Keeping your family’s health in check is never easy. Each day, you have to make sure they eat healthily and take necessary vitamins and medications. But aside from your spouse and children, what happens if you also have to monitor the healthcare needs of a senior loved one at home?
Knowing the immediate needs of our elderly parents is an overwhelming task, especially if you have limited knowledge about geriatric care. From medications, physical examinations, laboratories, check-ups, the list of a senior’s health requirements goes on.
The problem gets even worse if the senior has a serious health condition. As much as possible, we want to give them a quality life to help relieve whatever medical issues they face.
To make sure that your senior loved ones are aging beautifully, here are comprehensive approaches to help them achieve sound health and well-being as they age.
1. Encourage Outdoor Activities
We all know the wonders that exercise can do for our overall health and wellness. While physical activities for seniors have become more limited, they can still engage in milder exercise routines.
Encouraging a senior to become physically active goes a long way. It helps improve sleep quality, boost stamina, stimulate blood flow, reduce stress, promote heart health, and other health benefits.
You can promote physical activity at home by creating an inviting fitness space at home. You can also set up a garden, where they can take long walks as they interact with nature.
For therapy exercise, consult their physician about the recommended exercise program. Your goal is to keep the senior’s health under control while staying active.
2. Engage Them in Mentally Stimulating Activities
Just like everyone else, engaging in mentally stimulating activities promotes an active and sharp mind. Since aging often comes with symptoms of memory deterioration, you have to make sure that seniors engage in activities that promote mental stimulation.
You can suggest brain games, such as crossword puzzles, chess, jigsaw puzzles, and other activities that require them to use their mind. They can also try other hobbies like reading, journal writing, and playing musical instruments. These activities are great time killers if they have plenty of free time.
Seniors need to learn new hobbies to improve their cognitive function. Keeping their mind engaged is a great way to avoid mental health issues.
3. Help Them Stay Connected
Seniors who often feel lonely are at risk of dementia. You can prevent this by helping them stay in touch with their friends and other family members. Organize visits and family outings once in a while.
If you are going on a business trip, you can bring them to residential care facilities. These are safe places where elderly patients can stay.
4. Check for Signs of Depression
Everyone can be a victim of depression, including seniors. According to WebMD, six million Americans ages 65 and older suffer from late-life depression.
Clinical depression is a common problem for seniors, but it is never normal. Common causes include medication side effects, death of a spouse or loved one, retirement, relocation, loss of support systems, and other stressful life events.
To prevent signs of depression, recognize the initial symptoms. You may also seek help from a counselor, therapist, or psychologist. It is vital to treat signs of depression immediately as it gives rise to other health complications.
5. Monitor Their Health and Medication Management
Managing medications can be an overwhelming task. You have to take note of the proper dosage and if they are taking the medicines on time. As their support system, you have to ensure that the seniors meet all their healthcare requirements.
Encourage them to appear on wellness visits as advised by their doctor. This way, you can monitor what type of health need they require.
Seniors with blurry vision should have their eyes checked and screened every year for any vision changes. Wearing the right pair of glasses can reduce the chances of poor eyesight.
Coordinate with their physician regularly to keep track of their medications. Familiarize yourself with their medication management and watch out for new symptoms.
6. Make Them Feel Needed
Anyone wants to feel important and needed, especially the elderly. For seniors, making them feel useful is a helpful reinforcement.
The greatest fear of aging adults is when they become a burden to their families. As much as possible, they still want to feel needed and wanted.
Assign simple domestic tasks to make them feel like a contributing member of the household. Ask for help on activities they can handle easily. If they fail to do it the right way, do not complain. Your goal is to make them feel they are not a burden. You can ask them to fold the laundry, prepare food, or create a grocery list.
Remaining in good health as an aging adult requires more than medications. You also need to make sure that they have a healthy mental state. If seniors stay healthy physically and mentally, everything will follow through.