The older a person becomes, the more life experience he has. Older people are often wiser, and, therefore, more focused on what’s important. Call them sagacious, if you will. (Actually, sagacious is derived from the word sage, which means “wise through reflection and experience,” and is often used to refer to an elderly individual.)
Now, reality is that after a person gains decades-worth of life experience, his body can start to become weaker. He may lose control of certain body parts, and find it hard to move certain other limbs. The person may require use of a cane, or even a commode.
Using mobility aids, incontinence products or daily living aids is never something to be ashamed of. Its simply a fact of life that at a certain stage, specific products are very likely to be used. All it means is that the individual has arrived at the period of his existence which is aptly referred to as the twilight years. The twilight years are a beautiful time, when life can be observed through a prism of peacefulness and prioritizing. One can take this time to see how much he has accomplished, and what a legacy he will leave behind. He can use the time to prioritize, and achieve the small dreams he’s always wanted (like learning to draw, doing good deeds every day, or teaching children).
Here are a few tips for anyone caring for a person who is in his twilight years.
#1: Help with Hygiene
Often, an older person will find it difficult to properly complete daily living tasks such as showering, bathing, and perineal care. Such a person will require assistance when performing the aforementioned tasks. If you are caring for such an individual, or you are sensing that the person you’re taking care of may need the assistance but is embarrassed to ask for it, try to offer whatever help you can in the most sensitive manner possible. If you see (or you know without asking) that the person will surely refuse assistance when it comes to these tasks, you may want to ask him (delicately, of course) if he’d like you to stock up on large disposable washcloths, which he can use together with dry shampoo instead of bathing, and for easier perineal care. These are also very helpful for caregivers, of course.
#2: Figure Out the Food Plans
According to Aging Research, up to 1 out of every 2 seniors are at risk of malnutrition. Aside from that, up to 60% of adults in hospitals are malnourished. There are many reasons for malnutrition, including illness, the inability to put together meals, and increased nutrient loss. If it seems that the senior you’re helping out may be becoming or is at risk of becoming malnourished, be sure that he is provided with ready made, nutritious meals every day.
#3: Get Him Out of the House!
Living without being in contact with other like minded people can be downright depressing for anyone, but especially for someone who feels a bit inept already, because he has to depend on others for basic needs. Be sure that the older person you know has some sort of social life, and is connected to fellow older chaps. Many cities provide transportation for seniors, so that an elderly person can attend religious services, visit the gym, or even get to the grocery store. There are also adult daycares, and other places where seniors lounge and enjoy each other’s company.
#4: Safety First
Older people are often frail and brittle boned, and can sometimes have failing eyesight or deteriorating auditory processing. Due to these and many other factors, slips and falls are all too common among seniors. To prevent such a mishap from occurring, be sure that the senior’s home is adapted for his needs. Try to eliminate tripping hazards such as rugs, and put railings wherever possible.
These are just a few tips to ensure that the senior under your care stays as healthy and safe as possible.