Those who are aging and those with aging family members and friends should consider making positive lifestyle changes to facilitate aging related issues. Senior citizens want to remain active, healthy and independent as long as possible. However, it is wise to think of their needs including safety, comfort and quality of life as time goes by. Home is where the heart is and where people feel the most comfortable, safe, and in charge.
Everyone concerned must realize that with aging comes the need for assistance to maintain the lifestyle we're used to. Senior citizens don't want to be a burden to friends and family. They value their independence and may resist the suggestion that they may need help with difficult physical and mental tasks. However, a fall or illness may require more attention than friends and family members can provide. Seniors, friends, family members, and loved ones need to know what options are available to meet the needs of all concerned.
Assessing the Need for Assistance
A self-assessment as well assessments by friends, family members and other loved ones are valuable in deciding if and the type of assistance needed. Diagnosed diseases and medications prescribed may affect the behavior of our aging loved ones. Your loved one may experience feelings of fatigue, dizziness or pain, whether caused by a health condition or medications. Is forgetfulness or feelings of sadness or loneliness expressed by words or behavior? Take in consideration the senior's ability to dress, bathe, climb stairs, prepare meals and take care of their home. If the elderly and their loved ones agree, there are many lifestyle changes to choose from such as home health assistance, independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
In self assessing, an aging senior may consider accepting help from friends and family members but won't want to tie up their time and attention, distracting them from home, work and family. They may also be reluctant to have strangers in their homes. Family members are also concerned for their loved one's safety and health. Hiring an individual, agency or a service that offers full time, 24 hour, 7 days a week care are options to choose from. Each offers its own advantages.
Independent Living Housing
With a variety of apartment style living, detached homes offer this type of housing. It is considered friendlier to seniors because it’s more compact, easier to navigate, and requires no maintenance or yard work. Many facilities, or retirement communities also offer many other advantages, such as recreational activities that offer seniors the opportunity to socialize. Some offer onsite fitness centers, spas, and basic housekeeping and laundry services. Seniors may also have home health services.
Assisted Living Facilities
Seniors living in assisted living facilities provide cooked meals, assistance in the middle of the night for activities such as going to the bathroom, transportation to appointments and housekeeping. Residents have 24-hour support and access to medical care. Independence and respect of privacy should also be offered. This lifestyle also offers meal, social and recreational activities in a group setting.
Nursing Home Care
The best argument for nursing home care is the health care service provided by skilled nursing staff. Specialized health care services provided as part of the many resources available to such a facility. Senior care of family members means loved ones must be on constant watch and do due diligence to ensure caretakers are taking care of their loved one. Observe staff and residence at differing times of day. If you suspect elder abuse, contact a nursing home neglect lawyer.
Aging seniors and their loved ones are starting to plan for the issues of declining abilities, health and mental capacities. Some may even own policies that provide for senior care. When the senior and their loved one decide to make lifestyle changes to improve the quality of life for the aging, there are many options at their disposal. There are many agencies to help better facilitate aging. Explore and plan options early because the next fall or illness may be a reason to act.