For many seniors, the idea of losing the independence they have had all their lives is inconceivable. But as age and disability slowly start to creep in they can no longer deny that they need help. For many elderly people, moving to a retirement or care facility is also not an option due to monetary reasons, attachment to their homes or the stigma surrounding such places among other reasons. Luckily, there is a whole lot we as their family and friends can do to help our aging loved ones.
The first big obstacle is preventing decline in both mental and physical capacities. Exercises for the mind such as games like Sudoku or learning a foreign language can help to keep said aged person sharp and enjoying life. This is very important as there are many dementia-related conditions that can develop and greatly hinder one’s personal independence. Physical exercise also plays a role as it may help prevent circulatory problems and keeps the body stronger into the twilight years.
Socializing throughout the aging process is also a top concern. Stress, depression and low self-esteem can all be the result of isolation for seniors. Consistency in socializing is key as well. Though it may seem difficult for the elderly to get out there and meet other people, gatherings may help retain cognitive functioning. Great places to start though are having good relationships with grandchildren or getting involved in a community group of some kind.
A product that may help seniors retain a sense of independence is a medical alert system. This is particularly beneficial to elderly people living alone but still can be of use for those who live with others. Some can be worn as bracelets or around the neck with a button that makes an emergency call for the person wearing it. There are many different products now from in-home only services to some that even have mobile GPS tracking. Many have monthly service charges so be sure to research the product that is right for you and your loved one.
Socializing, mental exercises and physical upkeep are all just a few examples to help your aging loved one stay independent for as long as possible. Technology can also be an aid in the fight against incapacity as well. Staying vigilant for signs of decline is of utmost importance in addition to supporting a healthy lifestyle. We may not be able to reverse the effects of aging, but we can help those we love face them as best we can.