It’s part of the cycle of life: we go from being caregivers to bringing those in need of a bit of care. While many seniors are active and capable, they may still need a bit of support from time to time. Caring for seniors can be both rewarding and challenging by degrees, but it’s an important part of ensuring that our elders get the most out of their golden years. In learning how to care for seniors, we’re also learning how to get the most out of this wonderful stage of life and how to live richly as we age.
Understanding Senior Care
On a basic level, senior care isn’t in principle that different from daily care for any of us. We all need the same things: food, hydration, hygiene, appropriate living conditions, and the fulfillment of any medical needs. However, as we age the way in which those needs express themselves and how we meet them may change. Seniors may need a bit more help, even if only in the form of a reminder to take their meds, eat healthily, or get some fresh air.
ADLs: Activities of Daily Living for Seniors
Activities of Daily Living–often shortened to “ADLs”--are just what the name suggests. These are the basic daily activities that fill our lives, and while necessary at most stages of life they take on special importance for seniors. In our golden years, appropriate completion of ADLs is necessary for dignified and active living. While they may vary from person to person a bit, ADLs typically include the following:
- Functional Mobility, including moving while performing basic activities, getting in and out of bed or a chair, and perhaps navigating steps and stairs
- Dressing and selecting clothing
- Bathing or Showering
- Personal Hygiene, which may include brushing/styling hair, shaving, and other personal grooming activities
- Toilet Hygiene, which encompasses using the toilet, self-cleaning, and getting up and down from the toilet as needed
Many seniors are more than capable of handling most or all of these activities themselves, while some may need assistance in the forms of mobility aid, helpful reminders, or more direct care. Determining the appropriate level of assistance is a big part of providing care for seniors.
Enriching Activities for Seniors
Beyond ADLs and basic care, seniors need to live active and fulfilling lives–just as we all do at any age. Keeping the golden years rich, active, and engaging may involve many things, but the good news is that there are a number of mental and physical activities that are both appropriate for seniors and enjoyable. They may also provide a chance to socialize with folks who have similar interests, providing further enrichment for the seniors involved. Keeping mentally and physically active helps seniors stay healthy and alert, making life better all around.
Getting the Care Seniors Need
Having taken a look at what seniors need to ensure that their lives are safe, healthy, and fulfilling, how can we ensure that the seniors in our lives are getting the care they need? Different seniors need different levels of care, but in-home care by their peers can be a great place to start. Seniors Helping Seniors offers seniors in Northern Nevada the chance to help others of similar age to live independent and active lives. So if you’re looking for a bit of help for