The fastest-growing segment of the American population is the one belonging to older Americans. In fact, by the year 2030, there will be more seniors in the US than young people. Older Americans wish to continue living in their familiar homes and neighborhoods. However, your homebound aging loved one will likely need some help if they are to remain as independent as possible.
How Can I Help Care for My Homebound Aging Loved One?
When an older person is basically limited to their own home, loneliness can become a big problem. Loneliness can morph into physical and mental issues – lack of appropriate exercise, depression, anxiety. The most important thing you can do for your loved one is to spend some regular quality time with them. This will help lift their spirits and keep them feeling connected to their family. Here are some suggestions:
Help With Household Chores
Many seniors find that they can no longer easily complete small tasks they were once able to accomplish with no problem. If you have the time, help with some chores around the house. If time is limited because you have children and a job, find a competent and friendly housekeeper or home help.
Plan Small Events
Invite a small group of family and friends to spend time with your homebound aging loved one. These get-togethers could be centered around a meal or an activity such as book reading or playing bridge. When visiting, show your loved one that you’ve been thinking of them by:
- Bringing their favorite food.
- Updating them on the latest family news.
- Sharing the latest family photos.
- Chatting about cherished memories.
- Watching a favorite movie together.
- Playing board games or cards.
Make Sure Their Medical Needs Are Met
Caring for a homebound loved one may include helping to manage their medical care – taking them to the doctor, picking up prescriptions, refilling medications, etc.
- For your peace of mind, invest in a medical alert system. Do your research on the various forms of emergency response devices and providers.
- Encourage your loved one to practice self-care and healthy habits.
Support Movement and Exercise
A homebound individual needs to stay as physically active as possible. However, keep in mind that homebound seniors can suffer injuries if they exercise incorrectly or try to do too much. Work with a medical professional and/or a physical therapist to determine which exercises are safe.
- Community centers in your area may offer fitness classes for seniors to improve upper body strength, balance, etc.
- Such organizations may even provide transportation options for the homebound.
Encourage Healthy Sleep Routines
It simply isn’t true that older people need less sleep. Adults of all ages need 7-9 hours of sound sleep each night to replenish their bodies and minds and keep their immune systems in good working order. Try to reduce the number of naps your loved one takes during the day because long naps may interfere with their ability to sleep through the night.
By working with a network of supportive family and friends, you can prevent your homebound aging loved one from feeling isolated. If you are having difficulty providing the level of care your loved one deserves, professional caregivers can help you out. If you live in or near Columbia, South Carolina, Caring Healthcare can provide you with any kind of assistance you need. We can help your homebound loved one stay healthy and active and connected to the world around them. Give us a call and let us help.