There are a lot of health issues that seniors living at home have to face daily. For some, this is because of age and things that come with old age; for others, however, there are other factors involved.
To accurately understand one’s current state of health, it is crucial to pay close attention to their bodies regularly. Most people pay attention when they feel pain or discomfort, but this might not always happen right away. The symptoms may develop over time, so it’s important to monitor your body daily for early detection if something is amiss.
Several health options are available for seniors living at home as they age. These include:
Home Health Care Aides
You can hire a home health care aide on a temporary or permanent basis. Many agencies and assisted living homes offer these services, and some conditions require an assessment of the senior’s needs before making referrals. Seniors living at home can also hire private caregivers who will visit daily or weekly to help with chores such as preparation of meals, light housekeeping, transportation, and medication reminders. Some labor-conserving devices make it easier for seniors to accomplish everyday activities with a lower risk of injury — for instance, stairlifts and ramps for going up and down stairs without requiring too much strength from legs or knees. In addition, bed rails offer support when getting into or out of bed and moving or turning in bed.
Home-health aides are usually paid by third-party companies contracted by the government, a medical supply company, or the senior’s family. They are not nurses, physicians, or social workers. They do not offer services that usually require a doctor’s referral or provide complex medical treatment.
A home health aide is often hired temporarily when recovering from surgery, an illness, or injury to offer assisted living services. If you find that your parent requires more care after his recovery period ends, then it may be time to consider other arrangements for living outside of her own home.
The main concern for those looking for a home health aide should be that the person is insured, bonded, and cleared by the Department of Justice’s criminal background check system.
Another option for seniors living at home is hiring a private caregiver. Seniors can hire someone privately through classified ads or online services.
Maintain a Good Sleep Routine
The elderly need to maintain proper sleeping patterns and make sure the room is cool, quiet, and dark, as all forms of light affect the hormone melatonin, which regulates circadian rhythms. Senior citizens living at home should try and go to bed and wake up at similar times each day, as this will help the body to gain consistency and regulate its natural rhythms;
Your age will affect how much sleep you need as a senior citizen. The older you get, the longer it takes to recover from both mental and physical fatigue associated with daily activities such as work and exercise. Sleep experts recommend that seniors aged 65 years and older should no longer receive between six to eight hours of sleep every night. They should aim for seven or more hours each night — but not more than nine. Old age is not the only factor that affects how much sleep we need. Health also plays a role in determining the ideal amount of shut-eye. If you have a pre-existing medical issue like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, depression, or another mental health disorder, you may require more sleep than others. For example, if you work a night-shift job and are exposed to different light patterns while sleeping during the day compared with when you sleep at night, consider asking your doctor for help to adjust your schedule.
Sociologists have found that climate and weather conditions affect how much we need to sleep. For instance, people who live closer to the equator typically need fewer hours of sleep because they do not experience as many significant changes in temperature throughout the year.
It is vital to ensure that seniors living at home have a calm and quiet bedroom. Ensure you have all the necessary bedding items for a peaceful resting environment, such as comfortable mattresses and pillows that support your body. Keep lamps, TVs, cell phones, computers, fans, or any other appliances off or away from your sleeping quarters because these can distract you once it is time to sleep. If external noise is a problem for you, but there are no windows in your room with which you can draw the curtains or blinds to block them out, consider using earplugs or noise-canceling hearing aid to drown out all distractions.
Getting regular physical exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety while also making you feel less tired through the day to spend quality time with friends and family before going to bed for the night. Remember, though, that exercising too close to bedtime may have an adverse effect on how well you rest later on. So if you work out earlier in the day, give yourself enough time to wind down before heading off to bed at night — which means no strenuous exercise either close to bedtime or at least three hours before.
Eating a Balanced Diet
Seniors living at home should eat three balanced meals a day with snacks if necessary. Make an effort to include fruit and vegetables in every meal as they contain vital nutrients for good health; avoid any processed foods or those high in saturated fat. Keep your portions small and consider adding more leafy greens to the dishes.
Understanding nutritional requirements for seniors living at home is vital for their health and well-being. You can plan your meals to bring optimal benefits to their well-being. It requires understanding calorie intake, using food labels properly, planning weekly menus according to food & health information, calculating portion sizes, identifying nutrient deficiencies, understanding dietary supplements, and following special diets.
Seniors living at home should make sure that they get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They should stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water per day. Eat lean meat or fish at least twice a week. Don’t forget about cereals, grains, and dairy products. Limit fast-food consumption, high sugar intake, and refined carbohydrates. Seniors living at home can consider taking multivitamins to ensure optimal vitamin and mineral levels for energy production in the body.
