Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

As we age the likelihood of developing a chronic health condition becomes more likely. By being aware of the various chronic conditions, providing in-home care the terminally ill becomes manageable.

Today, people in America are living longer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once you make it to sixty-five, the data suggest that you can live another 19.3 years, on average. Providing in-home care for terminally ill becoming relevant today more than ever. Longevity in age includes seniors carefully managing chronic conditions to stay healthy.

Healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., losing weight and quitting smoking) can help avoid senior health risks. However, most physicians recommend you must also be physically active and eat a healthy diet. Then you, too, can be among the 41% of individuals over 65 who say their health is excellent, according to the CDC.

Enhancing Daily Living for Seniors with Physical Limitations

As an individual ages, the likelihood of physical limitations increases. There may be physical limitations in balance, energy level, agility, and physical strength.  Seniors often become more hard of hearing and experience visions problems such as cataracts. The immune system becomes more susceptible to infection and disease. More significant conditions that might occur include heart disease. may also not work. Some changes in your blood vessels and heart health also occur with age. More serious diseases include dementia and Alzheimer’s which have become a leading cause of global death and illness.  If any of these conditions become chronic it further reduces mobility and the ability for an individual to function independently.

Here are some suggestions on how quality in-home senior care can empower older people with physical limitations to be remain active in daily routines with exceptional ease:

1. Creating a safe home. Falls are the leading cause which threaten the independence and health of seniors. Thus, following fall prevention guidelines by creating a safe living environment can enhance their independence. Senior fall prevention guidelines include removing clutter in and outside the house, removing throw rugs or loose objects from floors, add grab bars in bathrooms, make sure walkers and canes are properly adjusted and have proper fitting shoes. Following these tips can significantly reduce the risk of falls at home.

2. Re-designing their daily routines. To help seniors remain physically active and independent, making healthy changes in everyday life is essential. This includes planning each day with tasks that provide meaning and a sense of control. Incorporating breaks in the daily schedule also helps to ensure that energy levels remain high.

3. Enhancing Vision. With reduced vision, larger fonts will help seniors read better. This may include purchasing home phones with enlarged numbers. The use of magnifiers can help them with reading newspapers and labels on medication and expiration dates on food items. Good lighting throughout the house is essential to move independently and safely through their living spaces. Correct use of contrast (such as highlighting the edges of curbs and steps with fluorescent paint or tape) can also heighten their awareness of possible hazards.

4. Promoting an easier daily life. There are many ways to encourage older people with physical limitations to engage in everyday activities. Using universal cuffs or built-up handles on eating utensils can aid those with grip difficulty feeding themselves. Items like the buttoner, long-handled sponge, and shoehorn can be used in dressing and showering. This equipment allows seniors with trunk or upper limb stiffness to perform seated daily tasks safely. Front-load washing machines and portable low-height laundry racks encourage ease of laundry management. Repositioning microwaves and induction cookers to a lower height promotes simple meal preparation for seniors in wheelchairs.

Concluding Word

            Physical limitations in seniors may be inevitable. However, successful participation in daily life can enhance their experience of old age with self-confidence. The ideas outlined above are a few of the many other recommendations that can aid in promoting the independence of older people with physical limitations.  Eleanor Gaccetta, utilized all of the available tools and developed a unique skill to ensure her elderly mother was safe, happy and active despite her physical limitations. Her book, One Caregiver’s Journey, is a MUST-read. This personal memoir will make you laugh or tug at your heart as the author shares her experiences providing 24/7 care to her mother for 9 ½ years until her mother’s death at age 102. The book is an easy read, honestly written, and provides suggestions and information that all caregivers can utilize. It is a caregiver’s blueprint. Reading this book, you will feel like you are in the author’s living room, and she is telling her story and offering great advice and information on providing in-home care for the terminally ill.

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