Seniors have varying needs. Some seniors only need help to get to their doctor’s appointments. Others might need extra care due to a serious disease. There are also some who can no longer afford to live alone due to health and safety reasons.
Your senior loved one has their own specific needs. Understanding what they need will make it easier for you to help them make better and healthier decisions. The following are major considerations you can keep in mind.
Ask the Right Questions
Is your senior loved one presenting certain symptoms? Or maybe they are no longer able to perform activities of daily living? Asking the right questions is crucial if you want them to stay happy, healthy, and sane.
Keep your line of communication open with your loved one. Ask if they are presenting any sign or symptoms. Keep their healthcare provider up to date, so they can diagnose possible diseases early on.
When asking questions to your senior loved one, be sure to speak clearly, use a respective tone, and avoid being condescending. Some seniors are afraid to tell their loved ones about their struggles especially if they used to be extremely independent.
Watch Out for Red Flags
There are many health and safety red flags common to seniors. This goes beyond seeing their living space as cramped, disorganized, and unsafe. Keep your eyes open for signs that show your loved one is in pain, discomfort, unable to take good care of themselves, and is suffering from isolation, anxiety, and depression.
Signs of neglect and abuse need to be addressed the soonest time possible. If they live alone, and they seem disheveled, confused, or they look as if they have lost a lot of weight, be sure to take them to their attending physician. They can help check if your senior loved one is suffering from any physical or mental discomfort.
Talk About Possible Solutions to Their Problems
Many adult kids and loved ones would step up just to ensure the health, sanity, and safety of their senior loved ones. The problem is, they usually make all the decisions, which often leads to seniors feeling neglected and dependent. Remember that one major need of seniors is feelings of independence.
If they are still capable of making decisions, be sure to include them in every decision that concerns them. Offer choices to make it easier for them to make a decision. Don’t forget to talk about the pros and cons of every decision you make them choose from.
Let’s say your senior loved one has kidney disease, which makes it hard for them to stay comfortable. They can no longer manage their own household, let alone keep up with the necessary activities of daily living. It is essential that you open up senior housing options and make the necessary arrangements to ensure they are able to make it to their regular dialysis sessions.
You can search for possible senior homes or nursing facilities with a dialysis consultant. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing your senior loved is in great hands. They can receive the necessary treatment while reducing the stress that comes with traveling just to attend dialysis sessions.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Even if you no longer live in the same house, there are ways you can encourage your senior loved one to embrace healthy living. This starts with conversations pertaining to their diet, sleep, exercise, and stress management. Spend as much time as you can with them and include other family members and their old peers to encourage socialization.
If they live hundreds of miles away, use technology to your advantage. For one, you can set up virtual date lunches or dinners at least once a week. Be sure to prepare healthy meals and encourage them to do the same. Engage in small talk and catch up to make mealtime healthier and more engaging.
Exercise with them by taking them to the park for a walk. Allow them to play with your pooch at the dog park. Better yet, consider if your senior loved one can adopt a pet. This will help keep them company, encourage active living, healthy eating, and socialization.
Don’t forget about helping them ease and manage their stress levels. Social isolation, old age, loss of purpose, and inability to do the things they used to be good at can quickly add to their stress. Be their stress reliever and try to be present every time they need your helping hand and listening ear.
Now that your loved one is now a senior, you can expect him or her needs to change. As much as possible, be present, show concern, and help them make healthy decisions no matter how busy you might be. This way, you can help them make crucial decisions that will make them happier and healthier.