5 Things You Can Do To Help An Elderly Person Live Longer
As the population of individuals aged 65 and over continues to increase, families are increasingly faced with their loved ones’ care decisions. Assisted living is one option of senior care, but the cost can be prohibitive for many families. Nearly 90 percent of seniors actually prefer to live out their retirement in their own homes, an option referred to as aging in place.
If your loved one wishes to age in place, there are steps you can take to help them live long and full lives without moving them into assisted living. Here are just five ways to help your loved one live longer:
Help With Their Medications
Elderly individuals may take numerous medications to help with various aging-related conditions. As a result, keeping track of medication schedules and potential interactions between them can be a daunting task. Verifying your loved one’s prescriptions, or even consulting with their doctor or pharmacist is helpful to check for any interactions between their various medications.
You can help with your loved one’s medication management by organizing their medications using inexpensive pill organizers. Medication charts can also be used to check off a dose. Smartphone apps can also be used to mark doses and provide reminders for the next dose. It’s important for seniors to avoid missing doses or taking extra doses, both of which can lead to complications.
Arrange Transportation For Them
Diminished reaction time, as well as bone and muscle weakness, may impair your loved one’s ability to drive. This also makes them increasingly susceptible to physical injury that could be sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Individuals aged 65 and over are significantly more likely to sustain fatal injuries in an accident than those aged 25-64.
One way to mitigate these risks is to free your loved one from having to drive at all. Transportation can be coordinated among family members, or scheduled with a taxi or driving service. Some transportation services may even be covered by insurance, making this a convenient option at little or no cost. Arranging transportation ensures your loved one can freely attend appointments and errands while avoiding the risks of driving.
Arrange Food Delivery For Them
Another way to reduce risks associated with seniors driving is to arrange food delivery. Since shopping is a necessary errand, having food and other essential needs delivered directly to their home will reduce their need to drive.
Delivery services can be arranged online or by phone, allowing an individual to complete a purchase and obtain their items without ever leaving their home. From entire shopping lists at a grocery store to dishes at their favorite restaurant, your loved one can get what they need while avoiding the risks of driving.
Meal delivery services, which provide fully prepared meals, are also a great option for seniors. Whether cooking is too burdensome, or seniors forget to eat enough, meal services solve these issues. Many services prepare their meals specifically with proper nutrition in mind, which reduces the risk of nutritional deficiencies that seniors commonly experience.
Spend Time With Them
Social interaction is a key part of living a long and healthy life. This is especially true for seniors, who often experience little interaction after retirement, grown children moving away, the loss of friends and loved ones, and reduced driving due to illness or impairment.
Research has found that seniors who are isolated have a poorer quality of life and die earlier deaths. Individuals who are isolated and lonely are at higher risk of developing serious health problems such as heart disease, infections, and cognitive decline. Companionship reduces stress, making a senior’s body less vulnerable to health problems.
Get Them a Medical Alert System
One option for ensuring your elderly loved ones’ safety while they maintain their independence is to get them an emergency button alert system. These systems involve devices that individuals wear or place around their home, which they can use to call for immediate medical assistance.
These devices include extra features like GPS, fall detection, and even two-way communication. A reputable site offering medical alert reviews can help you learn about and compare all the different systems and features available to determine which one is right for your loved one.
Helping your loved one doesn’t have to come at a huge time or monetary expense. Taking even some of the steps above can go a long way in keeping your loved one safer and less stressed, which improves their quality of life.