- Keep Them Active
Over time, it is common for many of the elderly to become less active and less involved with their family and in their community.
It’s your job as a caregiver to not let that happen. A good place to start is with their diet. Make sure they are eating nutritious foods that provide them with energy. With the approval of their doctor, encourage exercise at least three times a week. Even a short neighborhood walk will do wonders for their spirit and blood flow.
- Wheelchair Safety
A few years ago, I had a fresh-faced batch of geriatric care management students in my program. For their first training mission they had to spend an entire day in a wheelchair and try to get around town as if it were a regular day. They had to get to my class, make a phone call from a pay phone, get in and out of an elevator, use a public restroom, drink from a water fountain, eat at a restaurant, shop in a convenience store, and so forth. Boy, did that mission awaken them to the realities of a wheelchair-bound life.
- Tips for Traveling with the Elderly
Aging shouldn’t keep elders from traveling and interacting with the world at large, if they still have the capacity and drive to do so. Travel can still be an exciting experience for them, but it takes a great deal of organization. Complications you would never think of can arise. Something as simple as jet lag could pose a major problem since it takes many elderly people twice as long to recover from it. The key is to plan.
- Work Options for Caregivers
Today's business world is full of working singles, working couples, working parents, and now, working caregivers. These working caregivers are often dealing with a dramatic change in personal circumstances, as senior relatives who were once independent now need attention. Caregiving takes time and energy, so it’s important to be flexible so you can meet all of your commitments while you remain employed. You may want to consider the following options:
- Preparing Your Elder for Rain or Shine
No matter what the weather may be, it can still be enjoyable to spend some time outdoors with your elder. Obviously, you can’t change the weather, but you can try to prepare so that your elder doesn’t have to sit inside all day. Now I’m not advocating going for a walk in 110-degree sunshine or during a violent thunderstorm, but you can take some steps to enjoy the great outdoors most of the time.
- Your Parents Need Protection!
Occasional news stories sadden and disturb me, as elderly, well-meaning people continue to fall victim to clever scams and schemes. About a year ago, I gave my blog readers the following suggestions about protecting our parents and other elderly relatives. Please review these suggestions, and pass this information along to others, so together we can protect our elderly family and friends.
- Understanding Hospice Care
Clients often ask me to explain what hospice care is, as well as when it can be implemented. Hospice is a specialized program of palliative care for patients and/or residents who have less than six months to live. This period can vary from state to state.
- Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager
When faced with caregiving, many of you will decide that you just can’t manage this process alone. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to—you just have to do all you can in the time allotted. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but your elder’s final days depend on your focused attention and energy.
- Bathroom Safety
Preventing falls in the home is a major area of concern for the elderly. The room where falls are most likely to occur is the bathroom. This is mostly due to the potentially dangerous combination of water and smooth surfaces. Luckily, with a few changes, you can help make the bathroom in your elder’s home a safe place.
- Universal Design
With life expectancy on the rise, the need to make homes and facilities safer and more accessible for the aging population is a more crucial issue than ever before. One cutting-edge movement—universal design—is poised to alter the landscape of community interior and exterior architecture as we know it and will set us on a track to soften the impact of the geriatric tsunami headed our way.