By Anita Ginsburg
With more home health care options currently available for aging seniors, many elders are choosing to live out their golden years at home rather than at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Family members who help to care for an older relative or who check in on seniors who live alone are often the best caregivers for them, as they know the senior’s personality and preferences and will lovingly provide suitable, loving care. Here are five ways to assist aging loved ones in living comfortably in their own home.
Make Frequent Well-Being Checks
If your elderly family member is able to live alone, stop by or call frequently to check on their health and safety. You may want to provide transportation to doctor appointments or other meetings if the senior is unable to drive. Knowing that you will be checking in periodically can be reassuring to an older person living alone.
Assist with Nutritious Meals
Even if your aging loved one can cook, cooking for one person can feel like a chore, so it is a nice gesture to take over a home-cooked meal now and then. Help your relative cook larger batches of food that can be frozen for future meals. You can also have occasional meals delivered or take your relative out to dinner sometimes.
Arrange for Comfortable Bedding
Everyone wants a comfortable bed, but it gets even more important as a person gets older. Quality rest is important for good health. No matter what their needs, you can find a bed that will help your loved one get the rest they need. If they need to stay in bed for long periods of time or if they struggle with back pain, you may consider contacting an adjustable bed supplier. Adjustable beds can relieve back strain and can help your loved one sit up in bed easily without having to fluff pillows or readjust constantly. If you senior has specific needs, you may also look into getting a bed outfitted with hand rails, elevation options, and wheels for mobility.
Organize Social Activities
Staying in touch with other people is important for protecting seniors’ mental health and emotions. Encourage your loved one to join a Bingo group or to take up a hobby, and offer to be the chauffeur to these events. You can also help them organize a social event for them and their friends. Social media may also help aging people to stay in touch with friends and family members they may have lost contact with or who they may no longer be able to travel and visit.
Monitor Health Conditions
Even when things appear to be going smoothly, keep an eye on your loved one’s health and take note of any suspicious new symptoms. Undue fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, extra sleep, and reduced interest in visitors or communication may be signs of a mental health or physical health condition that needs to be medically evaluated. If an older person inexplicably acts differently than usual, it is probably worth getting it checked out by the doctor.
Older people appreciate the opportunity of living in their own homes as long as possible, but that doesn’t mean they need to be alone. Follow tips like these to ensure their comfort and guard their health.