Whether it’s you doing the aging or someone close to you, there are definite changes and challenges that residents of Bel Air and elsewhere can experience, including whether someone is fine living by themselves, may need home health care or even to move to other levels of care.
The team at Accredited Home Care can be an excellent resource to help families handle some of the changes that come with aging.
Because we’ve been working with thousands of clients for years, we have experience with all ages and all health conditions.
We’ve also worked with some clients for years, so we’ve seen first-hand some of the mental and physical changes everyone experiences to varying degrees.
We also know that it sometimes can be difficult and unexpected for family members or close friends to see or admit to themselves that someone is aging, especially people who have been together for a long time and don’t notice daily changes.
Sometimes changes from aging can be subtle like less hair or thinner skin. Sometimes it can be more serious like a need for more regular medication, changed vision or weaker balance. Or, it may even be more challenging for everyone like advancing to the next stage of dementia.
Some progressive forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, may last months or years between stages, but still move forward and bring a variety of physical and mental changes.
Learning more about the aging process can help families anticipate and prepare for what may be coming. Although everyone is a little different, there are some similar patterns that can be observed and followed. Preparation also can help people feel more confident and less uncertain as things change around them. Those who are aging can also feel reassured.
Preparing for aging
As you consider more about the aging process, consider seeking out the assistance of different experts.
- Medical care. A primary care provider is a good starting place. He or she should be able to provide information about what to expect in the next few years or even the next decade. This can include increased risks for certain cancers or health conditions. They may also provide other suggestions on how to reduce general risks so you can hopefully live longer and feel better, including looking at your current diet and lifestyle. These visits can also be ideal times to start looking for ways to cut back or stop negative habits like smoking or drinking. A health care provider can also refer you to specialists who might be able to provide more in-depth expertise for any aging-related conditions you’re already dealing with.
- It’s true that plenty of young people visit gyms regularly to put on muscle or slim down or meet others. But seniors especially have different reasons for wanting to or needing to stay fit: it can help their physical health from getting worse and losing things like muscle tone. Plus regular exercise can help improve strength, balance, and flexibility. All of these are vital for someone that wants to remain in good shape for years. Someone lacking these areas is more likely to fall and hurt themselves badly, which could cause injuries that are slow to heal or may even require relocation to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home. Plus regular exercise can provide endorphins, which are chemicals in the body that cause people to feel good.
- Social opportunities. It’s not medically related, but looking for ways to remain social can be vital as someone ages. This can be everything from a club that meets regularly to friends who get together for coffee occasionally. Even a part-time job or a positive volunteer activity in the community can provide social structure and a group of people to interact with. Planning ahead for ways to develop new friendships and social opportunities as you age can be beneficial, as opposed to sitting at home being lonely. You also can consider taking a class: not only will you gain knowledge and build new skills but you’ll meet others in similar circumstances. Plus, if you are suffering from dementia, building neural pathways in the brain with new information is effective in reducing the damage to cells in the brain from the disease.
Accredited Home Care is happy to be a resource to help you identify larger and more subtle changes related to aging, including what to look for, what type of help to seek and where to get help in your area.
Our organization also has access to several specialists that are able to assist with different needs, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy. All of these can help keep the body and brain in good shape.