Several organizations are teaming up to promote age-friendly care. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the John A. Hartford Foundation want to raise awareness. They want to make sure older adults and their families understand how to make sure a care plan suits a person’s needs.
No two people are the same. Care plans shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all either. You and your parents have every right to urge doctors and other care professionals to meet your parents’ preferences. Consider these two things when coming up with an age-friendly care plan.
Discuss Prescriptions Openly and Honestly
Here’s a good example of why it’s important to talk about medications. A woman’s doctor prescribed a statin to lower cholesterol levels. Shortly after, the muscle pain in her back was so bad she struggled to get out of bed.
Her family assumed the doctor knew what was best and urged her to keep taking them. Her memory started slipping, which concerned them. Statins also can lead to memory loss. After talking to her doctor, her children learned that her cholesterol was only slightly high and that diet and exercise may be just as effective.
Instead of relying on the medication, family caregivers changed her diet to add more fish, grains, and vegetables. They signed the whole family up for Yoga classes. While statins help many people, diet and exercise seemed to be the better option for her.
Talk About Fall Prevention
Mobility doesn’t have to change as one ages. While medications may cause side effects like dizziness or sleepiness, many other situations increase the risk of a fall. Your family needs to look closely at them.
Check the lighting on stairs and hallways that lead from areas like the living room to the bathroom or a bedroom to the bathroom. If the lighting is dim and your mom or dad needs an early-morning bathroom break, the chance of falling in a dimly lit area while sleepy increases. Night lights are important.
Examine flooring for loose boards or tiles. See if carpeting is coming apart where there are seams. If there are loose decorative rugs on a hardwood or laminate floor, make sure there is non-slip backing. All of those hazards increase the risk of slipping and falling.
If muscle weakness and arthritis are a problem, exercises that help with balance and strength will help. Make sure your parent is getting 30 minutes of exercise each day. Mixing up Yoga or Tai Chi classes with weight training, biking, and swimming is a good way to round out an exercise program.
Talk About Aging at Home
If your parents’ abilities change, they’re going to need help at home. Talk about what they see as the best plan for care. Would they want to move in with you? Could you balance their care and work?
What about senior care services in their home? They wouldn’t have to move. They’d benefit from the support and companionship of senior care aides.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Parker, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.