Are We Doing Enough For Our Elders?
As health standards and care are set to improve, a lot of us are going to be living a lot longer. Whenever you come into contact with that fact, think about how you would like to live and how you would like to be treated when you’re older and not as independent as you once were. There are many of our loved ones living out that question now, and we should all do more to help them.
Fighting off isolation
Over time, we lose loved ones and friendships drift off. People who once had time for us no longer do. In the course of a lifetime, these changes can easily lead to isolation, one of the greatest mental health risks facing older people. Isolation doesn’t just lead to depression, stress and other emotional health issues. It has real links to mental acuity as well. Arranging more visits with our loved ones, finding shared hobbies, and helping them join community groups can do them a lot of good. It’s a sobering thought to consider if you’re going to be able to see a single human being in your day. It’s a question that many older people ask themselves every day.
Assist independent living
Self-esteem is another thing that commonly takes a hit as we get older. We get less able over time and that makes us feel less of use. Helping your older loved ones to live independently could help them avoid those feelings for a long time to come. From helping them stay as active as they safely can to making adaptive changes to the home, there are a lot of ways to make sure that they can do more for themselves for longer.
When that independence becomes harder, even impossible, to manage, we still deserve to live with some standards of care and dignity. The choice is usually about deciding whether to care for them yourself or to arrange elder care services for them. Taking on the responsibility of caring for an older loved one yourself comes with it a lot of responsibility and risk. Your own social life, emotional health, and relationship with them can change. It’s important to recognize when you’re able to provide the kind of care you want and when it’s better to rely on qualified help.
Helping with health
Besides helping loved ones get more active, ensuring they’re eating good food, and making little steps to improve mental health, you can be of real help in arranging healthcare for them. For instance, you can get permission to attend appointments with doctors if they aren’t confident in their own abilities to communicate health issues or comprehend instructions. It’s useful to help them remember about important checkups as well. You don’t want a faltering memory to be the cause of any deterioration in their health.
The changes above can range from little impacts to large ones, but they’re all as important when it comes to everyday living. What changes could you help make in your elderly loved one’s life?