Older adults need proper care to maintain their health. Lack of adequate attention might result in issues like depression, anxiety, fear, and physical health problems. If you live with an aged person, observe the following ten essential elements of elder care.
1. Ensure Your Elderly Loved One Has Good Doctors
People aged 65 years may need extra medical attention and close monitoring. Regular doctor visits ensure the health of your dear one is well managed, and that’s why you should ensure older people have good doctors.
Medical checkups may be more if your loved one has underlying health conditions like cancer, diabetes, kidney, eye, or mental problems. Your doctor should conduct regular checkups to prevent the issues from worsening.
For instance, if your senior has vision problems, contacting local optometrists may keep the issue in check, preventing the possibility of permanent blindness. You should understand your senior’s health issues and find a good doctor. Show care and concern for their health, and constantly remind them when it’s time for medications.
The right doctor to attend to older adults should be licensed, experienced, and reputable. Conduct a thorough background check when hiring to ensure your dear one will be in safe hands.
2. Have Your Elderly Loved One’s Hearing Checked
It’s normal for the body’s senses to become dull with age. One of the most affected senses is hearing, where the ear structures start to deteriorate, and signs of hearing loss appear. While hearing loss may seem normal to older adults, it can affect their life comfort because they can’t interact with their dear ones well. Communication may be challenging, and fulfilling hobbies could be more complicated.
Having the hearing of your dear one checked is one of the most vital elements of elder care. During the checkups, an audiology professional uses varying tones and sounds to determine the hearing degree of your senior and recommend the ideal local hearing aids.
Regular hearings checkups help identify hearing issues while it’s still early and recommend the ideal solution accordingly. A checkup may take 30 minutes only, and you can take your seniors for the checkups twice or once per year.
You know your aged parent needs hearing help when they turn high volumes on TVs or radios, read lips when talking, or generally can’t hear well. Have your elderly loved one’s hearing checked when they show these signs, even if they aren’t bothered by the issue.
3. Monitor if Your Loved One Has Healthy Drinking Habits
Older adults should have healthy drinking habits, which include taking lots of water and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol. However, some seniors still fight alcoholism, and you should monitor this issue well.
Alcohol use disorder is a common issue among many seniors, and you may not realize the problem if you don’t visit them often. According to the National Institute of Health, excess alcohol can increase the risk of cancer and liver damage and worsen the condition of chronic illnesses like diabetes.
As you observe the other elements of elder care, you should closely monitor the drinking habits of your loved ones to ensure they are okay and not fighting addiction. If possible, offer sober living services to help them with withdrawal.
Excessive daily drinking is the most apparent sign that older adults have a drinking problem. Some may even brush their teeth often to avoid suspicions. Monitor the day-to-day activities of your dear-aged guardian to ensure they have healthy drinking habits.
Also note that some seniors use alcohol as a stress reliever, meaning they will take a glass whenever they are frustrated or unhappy. Observe the reactions of your elderly relative or guardian when they are sad to ensure they don’t abuse alcohol and other substances to relieve stress.
4. Make Sure Your Loved One Has Functioning AC and Heat
A well-functioning HVAC unit improves the air quality in a house, allowing older adults to live in a comfy indoor space. However, the operation of both heaters and ACs depends on their condition, so you should keep them in excellent condition. Here are essential elements of elderly care tips to maintain the optimum functioning of HVAC systems.
Change the Filters
Filters in an HVAC appliance trap dust and other particles in the air to improve the quality of air your breath. With time, the filters get dirty and become less efficient. Regular filter inspection and cleaning are vital to remove dirt and maintain the excellent performance of your HVAC unit.
Schedule for Regular Maintenance
HVAC units need regular maintenance by an expert. All parts of the units should be checked well to know what can be repaired or replaced. Schedule an appointment with your local ac services for a thorough AC inspection and maintenance to enhance the health of older adults.
Replace the Unit
Old HVAC units are not energy efficient and might also be ineffective. If your unit is over 30 years old, chances are it’s no longer effective, and you can consider replacing it. There are many functional, modern units that you can consider alongside other elements of elder care to improve the health of your loved one.
5. Locate Plumbing Issues as They Arise
Plumbing issues are common and can make the indoor stay of your loved one unbearable. Therefore, you should identify the problems immediately and seek plumbing services to solve them. Here are the main signs that there are plumbing problems.
Do you ever walk into your senior’s house and notice a stinking smell similar to rotten eggs? Chances are the sewer gas is leaking, and there’s a need for immediate plumbing repair.
Water from the faucets should be colorless, whether from a borehole or the municipal. Therefore, a sudden change in the color of the water could be a sign that there’s a plumbing problem that needs the help of an experienced plumber. For instance, yellow or brown water may be caused by corrosion, meaning the pipes need a replacement.
Slow drains are annoying and are caused mainly by clogging. Seek the help of a plumber if you experience unexplained slow drains to identify the cause and unclog the draining system.
