your senior relative(s) should be living alone? Read this article on “What’s Right for You” to determine the right level of care for your loved one and ensure they age as safely as possible.

The Importance of the Elderly Staying Hydrated

the importance of the elderly staying hydrated
Now that we’re headed into the summer months, it’s important to remember the importance of the elderly staying hydrated. Senior citizens are particularly prone to becoming dehydrated. In many cases, they are less active than they once were, which prevents them from noticing their thirst until dehydration has set in. For others, medical conditions, kidney issues, and/or medications can cause them to be more susceptible to dehydration.

The following information will educate you about the seriousness of dehydration in the elderly, how to recognize its signs and symptoms, and tips on how to keep elderly relatives properly hydrated when the weather heats up.

Understanding the Importance of the Elderly Staying Hydrated

The bottom line: every single cell, tissue, and organ need water in order to function properly. Usually, when we feel thirsty, dehydration has already begun. However, as we age, our brain doesn’t always send the necessary “signal” to our body that it needs water. Ideally, adults need six to eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day. This can differ between individuals.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration in the Elderly

Signs and symptoms of dehydration run from the mild to the severe.

Mild symptoms of dehydration:

  • A feeling of thirst or hunger. Sometimes our bodies signal that we are hungry when we are actually dehydrated. Fruits and vegetables that have a high water content can satisfy both urges. Keep sliced melon, oranges, apples, cucumbers and carrots handy for quick healthy and hydrating snacks.
  • Dry or sticky mouth.
  • Thick or gummy saliva
  • Smaller quantities of urine
  • Darker colored urine, it might even have a brown tinge
  • Muscle cramping
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability

More severe symptoms of dehydration:

If a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms, you should have them transported to a hospital, or their primary care doctor, immediately. Severe dehydration can become fatal and usually requires intravenous fluids to get fluid levels back in balance.

  • Low blood pressure
  • Severe cramping that can result in hyper-contracted leg, back, and stomach contractions
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Flaccid skin
  • Rapid breathing

Tips for the Elderly Staying Hydrated

Besides the obvious, hydration is also beneficial for other reasons. When the elderly are hydrated they are less constipated, suffer fewer falls, and also have a lower chance of developing colorectal cancer.

If your loved one suffers from dementia, Alzheimer’s or a generally “foggy brain” it might be necessary to hire a caregiver to ensure they are taking their medications, eating, and getting enough liquids. They may have to be physically reminded to drink. Otherwise, the following tips can help them remember to drink enough water.

  • Keep a glass of water on the nightstand and on the end-table so it’s in sight. This can help them to remember to drink it.
  • Buy a large, marked container with a straw. This can help them to keep track of how many ounces they drink a day. For example, a sixteen-ounce container should be emptied approximately three times throughout the day.
  • Buy a variety of liquids. Although water is the best, lowest calorie, and healthiest liquid to drink, drinking liquids are the priority here. Make sure there are a variety of juices, flavored teas, etc. so they are more inclined to drink.
  • Try adding a squeeze of lemon or fresh cucumber slices to a glass of water to enhance the flavor.
  • Set a timer to go off each hour. If they haven’t had anything to drink, they should take some sips.
  • Use a straw. This often causes people to drink more water than they do if they sip from the rim of the glass.

Hydration is important every day, but especially when the temperatures go up. Keep a close eye on your loved ones to make sure they stay hydrated and healthy.

The Most Dangerous Room In Your House

One of the most important aspects of caring for an elderly or aging loved one is making sure that they remain safe, while at the same time maintaining as much independence as possible. Making some basic changes around the house can go a long way toward keeping seniors safe while independent. One of the most important rooms to focus on is the bathroom.

It’s no secret that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, but the dangers there are multiplied for the elderly. Slick, wet surfaces, small spaces, and hard appliances make the bathroom the number one danger for seniors in the home. Falls in the bathroom make up the single largest cause of hip fractures in Americans ages 65 and up.

Bathroom Senior Living

Grab bars are an easy fix, but one that can make a real difference. Install them in the bathtub/shower, and don’t forget to put them on the wall where they can be held while getting in and out of the tub. Bathrooms are often too cramped for using a walker, so it can be helpful to place grab bars at the doorway and along the length of the room, to help your elderly loved one maneuver. And don’t forget to place one near the toilet, low enough to provide leverage for lifting oneself from a seated position.

Get rid of throw rugs in the bathroom, they’re a tripping hazard that you don’t need. Keep a heavy rubber lined bath mat in front of the tub to prevent slips on a wet floor. Line the bottom of the bathtub with no-slip decals or a large rubber bath mat to prevent slipping. Remember that a bath is much easier than a shower, so install shelves for soap and shampoo that are low enough to reach without standing up. Handheld shower nozzles are a huge help, especially when a chair becomes required in the shower. They’re easy to install and simple to use.

