While all change is a bit scary, changes to your own body and lifestyle can be especially frightening. We must make sense of the many changes and unknowns that come with ageing. Having to do it all on our own is even more of a challenge. Those who care for the elderly must make an effort to understand their needs if they are to provide them with the assistance that they require. Finding out what scares seniors about ageing is an important part of this process. To help you comprehend and initiate a discussion with seniors about their concerns, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top concerns of the elderly.
Fear of aging 1: lack of independence
Make every effort to maintain your ageing loved ones’ independence for as long as you can. By giving your elders options instead of making decisions for them, you can help them exercise more control over their lives. For example, ask your elderly loved one if they want you to check or change any light bulbs rather than telling them not to because they could trip and fall. You could also offer assistance in the form of a gift by printing out coupons that they could use to get work done around the house or yard. This lets your older family members feel more independent for a longer time.
Fear of aging 2: health concerns
Talking about the realities of ageing with your elderly relatives is essential. Please let your loved ones know that they are not alone in their struggle to cope with newfound health issues. According to the Institute on Aging, 91 percent of seniors have at least one chronic illness and have mobility restrictions. One-third of the elderly are supported by paid caregivers, while the other two-thirds are dependent on the on-going assistance of family and friends. Determine what your elderly relative needs now and in the future by conducting a physical health examination. Plan your next steps in light of what you’ve discovered so far. Talk to your loved ones’ about their current and future health care needs so they’re not in the dark.
Fear of aging 3: not having enough money
You should create a comprehensive budget with your ageing loved ones to reassure them of their financial security. Prioritize all of their essential costs, such as food, housing, and utilities, before taking into account additional costs, such as hobbies or vacations. In the event that they need to make a large purchase or repair your home or car, it is imperative that you include savings and an emergency fund in your financial strategy. In the event of an unexpected medical expense, your elderly family member may feel less worried about running out of money if they have prepared ahead of time for such a scenario. If you’re eligible for the Caregiver Tax Credit, you may be able to offset some of the costs.
Fear of aging 4: leaving their home
For the vast majority of elderly people, home is more than just a place to live; it is also a place of refuge, a repository of memories, and an integral part of their identity. Downsizing, or choosing a senior living facility such as a nursing home or an assisted living apartment must be considered as your loved ones begin to require more care. Make sure you discuss alternative living arrangements with your elderly loved ones carefully and listen to what they have to say. Support your loved ones’ search for housing and care by assisting them in comparing costs. Instead of merely telling your parents to relocate, involve them in the investigation and decision-making process themselves.
Fear of aging 5: losing loved ones
Your elderly loved ones will be able to see the future more favorably if you have fruitful conversations with them. One of the best ways to address the topic of death is to talk about your own mortality. In the event that your parents or grandparents become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves, you must ensure a will has been made.
Fear of Aging 6: Not Being Able to Manage Daily Tasks
Physical and mental activity can reduce seniors’ dependence on others. Senior yoga classes, for example, can help your ageing loved ones build and maintain their strength and mobility. Reassure your parents that losing the ability to perform daily tasks is unfortunate but not a major issue. If the problem becomes too big for your elderly loved ones to handle on their own, you should step in to help. In-home care aides and senior care facilities are available to help those in need.
Fear of aging 7: driving impaired
Talk to your elderly loved one about losing their driving ability and reassure them. It is possible for your elderly parents to get around town by taking advantage of senior shuttles in many communities. Help your parents explore the options available in your neighbourhood and within your family to ensure a smooth transition to life without a car. Until your parents are comfortable travelling on their own in a shuttle, offer to accompany them on their first few trips. To ensure that family members can drive your parents around, create a calendar with a clearly defined rotation and all appointment details. This way, everyone knows exactly who is responsible for driving them during the week.
Fear of aging 8: loneliness or isolation
You should take your elderly loved one out on a regular basis so that they can meet new people. It’s a good idea to check with your local senior centre or your county’s senior services to see what kinds of activities and social gatherings your ageing parents might enjoy. The first few visits to a new organization or senior centre can be intimidating and uncomfortable for your parents, so it may be helpful if you accompany them. Take a look at the events calendar with your ageing family members and decide on a few day trips you can all enjoy. A number of senior centers offer trips to nearby attractions and activities. After a few outings with the group, they should feel comfortable travelling on their own.
Fear of aging 9: receiving care from strangers
Make sure any senior care provider you choose runs background checks on each member of its caregiver staff. If you’re considering hiring someone on your own, run a thorough background check on them and check all of their references. It’s also important to make sure that the person you hire can work well with your elderly relatives. For the first few months, have a family member accompany the aide to ensure that your elderly loved one is comfortable and sees them as a friend.
Fear of aging 10: falling or getting hurt
Make every effort to ensure the safety and comfort of your elderly relatives. Check out their residence. How well-lit is the stairway and stairwell? Is there any clutter that might cause tripping hazards? Is the porch icy when it’s cold outside? Such risks can cause falls. Preventative measures include:
- Installing grab bars and handrails adjacent to toilets and in showers or bathtubs
- Placing grip strips on steps and stairways
- Strengthening all handrails close to staircases and steps
- Increasing illumination in at-risk locations
- If applicable, employ someone to shovel and salt the driveway and porch
Want to learn more?
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 1-855-410-7971, and we will be happy to help you arrange care for a loved one.