High Water Bills
Rising water bills when you haven’t increased water usage may signify a plumbing problem. Some pipes may leak in most cases, leading to excess water loss. Inspect your plumbing systems well to ensure older adults live a satisfying life.
6. Check Your Loved One’s Outdoor Walking Areas for Bumps or Holes
The outdoor environment is as important as the indoors when caring for older adults. Your senior often needs to go outside for walks, stretches, or even relax as they watch the beautiful sunsets. If the outdoor environment is bumpy or has holes, accidents may happen, and outdoor stays may not be impressive.
Inspect the waking areas to check if they are fit for older adults. Large holes, bumps, or cracks may need immediate attention and repair from local paving companies. The walking areas should be clean and comfortable for older adults, whether they walk or use wheelchairs.
You can decide to replace the old pavement with a new one if the damages are beyond repair. Concrete and asphalt are great materials, but you can still use stone walkway pavements. An expert should only do the installation to minimize mistakes and produce the best possible results.
Lastly, ensure your senior knows which paths they should pass because some can be dangerous. You can hire a helper to show them the right directions, mainly if the house is in a steep compound.
7. Investigate Unwanted Critters in Your Loved One’s Home
Investigating unwanted critters is another vital aspect of elements of elder care. Is the house of your dear one critter-proof? Or are there a variety of animals living there? You may not blame the presence of critters in a house because they find it safe and warm as you do.
However, you can spot their presence and seek the help of a local exterminator for removal services. The main signs that the house of your loved one has critters include strange noises, droppings, funny smells, and sightings (physical presence). If you suspect the presence of animals, follow these practical tips to scare them away.
Cleanup is the most basic practice for improving the health of your dear one and also removing the critters. Clean the hidden areas like under rugs and beds to discourage critters. Clear bushes and long grass in the compound as well.
With the help of an exterminator, you can repel most critters with products they dislike. Follow the instructions on each repellant well, and clean the areas well because some repellents harm our health.
You could be attracting critters in your yard simply because you keep food remains everywhere. Get rid of any food particles from your patios as soon as you finish eating to discourage the presence of critters and unwanted animals in your compound.
8. Determine if Your Loved One Should Relocate
Your dear one’s main wish could be to age in their home. However, there comes a time when this goal is no longer realistic, and relocating is the only option. You can move them to an assisted living home or near your home for better care and provision of other elements of elder care.
Inspect the house of older adults to see if it’s fit for their health. You can even talk to them to know if they are willing to change the location of their home and explain your reasons. After that, you can find great movers to help you relocate.
Relocating older adults is a sign of care, love, and compassion, especially if you take them to a better place. However, you should carry their favorite belongings or the things they like most so they don’t feel lonely in their new environment. You know it’s time to relocate the elderly when they can’t keep up with daily chores like laundry, can’t drive safely, show signs of loneliness, or they need supervision in taking some medications.
9. Work With an Estate Lawyer
Working with an estate lawyer is one of the essential elements of elder care often overlooked. Estate lawyers work for everyone, despite their wealth status, and it can be a great idea if your dear one has children or people who depend on them. Here are the main reasons to seek estate planning services for older adults.
Estate planning protects beneficiaries, heirs, or children, giving them the direction of wealth division when you’re not around. The ideal estate planning lawyer should understand the needs of the aged person and assist with the planning activity for the sake of the beneficiaries.
Peace of Mind
Estate planning provides clear directions on allocating wealth in case of death. Therefore, an estate planning lawyer gives the elderly peace of mind that their wealth will be distributed according to their wishes.
Prevents Family Squabbles
Family disputes are common after death; some people fight for more money. By working with an experienced estate planning lawyer, you can avoid some of these problems, allowing the family to live and share the wealth with the deceased after the breadwinner’s death.
Informed Legal Advice
Estate planning isn’t easy as it involves serious decisions on one’s wealth. Also, the process involves many legal documents, which a good lawyer can help.
10. Discuss Probate Legal Options
Other elements of elder care involve discussing probate legal options with older adults so that they can make informed decisions. While the probate process is done after death, you can explain how it’s done and the available options to the elderly when they’re still alive to avoid family disputes.
If your dear one has a will, seek the help of probate lawyers to discuss the available legal options according to the complexity of their wealth distribution. Here are the main types of probating a will that your dear one may need to know.
Formal probate involves a petition, so it is done in court. In this type of probate, the estate is only opened by filing a court petition, and the court or judge issues the final order. Formal probate is only applicable in cases where there are estate planning disagreements.
Informal probate is less complex and is a great option when the estate planning has no disagreements. It is cheaper, less time-consuming, and no need for legal representation in court. Let your dear one understand the available types of probate in their state and their options to streamline their wealth distribution process and enjoy peace of mind.
Practice the Main Elements of Elder Care
Taking care of older adults isn’t easy, but it’s fulfilling. The proper care and attention keeps them alert, clean, and healthy, and can even prolong their life! Follow the above elements of elder care, and seek the help of a professional whenever you experience hardships.