The Pillars of Crisis Prevention in Seniors
If you have been concerned about the health and safety of your aging loved one for any length of time, you know all too well that pit in your stomach when your aging parent fails to answer the phone or that feeling of whether to believe them when they say “everything is fine”. Hopefully, your role as a caregiver has come out of concern for your aging loved one, not a crisis. I have found that seniors and their families who have chosen to make a few small health and safety changes are able to stay in better control of the aging process and avoid many of the pitfalls that a crisis can bring. A fall or health crisis among a senior loved one can cause a ripple effect, interfering with family relationships, strained finances, time away from work, and cause undue stress. In any case, ensuring the senior in your life has these pillars fulfilled will provide the entire family peace of mind.
Nutrition– Many seniors don’t get proper nutrition. This is a result of a lack of fresh foods in combination with many senior’s fear of driving to the grocery store. Additionally, many seniors are living alone and find that their loneliness is heightened at meal times. Because many of today’s seniors lived through the depression, they are reluctant to throw food away even though it may be past its prime. One way to combat mealtime loneliness and ensure your loved one is receiving proper nutrition is to plan to have a meal with them on a regular basis. Not only will your loved one appreciate a healthy meal, they will also enjoy having company during meal times.
Medication Compliance– Mistakes made when taking medications contribute to 30% of all hospitalizations of seniors. Most seniors take between 8 and 15 medications, each with different rules and regulations. Managing medications properly is especially difficult for seniors with the early stages of dementia. Many of these mistakes can be avoided by having a nurse or trusted family member set up the seniors’ medications on a daily/weekly basis in combination with reminding the senior when it’s time to take medications. Many family members notice a positive change in their loved one once medications are taken properly.
Transportation– As seniors and their families decide it is no longer safe for them to drive, an alternative method of transportation is necessary. This is especially true when it comes to physician visits as they usually take place during normal business hours, when a senior’s family members are typically working. When a caregiver with a certified home health agency cares for a senior they are able to take the client on outings for pleasure in addition to places of necessity like physician appointments and the grocery store. This is just one way caregivers are able to keep seniors socially engaged while helping them to remain safe at home.
Home Safety– One third of adults over the age of 65 fall annually. Doing a once-over of your loved ones’ home to check for fall risks can prevent many incidents. In addition to hiring a home health care company to help ensure your loved ones’ safety you may also want to ask for an expert to perform a professional home safety inspection. Contact Bayshore to schedule your safety inspection if your loved one lives in Tampa Bay.
Some things to do to ensure your loved ones’ safety at home include:
- Removing rugs
- Ensuring hallways are properly lit
- Installing grab bars in restrooms
- Ensuring all walkways are free of clutter
- Placing a nonskid rubber mat in the tub or shower
- Providing shoes with firm, nonskid, non-friction soles
If you could use some support to ensure your loved ones’ daily needs are met consider contacting Bayshore Home Care. Not only does Bayshore specialize in providing Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides to assist seniors with personal care, transportation, meal preparation, light housekeeping, but Bayshore even has valuabe services for independent seniors who are not in need of in-home assistance. Learn about ways you can have peace of mind by calling 800.335.2150.