The Role of Doctors and Families in Improving the Quality of Life of Aging Adults

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As the seniors in our lives move from their own homes and to retirement communities, we are put in a precarious position to make sure they live happily and contented for the rest of their lives. The improvement of the seniors’ lives depends on their families and physicians. With assessment, monitoring, and coordination, the senior adults should be able to live their lives as normally as possible.

Determining the Right Kind of Facility

First, the families need to pick the right kind of facility for the seniors. If they can still move around, a retirement community might be the perfect place for them. There, they can socialize and join group activities. If they need more assistance in terms of cooking, taking a bath, and other needs, they might need to transfer to an assisted-living facility.

But senior adults with more medical needs and who are terminally ill are often transferred to a facility that offers hospice care services. Although it gets a bad rep, hospice care facilities still organize social activities, games, and other programs. These activities ensure that the seniors live the rest of their remaining days happy and fulfilled.

Monitor Signs of Depression

Millions of seniors aged 65 years old and up are experiencing some form of depression. The reasons vary. Some say it’s because they have to leave their homes and live in assisted-living facilities while others point to medical conditions as the culprit. When you notice that a senior member of the family is showing signs of depression, talk to the doctor about it. The doctor can point you to the right counselor and therapist.

Show Them They Are Still Needed

The best way to improve seniors’ lives is to show them that they are still needed around the house. Simple tasks like folding the laundry will make them feel capable. If they are living in a retirement community, make sure to visit as frequently as you can. Think of tasks that are appropriate for their abilities. Even if they aren’t living with you, ask them about the news through the phone. Simple things like this will make them feel valued and needed.

Doctors should explain to the patients themselves about their diagnosis. Some physicians result in calling for the seniors’ children to explain the treatment, procedure, and medication. However, this only makes the seniors feel like a burden to their children.

Encourage Physical and Mental Activities

seniors jogging

There are still a lot of non-strenuous physical activities that seniors can do. Non-contact sports such as tennis are still great for those who are able. They can also do some walking, exercise, dance, yoga, and meditation. Most of these activities will relax their muscles and relieve them of stress. Make sure that the physical activities will not be too strenuous for their hearts and bodies. Caregivers should consult with doctors before agreeing for the seniors to do physical activities.

More than anything else, seniors need mental stimulation and that will come in the form of activities that will improve their cognitive function. Brain games such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles, writing, reading, and storytelling are great for this. These mental activities will give them a sense of self. It will also improve their overall well-being.

Help Them Stay Connected

Seniors are at greater risk of dementia, especially when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. If they have mobility issues already, make sure to arrange some outings for them to meet friends, family, and community members. Try not to change doctors in the middle of a treatment process because this can also affect their progress.

If they are still able, encourage them to join community events. Help them get to their senior centers and the church. There might be times when they want to learn a new hobby. Offer to take them to class. Sit in with them if possible. Helping seniors stay connected isn’t just about family, but about the people who they used to see when they were still able and healthy.

Senior adults have as much right to live the rest of their lives independently as you. As long as they can and are able, let them. It’s for their peace of mind.

Many families argue about what’s right for the seniors, but the most important opinion isn’t even the doctor’s. It’s the seniors’ themselves. You have to find it in you to trust that they will make the right decision. And once they do, encourage them to learn hobbies, socialize, and do physical and mental activities. These things will help improve the quality of their lives.

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