Susceptibility to illness is higher in senior citizens than in most of the other population. As individuals age their immune systems break down and with decreased activity levels and medications, these can lead to a diminished capacity to fight off illnesses. Medications can even lead to dizzy spells and falls.
You can assist your loved one by finding ways to relieve stress and emotional burdens. If they’re dealing with health issues such as diabetes, cardiac problems, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, consulting with the family physician and understanding what steps need to be taken to address those health issues on a daily basis is a great first step. If they have any of these health issues, whether they live in their own home or an assisted living facility, you will want to equip them with a home medical alert system. These devices can be literal lifesavers if your loved ones slip or fall or experience some other medical emergency when you’re not around to help them. Medical alert devices also allow family members to remain independent for longer periods of time.
When you’re helping your relatives, do a thorough check of their medicine cabinets. Many medications can interact with one another and if your parents have more than one doctor, this could lead to health problems. Gather the medications then call the physician’s office or go to the pharmacy to make certain none of the medications your parents are taking will cause any interactions.
Staying occupied and mentally alert are crucial to good health. The more sedentary and isolated they are, the more susceptible they become to depression. Keeping your parents active and involved either in community, church or family activities and participating in senior-friendly health classes are crucial to long-term health. If your parents are uncomfortable leaving the house, have a healthcare aide visit and help with physical activity at home. If they balk at having someone come to the home, make certain they are up and walking around, whether simply up and down the hallways in the home or around the yard.
If your parents are active enough perhaps you could discuss getting an animal. Cats or a fish tank can be relatively low maintenance while a smaller dog can serve as a loyal companion. Having the responsibility and the company of a companion truly helps to keep your elderly loved one involved and engaged. Before considering a pet, ensure that there are no allergies and that someone is willing to take on its ownership when your aging relative can no longer take care of it.
Staying in touch with your relatives whether on the phone or in person is the best way to assure they are healthy, happy and able to remain living independently. Having a home medical alarm system in their homes is also another step in helping your parents remain independent and it offers both of you peace of mind.
- Steps To Help Your Aging Relative Feel Young (lifefoneblog.com)