Senior Issues: Mobility, Memory and Money

Sep 23rd, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Past 90, there are some common issues which seem to be endemic to aging.  Many persons deal with issues of mobility after 90.  The requirement of a walker, a cane or even a scooter comes up for consideration.  It is not a fun issue.  It bites at your ego and begins to raise questions of independence and ability.  No one ever said that aging would be all fun.  Well, here it is and it isn’t! 

No matter what,  a candid and honest assessment needs to be done regarding mobility.  A fall has the potential of introducing major limitations and handicapping conditions none of us wishes on anyone.  A recent survey of the Care Plan for my mother, who has  long term care insurance, revealed that the interviewing nurse recommended a Life Line which could be life saving in the event of a fall.  While she is in assisted care, if she falls too far distant from either of the emergency call buttons in her room, she could be isolated and without help for hours.  Not a pretty picture.  Mom’s concern: how much does it cost?  Reality: what would be the consequences if she fell!

Memory is another of the issues which seems to haunt persons who tend to forget frequently or have some evidence of dementia.  No question it is a hindrance, but so long as day to day management issues are fairly well handled, this does not have to be a seriously threatening handicap.  When forgetfulness moves from minor matters to more serious considerations, it is then that evaluating the nature and threat caused by memory loss will need evaluation.  Forgetting the essentials, such as eating, taking meds, and other such daily requirements are behaviors bearing observation and possible action. 

SCJ continues to point out ways to be available to the daily routine circumstances of a loved one.  Making assumptions that all is well is a poor way to be present to the needs of an aging person. Staying in touch, being aware of available assistive means to keep aware of the on going dynamics of a person, even in assisted care, calling with frequency, discussing needs with staff, etc. are all practical and essential means for care taking, even in absentia. 

Money, of course, looms large as a concern and a consideration.  It is not inexpensive to care for someone whose age and disabilities may require extensive and intensive procedures to get them through each day.  While it may be too late to qualify a person for Long Term Care Insurance, think about your own situation and possibilities.  Home care is a very costly and fatiguing solution.  Depending on the needs of the individual and the persons (Family members) available to provide c are, some kind of rotating schedule may work.  If there are resources that can be tapped upon the occasion of a person needing comprehensive care, then those plans should be set in place early on.  Exhausting resources can be a frustrating and anxiety producing occasion which makes matters worse for everyone. 

The point is:  be alert, ahead of the game and sensitive to means for problem solving at the earliest age of the family member you can.  It will alleviate major heartache and heartbreak later on.



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