Help at Home for Seniors
By Greg Bechard
Throughout all of life's stages, we need help. From the time you were born, your parents have cared for you. They fed, clothed, and guided you through life's transitions. Now is your time to return the favour and help them age in place. Different challenges will come up, including mobility issues and loneliness. Your mom or dad may be one of the thousands diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia. When your guiding goal is to provide the best options for a higher quality of life, consider using personal care assistance from a reliable caregiver. These trained professionals understand the importance of the elderly wanting to remain at home and still live life to its fullest.
Supporting Your Seniors as They Age in Place
Aging brings different effects on the mind, body, and spirit. For example, arthritis makes it harder to move quickly and smoothly. The result can be a gloomy father because it hurts too much to join his friends on bowling night. Help your elderly loved one continue enjoying daily life despite aches and pains. It begins by preparing yourself as a caregiver and enlisting the services of a professional caregiver.
1. Helping Seniors with Mobility Issues
It happens. One day it is minor aches. The next day, moving becomes much more challenging. Your loved one may feel like giving up and staying put. That's when you can step in and help them with their mobility issues:
- Aim to help them stay as active as possible. As mobility issues arise, Mom or Dad may feel like stopping any physical activity. They may fear getting hurt and landing in a hospital. It's possible to aid them in remaining active by consulting their doctor on what they can continue to do.
- Help with mobility device learning curves. Using a walker is not a natural part of our growth. Dad may need assistance learning how to use a cane. Mom may have to build her upper body strength if she must use a wheelchair. Give them their best chances at success by assisting in the early weeks of using a cane, walker, or wheelchair.
- Plan for safe routes in public areas. Seniors don't have to remain homebound because they have limited mobility. You will learn that it will take some pre-planning, but it is possible to get outside and enjoy holiday lights, a warm spring day, or go to a grandchild's school play.
Feelings of loneliness run high in the elderly community. It takes some extra support to ensure they can overcome bouts of loneliness. The bonus of remaining physically active is that your elderly parent can also remain socially active.
2. Helping Seniors Overcome Loneliness
What do you do when you are lonely? Do you call up a friend to chat? As their social circles dwindle, your mom or dad may have fewer friends to call and talk to over the phone. That means you may need to step in and help them either personally or through personal companionship services. In either case, you can help Mom and Dad overcome their loneliness when you:
- Listen to them. We all want to feel like we are being heard — seniors included. They may feel lonely and neglected, which can contribute to depression. Taking time to sit, listen, and actively participate in a conversation can encourage your loved one.
- Learn about their interests. Having regular conversations will give you opportunities to learn more about them. You may find out something you never realized, which you can use to encourage them to step out and pursue that activity. For example, maybe Mom loves singing. You can suggest she join her church or community choir.
- Connect them with family. As you age, you will find that your social circle dwindles. Loneliness can creep in. You can help your senior by creating opportunities for grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and others to visit through family gatherings.
Loneliness can lead to cognitive issues. Some studies suggest it might contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease. Even if it doesn't, cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's or dementia bring in a new level of care requirements to help the elderly remain at home for as long as possible.
Read some Suggestions to Combat Loneliness in Seniors.
3. Helping Seniors with Alzheimer's and Dementia
Accepting the diagnosis of Alzheimer's requires time. It also means you must know what this diagnosis means to all involved, especially the patient. Essentially, there are three stages of Alzheimer's disease:
- Early-stage care. You will learn that Mom or Dad can still function independently. They can still drive and participate in their favourite activities. This can last for years without much assistance needed. You may be on the alert for changes requiring additional help at this point in the disease.
- Middle-stage care. With this stage being the longest, you will find that your senior will need higher levels of Alzheimer's care, including the use of personal care assistance. Dad may struggle with expressing himself or performing his daily routines.
- Late-stage care. Lasting several weeks to several years, the last stage of Alzheimer's disease requires a focus on preserving the quality of life of your loved one. They may have trouble eating and swallowing, need assistance walking, and full-time personal care.
Whether there seems to be a devastating diagnosis or if you simply want to ensure Mom and Dad have a high quality of life, you can keep them happy and healthy at home.
Learn about the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
4. Keeping Your Senior Happy and Healthy at Home
It's possible to funnel life down to three main areas of focus. When you focus on your elderly family, you will discover how they can live a fruitful life. You never know; you may learn what you need when you reach their age:
- Physical health. It is vital to your senior's overall health and quality of life if they remain physically active. Look for exercises that are low-impact and easy on their joints. You might suggest walking, swimming, gardening, and weight training. They will soon reap the benefits of feeling good and having better balance.
- Nutritional health. Eating alone can get boring. Changing taste buds and denture pain cause issues with eating properly. Encourage your loved one to add nutrient-dense foods to their plate that are easy to chew and digest. Talk with them about how you can help them make needed changes.
- Social health. Lessen the effects of loneliness, like depression and cognitive decline, by aiding Mom and Dad to increase their social involvement. They may join a book club or learn to use technology to stay in contact with family members across the country.
Keep Your Senior Home with Help from Reliable Home Caregivers
Enjoy this opportunity to give your senior loved one the best possible quality of life in their home. Learn how you can help them with mobility issues and battling loneliness by enlisting the services of a professional caregiver from Home Instead Mississauga. We offer many service options, including personal care, Alzheimer's and dementia care, Parkinson's care. Our trained caregivers support you and your family with light housekeeping, cooking nutritious meals, and much more. Let us increase your family's quality of life when you contact us today.
Call us at (905) 276-2273 to schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver every day to families in All Mississauga including: Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erin Mills, Erindale, Lakeview, Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, Streetsville.