How to Meet Medical Needs of Seniors at Home
The ability to remain at home well into old age is an understandable concern for many senior citizens. However, a senior’s safety and well being should always come first. In order to allow seniors to age in place (as opposed to moving into a nursing facility) while also remaining as safe as possible, there are certain medical needs that should be met. And to help seniors maintain a feeling of independence, relatives or close friends should consider helping them make arrangements for those needs; however, they should refrain from making decisions for the senior. While loved ones can be well-meaning, they may be tempted to take charge and/or push their senior toward one service or another. This can be a major cause for stress for both the loved one and the senior. Instead, the loved one should make an effort to present and discuss different options with their independent senior.
Here are a few suggested services and/or products that seniors can utilize in order to maintain a safe, independent lifestyle. If you know a senior who is facing the decision to age in place, or if you anticipate being a caregiver to a senior who wishes to maintain some level of independence, consider the following and feel free to discuss the possibilities with the senior in your life.
1. Home Medical Care
Depending on your senior’s level of independence and medical needs, an in-home medical care service may be worth looking into. There are many different companies and services that offer in-home care, ranging from occasional physical therapy to frequent assistance with medical machinery, to drug therapy and more.
If your senior isn’t in need of in-home medical care, but could still use a little help around the house or running errands, there are other home care companies that focus on those services. Whether it’s help with meal prep, housecleaning, picking up prescriptions or just occasional companionship, your senior could benefits a great deal from receiving in-home assistance.
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2. Transportation to Medical Appointments
As we age, it’s natural for some of our abilities to dull. Slowed reaction time, impaired vision, difficulty walking or bending…all of these are common issues for aging seniors and can make it cumbersome or even impossible to drive a vehicle. However, because seniors often require more frequent doctor visits, being stuck without reliable transportation presents a big problem.
In order to help seniors maintain independence consider making arrangements with a transportation service that specializes in senior needs. Many areas have nonprofit groups that hire volunteers to transport seniors to and from their medical appointments and these services are usually free or at a reduced cost. If your senior is a member of a church, ask if they offer such a service. Even if they don’t offer transportation, you may discover that they offer other senior care-related services such as meal delivery.
3. Invest in a Medical Alert Service Device
For seniors who wish to live independently, a medical alert device can literally be a life saver. Particularly valuable to the senior who lives alone or in an isolated area (rural outskirts of a city, home without neighbors nearby, etc.), a medical alert device can allow seniors access to emergency response personnel at the push of a button. These devices are commonly worn like jewelry, either around the wrist or neck, so they are always easily accessible. This can be extremely valuable should a senior be unable to reach their telephone, such as in the event of a fall.
Here are a few popular medical alert service companies:
(Please note that the authors of this article do not necessarily endorse the services listed above and do not claim that any are better than any others. These are listed simply for consumer education).