Tag Archives: elderly parents

Fighting Off Isolation For An Older Loved One

Fighting Off Isolation For An Older Loved One

As we get older, we all become prone to a range of health issues. However, amongst diabetes, heart disease, and the like, one of the most dangerous health issues of all is isolation. Here, we’re going to take a look at how older people are more susceptible to isolation, the devastating effects it can have on their health, and some tips on how to help them fight it.

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Why it matters

Isolation is considered amongst one of the greatest health risks facing the elderly in the modern age. It’s not fearmongering. Health studies have found that isolation has a causal link with an increased risk of premature death. Furthermore, it can seriously damage our quality of life.  Not only can insolation lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. People who are socially isolated after 50% more likely to suffer dementia and other cognitive decline issues. Furthermore, people who are isolated are more at risk of serious impacts from injuries, since they may not have people to check up on them as often as they would, otherwise.

Giving the company you can

Now that you understand the real threat that isolation can pose to their health, what can you do about it? The simplest answer is to offer them companionship. Your time may be limited by other responsibilities but visiting them once or twice a week, getting them out of the house (if they can healthily travel), and making a daily call can help them both get the companionship they need and ensure that they feel loved.

Ensuring the care they need

If you’re worried about an older loved one living together, there are several options. You can invite them to live with you or move in with them, though that would mean becoming their primary caregiver, which is a huge responsibility. Aside from that and helping them find a nursing home, you can consider companion care as an option. This way, they can live in their own home, be surrounded by the things they love, and get professional care, making sure that they meet their daily needs as healthily and safely as possible. Good companion care also includes conversation and companionship, taking care of more than just physical needs.

Helping them branch out

This tip largely depends on the physical independence of your loved one, what’s available in your local area, and how you can help facilitate them. However, there are websites that can help you find all kinds of activity and social groups for older people. Helping your loved one find a peer group that they can spend social time with can help keep them mentally and emotionally younger for longer, ensuring that they have genuine social connections and friendships that can sustain their mental health.

Companionship is a simple answer but, most importantly, it’s the right one. Making sure that your loved one gets the attention and care they need is crucial, and there are ways to ensure that even if you don’t always have the time to provide it yourself.

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Making Plans For The Future of Aging Parents

Nobody wants to think about their parents getting old and potentially suffering from poor health.  We must, however, be prepared for the event that they develop a chronic health problem or increased fragility, because if or when the time comes you may need some extra help. Such decisions need to be shared with the whole family so that everyone knows what to do if the worst happens. Here are some helpful ideas on how to plan for the future of an elderly parent.

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Talk to your parents

It will never be a simple or enjoyable conversation to have, but nevertheless, it is an important one. This concerns your parents, and this is only fair that you speak to your parent(s) about the plans when they are fully in a position to have the conversation. If you have brothers or sisters, do try to include them in the conversation, because everyone needs to be on the same page to prevent any conflict from arising in the future. Things to take into consideration include:

  • Their needs when it comes to future care 
  • Their wishes as they grow older
  • Where they would like to live
  • Their financial situation
  • Any support that they may need now 

How this discussion will pan out depends on your family dynamic, so try to pre-empt any triggers for potential fall out and tension during the conversation. This way, you can have an appropriate response ready beforehand to try to keep the discussion as calm and as productive as possible.

Assess their needs

You may have concerns regarding your parent’s health and wellbeing now. Maybe they have recently lost weight or had a few falls, or began to forget the occasional thing. Maybe their vision and hearing are not quite what it used to be. If this is the case, you need to think about and assess whether they have any urgent needs, such as mobility aids or more specialist care.

Most people will have strong feelings when it comes to their living arrangements when they are older, so it is important to talk to your parents about the options available to them and be sensitive when it comes to it.

Talk about their housing options

While your parents might be lively and able to live an independent life at the moment, they might one day need a little more support. To ensure they enjoy a good quality of life, it is worthwhile talking about their different senior housing options, such as:

For example, a nursing home might be the best option if your mom or dad requires a high level of medical and one-to-one care. Assisted living allows them to retain independence as much as possible. However, in-home care can provide your elderly parents with extra support within the home, such as help with laundry and meal preparation so that they can maintain a reasonable level of independence. 

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.