It may seem like a person’s overall quality of life may decrease as they advance in age. If you have a loved one who is growing older, you want to take every step possible to ensure that the last stage of their life is comfortable and even enjoyable if possible. Regardless of their current concerns and challenges, there are several steps that you can take now as their primary caregiver and over the years to come to promote their well-being and health.
Monitor Their Changing Needs
In some cases, the health and abilities of senior citizens will change very slowly, but some changes can happen quickly and can drastically impact their lives and their ability to care for themselves. Every couple of months, spend a few days observing your loved on through all aspects of their daily routine. Take note of tasks that they have trouble with or that may no longer be safe for them to do on their own. If a friend or family member cannot help with these tasks, you may need to hire in-home care on a part-time or full-time basis.
Bringing in help, however, can be difficult for seniors at times. Because of this, you will want to sit down with them and discuss their needs. Let them know that it’s okay that they can no longer do certain things on their home and that it’s completely normal to need help at their stage of life. By doing this, you’ll help them to be more willing to accept the help.
Improve the Safety of Their Home
As your loved one’s physical abilities and senses decline with age, it may become increasingly difficult for him or her to safely use the toilet, get in and out of the bathtub, walk up and down stairs and more. Identify all potential risks for this individual, and make modifications to the home as needed. Some of the things that you may need to consider are electric stair lifts, walk-in showers, ramps, railings in the hallway, and making everything in the kitchen at their level so that they don’t have to reach too low or high for anything that they may need.
Schedule Regular Health Checks
Many senior citizens require regular doctor’s visits and checkups, but they may not keep up with this. In some cases, they may simply forget about appointments they made months ago. You can add appointments to your own schedule or planner, and you can provide the individual with transportation assistance on those days. If you’re unable to work their appointments into your schedule, then you might want to consider hiring an uber or other transportation service to take them.
Of course, some seniors are completely capable of driving themselves around, and so you may not even have to worry about it. Some, however, don’t feel comfortable driving or have health issues that make driving a risk for them.
Get Their Hearing and Eyesight Tested Regularly
Vision and hearing often decline significantly during a person’s later years in life. However, because these changes occur over time, the individual may not determine the need to get their eyesight and hearing tested regularly. Encourage your loved one to make these appointments at least once per year, or make the appointments on their behalf.
There are many factors that can negatively affect quality of life in a person’s later years. With your focused attention and help in each of these areas, you can help your loved enjoy a comfortable, enjoyable lifestyle in the years to come.