It is an unpleasant fact that growing older and entering the later stages of life often increases health problems. Whilst many senior citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and a minimum of health issues, this is not the case for everyone. It is estimated that around 25% of people aged sixty-five and above in America have fair or poor levels of general health. Whilst in some cases, having fair or poor health may not require significant changes in a person’s life to take place, in other situations, a range of care options must be considered. If you have elderly relatives who are starting to experience a decline in their health and well-being, it is natural to want to help them. However, often the options for help and support are not immediately clear to people who do not have a background in medicine or healthcare. This article explains three ways to understand what care options your elderly relatives may require.
Are They Isolated?
Growing old can often lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness in senior citizens. They may find that loved ones have sadly passed away, and they are left to live on their own, without regular contact with the outside world. Loneliness and isolation often go unnoticed in the elderly but can lead to significant mental health problems developing, such as severe depression and an increased likelihood of developing dementia. If an elderly relative shows signs of isolation or loneliness, it is important to talk to them in the first instance to see if solutions can be put in place. A regular family visit can be a wonderful help in keeping them connected with the outside world. If they live far away from other friends and relatives, it can often be beneficial to consider relocation to an assisted living facility, such as Rockford assisted living. In these establishments, there are communities of senior citizens and staff will put on activities and pastimes that encourage socialization among the residents, which can help banish feelings of isolation.
Consider Mobility Problems
Many senior citizens begin to experience decreased mobility as they age. This is often because of fewer forms of physical activity taking place or due to injuries that make movement difficult. If your elderly relative has mobility problems, the first step is to check if they have access to suitable mobility aids. Local councils may have community care teams who can visit the elderly and advise on what aids are needed. It is common for the elderly to require equipment, such as walking sticks or Zimmer frames, and these can help them move around freely with a reduced risk of falls. Consider also installing grab rails on baths or toilets for senior relatives, so that they can undertake personal hygiene routines without the risk of injury.
The Final Stages of Life
Sadly, there comes a time when elderly relatives enter the final stages of life, and death becomes an imminent probability. Chronic illnesses, such as cancer or heart disease, can prove to be terminal in the advanced stages. If an elderly relative is in the final stages of life, it is vitally important to seek medical advice to understand the next steps that are needed. Community district nurses may visit to determine end-of-life care plans, and there may be the need for the elderly to go into palliative care homes, so that their final days can be experienced in comfort, with access to any pain relief that they may require. howitstart