When you have a senior family member, you’ll often hear doctors and other caregivers talking about “activities of daily living.” This broad term encompasses all the things a person needs to be able to do to live well. For example, your aging loved one needs to be able to bathe, eat, and move around safely to enjoy optimal health and emotional wellbeing. Learning more about why activities of daily living (ADLs) are so important for seniors gives you more insight into your loved one’s recommended care plan.
Identify Unmet Needs
Senior care providers often use ADLs to determine if there are areas in which older adults face challenges, and you can do the same. A senior who clearly has unwashed hair for over a week may be having difficulty bathing independently. Seniors who eat the same prepackaged foods might be having a problem with cooking. Watching how seniors conduct their daily activities reveals a large amount of information about how they’re doing. If your loved one has problems in a particular area, try to find out why. Your loved one could be in pain from arthritis or have difficulty moving his or her arms when bathing.
Determine the Best Level of Care
Finding out where your loved one has difficulties with ADLs gives you a starting point for determining the best ways to help. Seniors who have difficulty meeting their basic needs may be able to continue aging in place by having caregivers come to their homes. A professional caregiver can provide an assessment to help you determine which services your loved one needs to stay healthy and safe. For example, your loved one might benefit from assistance with meal prep or bathing once you identify his or her needs.
Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elderly home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Prevent New Health Problems
Being able to manage his or her ADLs keeps your loved one safe and prevents common health conditions. A senior who gets assistance with cooking is less likely to develop malnutrition. Seniors who receive help with continence and bathing can prevent skin rashes and infections. Medication management is another ADL your loved one might need help with to stay on top of his or her health.
If your loved one needs help with tasks such as bathing, grooming, and using the restroom, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful addition to your caregiving team. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Tucson home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
Provide a Sense of Purpose & Independence
Keeping your loved one physically healthy is only one reason it’s important to observe how he or she handles ADLs. When your loved one has assistance with the tasks he or she finds challenging, you’ll notice him or her becoming happier and more open to trying to do what he or she can independently. Being unable to eat well, bathe, or move around the house can be emotionally debilitating. As a caregiver helps your loved one address these challenges, your loved one may begin to feel a sense of purpose that carries him or her through each day. Providing assistance so your loved one can still manage to do many things independently can boost his or her mood and enhance his or her overall quality of life.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Tucson, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call (520) 276-6555 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.