None of us like the idea of being unable to look after ourselves any longer. As proud parents and grandparents,
we’ve spent a huge portion of our lives looking after and nurturing others- to the point that it’s become
part of who we are. And so when we start to slow down later in life, it’s difficult to accept that now, it’s us
that can need caring for. Thankfully, there are lots of services and help these days which can allow older adults
to live independently and in their own home for much longer. But most of us will reach a point where we realise we can no longer do it all alone. I myself have been thinking about my future lately. Here are some of the signs that we need to accept help with our care.
An accident at home leading to injury
More accidents happen at home than anywhere else, and that’s true for people of all ages. However, an
accident at home as an older person can be a particular concern, mainly due to bone density
issues. A trip or a slip down the stairs with a younger person can lead to a pulled muscle and
some bruising, but in an older person it can lead to broken bones and a dangerous hip fracture. Many people who go into hospital with this injury actually never leave, with infection and other medical problems arising as a result
leading to their death. Not something particularly nice to think about, but definitely worth being aware of.
If you’ve had an accident at home that’s lead to a fracture (or easily could have done) it’s worth making some changes.
Perhaps you could move your bedroom downstairs, so you’re not having to risk falling on the stairs- otherwise
a stair lift could be an option. An adapted bath or shower could also prevent injury, and you could have
new flooring fitted to ensure there are no tripping hazards. Changing your home around to
avoid falling over things is also recommended. These might be simple changes,
but hiring some help to do so, or asking a family member to
assist you with them could improve your quality of life and means you avoid all kinds of injury.
An inability to move around easily
There are plenty of illnesses and conditions that can prevent us from being able to move around easily
later in life. Joint and muscle issues, arthritis, slipped discs in the back, even respiratory problems can all affect
our ability to get around.If you’re struggling cooking, cleaning and caring for yourself, you don’t necessarily
have to give up independent living. But it’s well worth utilising the help that’s out there- meal services for older adults, cleaning services and nurses who can come in regularly to help with personal care are all excellent.
A diagnosis of dementia or similar
If you’ve been given a diagnosis of dementia, it could be worth looking into care options. Care homes such
as Porthaven specialise in dementia care, and so as the condition progresses you can ensure you’re kept safe
and are in the right environment. It can be tough making the call to move to a care home, but it’s better
when it’s your own decision rather than someone else having to make it for you later down the line.
See the move as a new adventure, with plenty of facilities and other people your own age around it can be
a fulfilling way to spend your later years.
Do you struggle with asking for, or accepting help? What advice would you give to older adults in this situation?
This is a collaborative post.