Studies have found that millions of Americans serve as caregiver for their parent. But while this responsibility is common among adults, you may not receive advice or guidance on how to best care for your loved ones before you’re thrust into that position.
Here are a few common topics that you may experience or want to discuss with your loved ones as they age:
- Reducing Falls: Falling can be especially dangerous for older adults, but there are several proven ways to reduce the risk. Removing environmental hazards like floor clutter and increasing light levels are great ways to help your loved one avoid a fall at home. And encouraging them to improve their strength, balance and flexibility through regular exercise can also reduce their risk of falling.
- Avoid Loneliness: Changes in routines that come with age can also lead to a decline in daily social interactions. But older adults can avoid feelings of loneliness or isolation by pursuing constructive and positive activities. A smartphone or tablet can help seniors stay connected with friends and family. And senior living communities provide physically and mentally stimulating opportunities in an active and supportive community-based living environment.
- Keep Your Mind Sharp: Memory loss has often been considered a normal part of the aging process, but today we know that it can be evidence of Alzheimer’s disease or other memory disorders. Be aware of signs of a potential memory disorder, such as increased forgetfulness, differences in personality or changes in personal hygiene. By identifying these signs and addressing the topic early on, you can help your loved one live fully for years to come.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: Maintaining a healthy diet is a great way for seniors to stay energized and can also help reduce the risk of common chronic conditions. But many seniors can find it challenging to follow a nutritious and satisfying diet. But specialized eating patterns, such as a Mediterranean-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and extra virgin olive oil, have been shown to contain several health benefits for aging adults.
- Stay Safe Behind the Wheel: Driving can provide older adults a sense of pride or independence, but there may come a point when it is no longer safe for mom or dad to be behind the wheel. You can ensure your parents stay safe while they’re out on the road by offering to drive them to appointments or activities, or by setting up alternative options such as community-based transportation.
- Managing Medications: If your loved ones take multiple medications, it can be hard to predict how one prescription might interact with another — and this can cause unintended and potentially harmful side effects. If they sleep in later or eat less than normal, they may be experiencing an inappropriate medication interaction. You can help avoid these negative effects by creating a list of what medications they take, which can be assessed by their physician.
Prestige Care Inc., which provides senior living and skilled nursing and rehabilitation care — including a facility in Edmonds — recently launched an in-depth resource guide designed to address each of these topics. The Senior Guide to Healthy, Fulfilled Living is a free digital booklet covering topics that help older adults and their loved ones address common changes in daily living that come with age, including information and advice from senior living experts and trusted resources.
For more information, visit www.prestigecare.com.