The coming of the New Year is a great time for everyone to set healthy resolutions for themselves and elderly individuals should be no exception to that rule. By setting a few simple guidelines to live by elderly individuals can be happier and healthier year round. But it’s important for family caregivers to remember older folks have different needs and ability levels than the rest of us. It may not be about eating salads and going to the gym for them. That’s why we’ve created these five age-appropriate resolutions for elderly individuals.
1) Guard Against Falls
1 in 3 elderly individuals falls every year. Unfortunately falls are one of the leading causes of serious injury for older folks living at home. Worse yet, falls can often lead to deadly health complications. In fact, many older individuals who have been hospitalized because of a fall find themselves readmitted within days weeks for complications directly related to that fall including infections and respiratory ailments.
Help your loved one guard against falls by adopting a two-fold approach:
Work with your physician to come up with an achievable exercise routine to improve strength and stability.
“Fall-proof” homes to remove trip hazards like loose mats, curled carpeting, or uneven thresholds while adding safety features like handrails in stairways and bathrooms.
2) Visit the Doctor Regularly
Regular preventative visits to a healthcare provider are the best way to prevent long-term complications but many older individuals put off seeing their doctor until symptoms become too much to bare. Family caregivers can help avoid these potential health crises by asking about a loved one’s general health and specific symptoms. However, it’s necessary to observe as well! Elderly individuals often lie about or minimize health issues they may be having.
3) Don’t Let “The Blues” Get You Down
1 in 5 older adults suffers from depression but often times it goes undiagnosed because elderly individuals simply write off their mood changes as “The Blues.” Depression is a serious illness and can have an effect on a wide array of health conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Speak up about mood changes. There is help available for everyone regardless of age.
4) Eat Better
One of the toughest issues for seniors to overcome is their declining appetite. This disinterest in food can be linked to a number of underlying conditions including decreased taste sensitivity and digestive complications. But poor diets can lead to malnutrition–which kills 3,000 elderly individuals every year. Family caregivers should work with loved ones to find foods they like, foods they can easily prepare, and foods they can tolerate. However, they should also ensure their loved one is actually eating those foods. Go shopping before you visit and check the cupboards and fridge before you leave.
5) Find the Right In-Home Care Service
There comes a time when most of us need a little help to live comfortable and safely in our own homes. Second Family Home Care offers professional elder care services in Plano, Texas and the surrounding areas on an as-needed basis. Our honest and compassionate care providers can help elderly individuals with meal prep, medication administration, light housework, errands, and more so they can safely live at home longer.
If it’s time to have that conversation with your loved one, we’d love to help. Call Second Family Home Care at (972) 347-0700 today.