SENIORS ADJUST LIFESTYLES

Mar 15th, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Changing Needs=Changing Lifestyle

With physical and mental shifts in senior citizens’ life conditions, adjusting lifestyles of everyone involved becomes necessary. When those conditions affect mobility, memory, capacity for doing ordinary tasks, household activities become more likely to require adjustment.  For some those adjustments require challenge and frustration.  For others, it is more a matter of altering the routine of day to day living.

My wife and I, co-editors for SeniorCitizenJournal.com, are living in a new environment. Six months ago, we downsized and moved, bringing my 93 year old mother out of nursing home care (six years) and into our home. We knew our routines and lives would change. We did not anticipate all the specifics; no one can. She was accepted into Hospice within a month of our move and she continues to be cared for by that extraordinary organization. This blog post identifies some of the changes we recognize in our lives over these past six months.

When moving from household to a care facility, the adjustments are imposed more on the patient.  Because of the availability of assistance of aides and others, daily needs are met with appropriate care.  Having 24 hour care available is a relief to those who may have previously assumed that responsibility.

Care-giving at Home

However, the dynamics change when the elderly one moves from nursing home/facility care back home. When that happens, the demands are more pronounced, requiring attention, assistance and observation on the part of caregivers. Staying abreast of daily routines is critical; making sure certain prescribed medications are given at the appropriate times, personal patient care, and staying in touch with any requests she/he may have will be an expected discipline for caregivers.

On occasion there may likely be situations for calling on other help and attention to details.  If the patient is being cared for by hospice services, their staff can be extremely helpful in the event of a fall or other emergency needs. Consistent availability will likely be expected and necessary.  It is normally useful for an in-house emergency communication system to be installed, allowing room to room contact.

Providing reading materials, video programming, audio books and other means for entertainment will reduce boredom and allow the elderly loved one means for distraction.  Inviting friends and others to drop by, allowing substitution for your being the only one present so that they have variety in their routine is a worthy plan.

Recognizing that altering the daily sources of activity is worthwhile may challenge both caretaker and care receiver, but will relieve the hum drum of a limited experience in your elderly loved one’s last days.

 



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