When You Worry About Safety
One of the greatest health and safety concerns seniors face is the risk of falling. According to the National Council on Aging, about one in four adults over age 65 falls each year, and 20% of those falls result in serious injuries. No one wants their loved one to become injured, and these injuries often lead to seniors losing mobility or independence. As worrisome as this risk is, caregivers can play a major role in helping prevent falls. The best thing you can do is talk to your loved one about risk factors, such as whether any medications make them dizzy or whether loss of vision is a concern.
Your loved one’s overall health and well-being is another top concern. One of the hardest things you have to do as a caregiver is to recognize whether your loved one is able to stay safe and healthy living on their own. Unfortunately, seniors don’t always realize there’s a problem, or they may not say anything because they don’t want you to worry. This is why it’s so important to keep an eye out for signs that they’re struggling.
If you feel like your loved ones need some extra help, the easiest way to start exploring some options is to search online for assisted living centers nearby. Websites that specialize in helping you find assisted living are easy to use, and they’ll give you a feel for what options are out there and which facilities have the amenities and services you’re looking for. Some of these websites also suggest choosing an assisted living facility next to one of the area’s top hospitals—which, in Atlanta, include Northside Hospital and Emory University Hospital—so that your loved one receives quality care.
Helping Your Loved One Stay Active
Regardless of where your loved one lives, there’s a chance that they need a little extra encouragement to stay active. Physical activity is essential for older adults, but many seniors fear getting hurt or they simply lack the motivation. As a caregiver, one of the best things you can do is help them find opportunities for activity. Consider looking into senior fitness classes in your area and volunteer to drive them. Or you may even want to suggest an activity you can do together, such as walking a few days a week.
Providing Emotional Support
Along with staying physically active, another essential health need for seniors is to stay engaged in life. Because they no longer have roles like working or parenting, USA Today explains how many seniors suffer emotionally because they feel like they’ve become irrelevant. This is likely one reason why it’s common for seniors to have symptoms of depression, yet this is often overlooked and many don’t get the mental health care they need.
You can help by encouraging your loved one to get active in their community, whether that means volunteering or joining activities at their senior living center. Getting involved in something that gives them a sense of purpose is a great way to improve mental well-being. You can help even more by doing small things whenever you’re together, like asking for help with household chores they can manage or asking for advice.
As a wife, mother, employee or business owner…mamas have a lot of people counting on us. All of these roles are rewarding, but aren't always easy. Caring for senior loved ones is definitely a mixed bag, full of both joy and worry. These tips may not wipe away your worry, but hopefully they will help you give your loved ones what they need for a happy, healthy life.
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