Most older Americans need no help at all from others. In fact, a lot of them are too busy helping others or contributing to their families, workplaces, and communities in other ways. That said, some older people will eventually need a bit of assistance from others. Here’s a quick look at some of the issues seniors commonly experience.
Health and Medical Issues
Medical issues are quite common later in life. Many adults suffer from chronic conditions that require ongoing help such as physical therapy in Guilford, CT or meal delivery service for those who cannot cook. There may also be a need for monitoring or other types of ongoing medical attention. Knowing which services are necessary and which physicians are responsible for care is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying on top of medications, if applicable.
Mental issues may take center stage for some. Just as younger people suffer from anxiety, depression, and other types of mental issues, so do older people. It’s critical to get help for these as they often lend to other problems.
ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)
ADLs are essentially the key tasks of daily life. Older people will often need assistance with these, which can include services that make remaining independent possible. Meal preparation, home maintenance, shopping, finances, and transportation are just a few. Additionally, the level of assistance one needs can help determine the type of care or housing arrangements families might consider for their elders.
Financial and Legal Issues
There are times when older people might lose the capacity to deal with financial and legal issues. Even older adults who are cognitively intact can be vulnerable to financial exploitation. Planning ahead for these issues and getting the necessary paperwork done beforehand can make things easier for the family to step in when it becomes a necessity.
The housing situation an older person has can affect their quality of life, the ability others have to provide assistance, safety concerns, and more. Often, family members need to consider whether the elderly person’s housing situation is compatible with them aging in place, or if a more supportive environment, like a family member’s house, is a better option, and possibly necessary. Many often need to make sure a living situation is financially viable.
Thriving and Quality of Life
Aside from meeting their basic needs, many families are also concerned about the quality of life their older family members have. This includes dignity, autonomy, purpose, and social connectedness. It’s also critical to learn what things matter the most to the person in question, and which they might be willing to trade off for a better lifestyle.
There are many things to plan ahead for, like end-of-life care, emergencies, and future declines. Planning ahead for these events can reduce expenses, hassles, and sometimes, stress.
Helping an aging parent or family member later in their life can be an endeavor that’s pretty complicated. Oftentimes issues overlap and require more attention. For example, the medical condition of the older person can easily affect their ability to handle their ADLs and their needs for caregiving.
If you’re attempting to help an aging family member, just remember that patience is key. Yes, there’s a lot to it, but with a bit of persistence, you’ll be able to sort through it. Just don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.