As the caregiver of an aging loved one, you know there are many things to help your loved one manage as he ages. He’s lucky to have you in his life, and you help him manage present and future struggles.
As you care for your loved one, there are five key areas to watch over and help him navigate successfully. Some of these can be done on your own, while others may require the help of medical professionals or a senior home care provider.
Isolation and Loneliness
Feeling alone can often lead to mental health issues and physical health issues. Many elderly people lose their key people as they age – their lifelong friends, close family members, such as siblings and spouses, and even neighbors that have always been there for them. As a caregiver, you can help by providing company and activities. You might hire a senior home care provider to visit and provide companionship.
Some memory loss is normal, but it’s important to know if help is needed in certain areas. If he’s struggling to remember if he paid his bills this month, you might need to help with financial management. If he easily gets lost while traveling, you might hire a senior home care provider to take him to and from appointments.
Many seniors take numerous medications, sometimes without knowing their purpose. The doctors can help you determine if your loved one still needs all his medications. You also want his primary doctor to be aware of all medications, so your parent isn’t mixing medications that don’t mix well or possibly suffering an unnecessary side effect.
Falls are common in the elderly. A loss of balance, reaction, and perception can all lead to a risk of falling. Although most falls aren’t severe, they can be frightening, and a few may prevent your parent from participating in activities. If your parent has stumbled on the stairs a few times, he may stop using them, thus restricting the areas in his own home he can visit. Work with your parent to make him home as safe as possible, so that he won’t worry about falling at home.
Chronic difficulties controlling one’s bladder is a common problem for seniors, and often gets worse as they age. It can affect both men and women. For your loved one, it can feel embarrassing and cause him to restrict his social or physical activities. A doctor visit and some incontinence products may help him manage it and enjoy the activities he used to do.
Talk to your loved one often to keep on top of any issues.