Install a sensor on a light in the bathroom that will automatically light the room when you enter it, and keep dim nightlights plugged into light the way. Keep supplies that are frequently used close at hand in a spot that doesn’t require bending or reaching. Baskets are ideal for the counter-top to hold small grooming items and prevent them from falling and becoming something else to trip over. Replace glass containers on the counter-top with unbreakable plastic cups, and stick a piece of adhesive backed rubber cut to fit on the bottom to keep them in place.

With a little common sense and thoughtful planning, you can maintain your elderly loved one’s independence while providing a safe environment for them. Just a few do-it-yourself hours over a weekend can save you loads of worry. Your bathroom doesn’t have to be the most dangerous room in the house.

How to Talk to Your Aging Loved Ones About Safe Driving

elderly drivingDriving a car is more than getting from one place to another; a car represents independence and freedom for most people, especially older Americans. As your loved ones age and safe driving becomes a concern, it can be difficult to know how to talk to them about handing over the keys.

When it comes time to talk to your aging loved one about driving, sometimes it can be helpful to start by listening. Ask them some very specific, carefully worded questions to get them talking about their safe driving experiences.

Questions Regarding Safe Driving for Seniors

  • Do you feel your reflexes are slower than they were ten years ago?
  • Have you had any accidents?
  • When was your last written driving test?
  • When was your last behind the wheel driver’s test?
  • Do you still have insurance?
  • When were your eyes last tested?
  • Do you see pedestrians or do they surprise you?
  • Do you drive at night? How is that?
  • How often do you miss your exit off of the freeway?
  • Can you read all the signs in time to appropriately react?
  • Have you ever been lost in a familiar part of town?
  • Have far are you driving at a time?
  • Do you ever worry about your driving?
  • What will you do when you can’t drive anymore?

Often, when people begin to hear their own replies to these questions, they may realize that driving has become a bigger concern than they realized. By opening the door to communication, you’re giving your senior citizen the chance to see for themselves, instead of becoming defensive when you express your concerns.

With time and reflection, you may find that it’s time for your loved one to limit his or her driving, or to stop driving all together. This can be a difficult step. Driving is a form of independence, and most people will do everything they can to keep from giving it up. Have a plan in place to help ensure that your loved one will still have the freedom to go out and do things, and not find themselves stuck at home alone.

  • If you’re able, hire a driver a few days a week.
  • Consider opening a charge account with a local taxi service
  • Ask younger friends or relatives to provide safe driving services, and set up a schedule.
  • Find out if there is public transportation available.

Reassure them that you will help them through this transition, and listen to their concerns. Realize that the loss of freedom is a difficult feeling, and try to put yourself in their shoes. Giving up driving privileges can be a tough but important decision, but in the end it’s the their safety and that of others on the road that must come first. By taking time to both listen and discuss, you can ease the pain of this transition.

Everyday Tasks Can Pose a Challenge to Senior Citizens

Imagine the things that you do every day as a part of your normal routine. Getting dressed, showering, fixing meals and running errands – all of these are a part of your daily routine. But all of these can pose a very real challenge for the elderly. In virtually every area of day-to-day habits, senior citizens face dealing with difficulties.

Senior Live In Care

Image: partie traumatic, courtesy Flickr

A Day in Life of a Senior Citizen

Simply getting out of bed can be a challenge for the elderly. While most of us wake up refreshed and rested, ready to get up and face our day, seniors often awaken to stiff limbs and achy joints. Walking to the bathroom is a slow and often painful process.

Bathing poses special problems for seniors. The hazards of the bathroom are well documented. Stepping into and out of a wet tub remains the number one cause of injury from falls for senior citizens. This is one area where seniors often require the most help, but are the least likely to ask for it.

Anyone who has no trouble buttoning a blouse probably takes for granted how simple the task is for them.  For the elderly, buttons can be a huge frustration and a barrier to independence. Elderly women also struggle with bra clasps and zippers.  Even something as simple as tying a shoe can be a challenge for a senior citizen.

Mobility can be a concern for many elderly people, as walking up or down stairs can often be difficult. Senior citizens often suffer from a weakened grip due to arthritis or hand pain, and can have trouble with door handles and locks. Navigating between furniture when using a cane or a walker can also be frustrating and dangerous.

Cooking meals, washing laundry and normal household chores are far more difficult for the elderly. We often take for granted the simple act of taking the lid off a jar or lifting a heavy pan to the stove. For a senior, these can be daunting tasks that cause frustration and sometimes pain.  The dangers faced by a senior in the kitchen are second only to those in the bathroom.

Seniors face these challenges in their lives every single day. One of the biggest obstacles that a family can face when wanting to help a senior is the resistance they often have to asking for help. By being aware of these issues and helping find solutions to them, you can help your elderly family member live a safer, more independent lifestyle.

Is there someone in your life who needs help with day to day activities? We can help with live-in care, or just support a few hours a week.