Skincare through Regular Cleaning
As people grow older, it is more difficult for them to look after their skin, and therefore they tend to neglect it. Seniors living at home should wash regularly and moisturize dry skin on the face and hands. The elderly should avoid hot baths after 5 pm as this can cause insomnia due to the change in temperature.
Regular cleansing is another way to ensure that your skin stays healthy and clean in old age. A problem for some older adults, though, is often sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, it is commendable to avoid using hot water; instead, use lukewarm or cool water. Do not use soap on your face; only use an oil-based cleanser on areas such as your eyebrows and eyelashes. You can also avoid rubbing your face but allow the cleanser to work on your skin naturally.
To maintain good general health, seniors living at home need to eat a balanced diet. Eating more fruit and vegetables will improve the skin condition and provide many other health benefits.
Regular Physical Exercise
Seniors living at home need to engage in whatever exercise works for them to stay active. It does not have to be difficult to make a difference; try and walk more during the day or stand rather than sit. It’s also important to keep moving about if you spend most of the time seated as long periods can cause blood clots in the legs, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke. If outdoors, take care not to overheat and remember to apply sunscreen.
Exercise can help maintain or even increase our physical fitness, ability and reduce the number of chiropractor appointments during adulthood. Unfortunately, many people abandon the idea that they may need to exercise as they get older.
Regular exercise helps seniors living at home by increasing the capacity of their bodies to perform tasks that would otherwise be strenuous or even impossible.
Exercise also has social benefits for older adults. Going for walks or participating in group activities are ways adults can interact with others without relying on technology or the other person being there. They can use these events as a way to meet new friends.
The physical capacity declines rapidly with old age. The loss of muscle tissue in the aging process means that older adults are more likely to have health issues related to being sedentary, such as heart disease and obesity that may need stem cell therapy to manage. Therefore, it is important for seniors living at home to continue exercising to remain at least physically active throughout their later years. Spending time gardening or playing with grandchildren is also helpful for older adults. Even if it becomes difficult to play sports because of injuries sustained over time, there are plenty of ways seniors can take part in regular physical exercise.
Limited Smoking and Alcohol Intake
Smoking harms health so quitting or cutting down is advisable for seniors living at home. Smoking and alcohol intake can contribute to several chronic health conditions more prevalent in older adults. These include heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), peripheral neuropathy, cataract formation, and blindness.
Research shows many benefits for seniors who stop smoking before 50, including reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as heightened blood pressure and lipid profile improvement. Quitting smoking also reduces coronary heart disease risk, and there is also good evidence for lower risks for cancers of the pancreas, mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder.
Recommendations for alcohol intake limits in older adults are generally the same as those recommended for younger adults, with no specific upper limit suggested for older adults. There will likely be general health benefits if older individuals reduce their alcohol intake to below-recommended limits or avoid drinking altogether.
It is important to note that over-indulgence in alcohol causes accidents and falls, especially in seniors living at home who may have reduced balance and coordination. Recreational drugs such as marijuana should also be avoided in old age. There is no evidence that smoking or eating cannabis has any benefits for symptoms related to cancer or its treatment. It is not possible to predict the risk of using these substances based on age alone because individuals’ response varies greatly due to weight, tolerance levels, frequency of use, and the potency of the drug used. The only way to investigate this risk is through individual assessment with a comprehensive medical history and targeted physical examination.
Before prescribing medication to stop smoking, it’s important to assess the risk associated with taking medication, such as loss of cognitive function and increased blood pressure. Some medications can be prescribed by doctors or bought from the local pharmacy without supervision which helps to reduce cravings for cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). They include patches, gum, and nasal sprays that help people quit smoking.
It’s particularly important for seniors living at home who smoke to consider their risks when deciding whether they should use certain therapies because some medications can increase the heart rate excessively. This may cause health problems for individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, active peptic ulcers, risk developing uncontrolled hypertension, or whose medicines interact with nicotine.
It is also important to ensure that older adults understand the health risks of drinking alcohol excessively and relatively large amounts of red wine.
In conclusion, it is important for seniors living at home to follow some basic health advice and have a health insurance plan to cater to the cost of their medication. Seniors should establish a good doctor-patient relationship by ensuring they take their medications correctly, get regular checkups, and communicate any issues with their doctor. Seniors should also consider consulting with the pharmacist, Christian insurance, or family members about questions regarding their medication. Health complications can arise if medication has not been taken properly or it has even been stolen by another person living in the household.