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Caring Ways to Help a Senior with No Support System
Seniors are faced with challenges each day. While many have family and friends nearby that can help take some of the stress off their plates, others live hours from their support network or don’t have one at all. If you are looking to help one of the older members of your community, today’s tips can help.
This post is just one of many great tips brought to you by Rhineland Municipality.
Check in on them.
Seniors, especially those that live alone, are always at risk of health problems associated with loneliness. Plan to check in and spend some time with the seniors in your life at least once each week. While you may be busy, something as simple as a quick phone call or half an hour for a cup of coffee can be highly meaningful. When communication is an issue because of hearing loss, make sure that you speak clearly and while looking directly at the senior when you visit in person.
Help with stress management tactics.
There are many reasons that a senior might begin to feel stressed out, according to Home Care Assistance. These include financial worries, health concerns, loneliness, loss of a loved one, and loss of independence. Talk with your loved one to see if there are ways that you might help relieve stress. This might be sitting together to make a list of their priorities and helping them remember to listen to their gut when trying to decide to do something or not. Tell them that if they’re spending too much time trying to ignore their gut instinct in any given situation, that could be a very clear indication that something’s not quite right.
Look for ways they can save.
The way inflation is going, seniors' limited incomes don’t stretch as far as they used to. Help your loved one look for ways to save money each month. You might review their mortgage and refinance if interest rates are currently lower than what they’re paying. You might also work out a grocery sharing arrangement where you shop together and split bulk packages, which are often much less expensive per pound than buying smaller amounts of meat, vegetables, and pantry staples.
Coordinate with their out-of-town family.
When your loved one does have family out of town that just can’t be there often, get to know them. This way, you can coordinate your efforts. You can use phone, chat, and even mail to communicate, and these are also great ways to help your loved one stay in touch with their family.
Give them a ride to church.
Work with other members of your shared congregation to provide rides for seniors in need of transportation. There are many churches in the area, and many other generous and helpful people who would be willing to open up a seat on Sunday mornings. You might also offer rides to the doctor's office or simply cruise around in the country with the windows down for an hour to get them out of the house and into the fresh air.
Set them up with a companion.
You likely have your own family, job, and other responsibilities that you must tend to as well. Consider setting your loved one up with a companion service, which Visiting Angels explains will include help with daily living, including medication pickup and grocery shopping. There may also be senior socialization opportunities at your local community center or church.
Our seniors deserve every bit of care and respect they gave our generation growing up. If you know a senior in need in your community, offer a helping hand. Something as simple as talking about ways to reduce stress or offering a ride to church on Sunday mornings may be exactly what they need to thrive when they don’t have the support of adult children and grandchildren nearby.
Image via Pexels
Image via Pexels
Aging in Place Safely: How to Lower Your Risk of Falling at Home
Many seniors want more than anything to age in place. After spending decades creating memories in your home, living out your golden years in that environment is something to strive for. But if you want to age in place, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to ensure you do so safely.
As you experience the physical changes and health conditions that come with age, your risk of injury-causing falls increases exponentially. You don’t want the fear of falling to control your life or dictate your happiness, but you do want to remain cognizant of how you can prevent falls as you get older.
Below, the Municipality of Rhineland has listed some practical steps you can take to lower your risk of falls in your home—from seeing your doctor to making home modifications to maintaining an exercise routine.
Get Regular Exams
Before you do anything else, you should make an appointment with your primary physician. This might include a check-up exam, so prepare for several questions your doctor may ask.
For instance, you’ll need to be able to describe all of the medications you’re taking; that way your doctor can assess any potential side effects and interactions that could leave you more at risk of falling. Your doctor may also ask you if you have ever fallen before. If so, you’ll need to describe when, where, and how you fell, along with any other relevant details.
Modify Your Home
Many seniors who age in place make at least one modification to their home to ensure safety. Not only will making the necessary modifications allow you to live more comfortably, freely, and safely, but it can also boost your home’s resale value. For instance, you might consider installing a zero-step entry or putting down non-slip mats throughout the home. You might also install grab bars or a shower chair in your bathroom.
Something else to consider is that if you have carpet or shaggy rugs, you may want to make a change. High-piled carpet and fabric can increase your chances of falling, and a low-pile carpet, hardwoods, or laminate flooring can accommodate your needs as you age.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Diet is important for everyone, but it is especially critical when you get older. Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated each day. Look for foods that are rich in calcium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, a healthy senior diet is often made up of staples like fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and lean proteins.
Prioritize Your Sleep Habits
Sleep problems are prevalent among seniors. But your mind and body must be able to rest and recharge if you’re going to live safely and happily at home. Limit your caffeine intake after lunchtime, and avoid any foods that could cause heartburn or indigestion at night.
Also, figure out relaxing activities that you could incorporate into your nighttime routine to unwind and prepare your mind and body for sleep. If none of these tips work, speak with your doctor about safe medication options.
Lastly, improving your strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance can go a long way in lowering your risk of falling. You may not be able to do some of the activities you did in your twenties, but there are plenty of exercises that you can incorporate into your routine to increase your safety and boost your all-around health.
For example, going for a 20-minute walk through the neighborhood could do the trick, as can water aerobics or tai chi. If you are not interested in these activities, a little research will reveal many gentle exercises that will not put too much strain on your joints.
Living at home in your golden years is a commendable goal. But you must ensure that you can live safely and comfortably if you decide to age in place. This might include making an appointment with your doctor, having your home modified, changing your diet, getting better sleep, and coming up with a fitness routine. But don’t stop here. Keep looking for other ways you can improve your health and safety so that you can get the most out of your life as a senior.
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about our municipality? Visit RMofRhineland.com today!