Written by Thomas Boyd
We, seniors, value independence above anything else, so much so that sometimes we find the prospect of asking for help intimidating. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you find even the most mundane tasks challenging. Realizing that you need help and coming to terms with that realization is the first step towards an easier life.
According to the Congressional Budget Office article published in 2013, as much as one-third of people aged over 65 need some form of assistance with daily activities. However, we are often reluctant to ask our closest ones for help, let alone accept it. You might not come to the realization that you need help until you begin to find even things like dressing, personal hygiene, shopping or cooking extremely difficult and tiresome.
Sooner than later you might start forgetting to take your pills, wish your family members a happy birthday, getting distracted in traffic and forgetting about your routines. Then you might find yourself distracted in traffic or while walking. That’s when you become a danger to yourself and others.
Admitting you need help can be difficult. But once you do, you’ll realize that you can live your life happily in your own home with a friendly face who’ll be there by your side to remember what you might forget. A lot of good caregiver services like A Better Way in Home Care can refer you to friendly, professional and most importantly compassionate aides.
In this article, we are going to list some situations that might indicate that you need a professional caregiver by your side.
You Have a Fear of Falling
Falling has always been considered one of the biggest risks of old age. In fact, falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries every year, with over 27,000 falls leading to a fatal outcome according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The fear of falling is usually an indication that something is wrong. But the fear can also have a negative effect on your balance and cause the fall itself. The fear can be caused by a traumatizing experience of a previous fall or just during an onset of anxiety. The fear can also develop as a natural reaction to a condition, such as any damage to our balance centers.
Therefore, it helps to have someone by your side watching you as you walk down the stairs or cross the street to go to the market. Whether your fear is irrational or not, having someone by your side just in case can help us regain the confidence.
You Often Feel Lonely
We are more prone to feeling lonely in a late age than any other period in life. A lot of seniors live alone, and 43% of seniors report a frequent feeling of loneliness. The worst part is that seniors who feel lonely are more likely to experience deteriorating health and die earlier.
Even worse is the fact that not everyone knows how to properly help someone coping with these feelings. Lonely people can be difficult to communicate with and get through, so even their family members may turn their back on them.
Fortunately, professional caregivers have enough patience and experience to communicate to a depressed person without pushing too far or giving up on communication. Caregivers can encourage depressed seniors to communicate more, regain contact with their family and are always there whenever you need someone to talk to and share your concerns with.
You Have a Hard Time Deciding on Mundane Things
There are many reasons why we might feel indecisive at a venerable age. The indecisiveness may not always be a result of dementia or other cognitive illnesses, it also stems from the fact that our years change our perception of risk. Ironically, that’s often what causes us to make the wrong decisions that can affect both us and our loved ones.
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that even highly functional seniors tend to make wrong, often inconsistent and irrational decisions when pressed for time. These decisions are not only related to finances, they can extend to other aspects of life like driving skills.
You Stop Preparing Food and Experience a Weight Loss
We are more likely to experience lack of appetite than younger people. How often did you feel too tired to cook or go grocery shopping? This is more common in seniors than you realize. But a lack of appetite may also indicate a serious health condition, although this is not that frequent.
If you feel too tired to cook, perhaps you should consider hiring a helping hand. Proper nutrition is extremely important, especially at an older age and not getting enough nutrients can cause us to feel chronically weak and tired. Additionally, having someone to share the meal with can improve your appetite.
You Don’t Feel Like Leaving the Home
Do you feel like you suddenly lost the will to go out and socialize with friends or family? Do you catch yourself spending all of your time indoors, stuck to the TV or napping? Closely related to the feeling of loneliness, the lack of will to socialize can really impact our quality of life. This feeling is often associated with depression and is essentially no different than being locked away in a retirement home.
Whether you feel you can no longer drive or you fear to get out in the open, you need someone to help you overcome this obstacle and inspire you to socialize more. A caregiver can keep you company during a walk in the park, a stroll around the neighborhood or a visit to the local senior center for a round of cards.