A lot of the time, due to increased healthcare and an all-around better understanding of our bodies, a lot of loved ones will not need any form of assistance in their old age. That does not apply to everyone though, as for other people, as they get older, the muscles can start to weaken and mental faculties such as memory and thought processing also begin to get worse. This is especially the case if your loved live into their 80s, 90s and beyond, which is happening more and more often now as life expectancy is longer than it has ever been.
As such, it may well become the case at some point that you need to take care of your loved ones when they get to their old age. Of course, one of the things that you need to know in order to provide the best possible care for them is what kinds of issues they are likely to be faced with. This article will discuss exactly that in more detail.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It’s natural that you want to look after your loved ones as much as possible, but there may well become a point that you are simply unable to do it all by yourself anymore. In these instances, you should not be afraid to reach out and ask for some help. This could be in the form of asking other friends and family members to chip in, hiring a carer or seeking out the help of assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities can be incredibly helpful to your loved ones as they get older. If you consider Buffalo Grove Retirement Home, there is a huge community of people, so your loved ones will be encouraged to remain active, but there is also help on hand to offer assistance as and when it is necessary.
What Issues Might Loved Ones Face?
There are a number of issues that our loved ones may face as they get older, and these include:
- Needing Assistance with Daily Life
A lot of seniors often need help with different aspects of everyday life. These could include activities of daily living (otherwise known as ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (known as IADLs). The way that these difficulties could take shape are in the likes of managing transportation, finances, shopping, home maintenance and cleanliness and also meal preparation. Determining what help they need in their daily life is often a good start when it comes to working out how you will be able to support them and whether or not you should make arrangements for external assistance.
- Safety Issues
There are a number of different safety concerns that could befit your loved ones as they get older. These could be physical issues such as the increased risk of falling, concerns when driving, or they could also be problems surrounding financial vulnerability. Financial vulnerability means that they are more susceptible to scams. Again, having these concerns is good as it means the level of care you want to give can be assessed.
- Medical and Health Issues
It is very common to have more medical concerns in later life. Older adults tend to develop chronic conditions that usually require different medication, monitoring and other forms of management, too. There may also be other symptoms that older loved ones start to show that could need monitoring and might need some looking after.
It is also common for elderly loved ones to require assistance when it comes to recovering from an illness, plus they may even lose their ability to make health decisions of their own accord. Family members need to make decisions in these instances due to health emergencies or mental decline.
- Housing Issues
As we get older, our housing may no longer be suited to our needs, and this can consequently have an impact on our overall quality of life, too. This is because the aforementioned safety concerns will be compounded if we have a property that isn’t suitable. When it comes to considering a senior’s housing, you should ask yourself:
- Is the current housing situation a good fit for aging in place?
- Do you think that a more supportive environment is necessary, such as moving in with another family member?
- Have you considered assisted living?
- Issues Surrounding Overall Quality of Life and Being Able to Thrive
Even though basic needs around safety and your loved one’s ability to stay financially secure are obviously important, having a good overall quality of life is just as vital. Most families are usually concerned about their elderly relative’s quality of life due to the fact in old age, people struggle to get out as much and become more isolated and unable to do what they would usually do. You will need to consider this when deciding how to offer support. You should also take the time to think about what matters most to your loved one and what is less important, and what trade off they are willing to accept. Having this information to hand will be incredibly helpful when it comes to moving forward.
- Legal and Financial Issues
A lot of older adults might also lose the ability to manage some of their financial and legal affairs, so will therefore need assistance with this as they get older. Even if they are cognitively intact, then they still may need assistance as they are more vulnerable to financial exploitation (scams pertaining to online banking and over the phone). You should consider potentially enlisting the help of a legal and financial advisor and also stepping in wherever possible to make sure that everything is in order. You will be in a much better position to assist your loved one, so try to make sure that all of their records are up to date, bills are paid and they are not being taken advantage of.