It can be an incredible lifestyle shift to begin taking care of a loved one as they get older. Depending on their health, you may need to make big changes in your life and home to make sure they have the care and help they need to thrive. You have a great part to play in ensuring their quality of life. From caretaking to dental assistance, your help is not to be overlooked. In extreme cases, you may be the only assistance they have access to. It’s important for you to be educated about situations that may arise, and to have the resources and capabilities to assist your elderly loved ones. Whether it’s your parents, an aunt or uncle, or even a neighbor or dear friend, you can be the person they rely on to make the later years of their life the happiest yet.
Plenty of people know that as you get older you may end up needing dentures. But that’s typically where common knowledge ends. Dentures are a big part of getting older, and they need proper care and attention just like real teeth do–maybe even more. By learning about denture care, you can help ensure the comfort of your loved one. After all, there’s nothing quite as bad as acute mouth pain. Here are some basics you should know about dentures.
Dentures that don’t fit well can cause painful sores on the tongue and gums. These sores can sometimes even get infected, which can lead to difficulty talking and eating. Getting a new set of dentures or having dental implants may require multiple visits to the dentist for adjustments. This shouldn’t lead to discouragement. Multiple adjustments for new dentures is normal and to be expected. A liquid diet of smoothies and soups can help with discomfort during the adjustment period. It is important to scrub the dentures daily so bacteria buildup does not contribute to infection and sores. It may be helpful to remove the dentures for four hours a day. This allows the gums to heal and helps alleviate inflammation. Just be sure the dentures are placed in a denture solution so they do not lose their shape. Lastly, a drastic change in weight can affect the fit of dentures. An adjustment appointment may need to be scheduled in the case of significant weight gain or loss. With this knowledge at hand, you have the tools to make sure your loved one is comfortable with their smile. Hopefully, this means more smiles will abound.
Update Your Home
If your loved one is moving in with you, it is imperative that your living situation be compatible with their needs. If your home has stairs, you will want to make sure you have a place for them on the ground level in case they lose the ability to walk up stairs. Even if they can now, they may not be able to in a number of years. The ground floor should ideally include a bedroom, full bathroom, kitchen, and possible entertainment area so your loved one has everything they need all in one place without climbing stairs. This diminishes the possibility of a bad fall and keeps them safe and sound. If there are steps leading into the house, consider putting in a ramp or creating a new pathway to get around regular stair-stepping. A sturdy and level pathway is best for wheelchairs and walkers. Hanging plants can create more room for walking space. Another update you need to think about is your bathroom. If you don’t have a handicap accessible tub or shower, you will need to put one in as soon as possible. Read walk in tubs reviews to find what’s right for you and your family’s situation. A tub with jets might help with arthritis, while handrails will help guard against a slippery fall. These options are available to you for the comfort and safety of your loved one. Additionally, a taller toilet might prove helpful to someone with limited mobility. There should be plenty of room in the bathroom for a cane, walker, or wheelchair. This includes the space between the toilet and the sink. Without this space, you risk the likelihood of a bathroom that is too small to get into. You want your living space to be as accessible as possible and ready for every circumstance.
Temporary Care Facilities
Maybe you are struggling to make ends meet between work, children, and caring for an elderly loved one. It’s perfectly all right to ask for help. While caregiving is a rewarding experience, it can also be incredibly challenging to juggle along with all of the other bits and pieces life throws at you. A respite care facility, like Morris Hall in Lawrenceville, NJ, might be exactly what you need. This type of facility provides you short-term relief from caregiving. It gives you a chance to rest and gives your loved one a chance to get out there and meet new people while also receiving the care they need. By sharing your caregiving responsibilities with healthcare professionals, you will have time to recuperate and get back to giving them the care they need without burning yourself out at the same time. Your loved one needs you healthy and happy in order to ensure their health and happiness. There is no shame in sharing the load; all you have to do is ask.
If you do not have the means to care for your elderly loved one in your own home, you may want to consider setting them up in a senior living community. These facilities tend to be low-maintenance, which means there will be little to no time spent fixing or repairing an individual’s living space. This leaves room for an active lifestyle and plenty of socialization time with other seniors. Socialization is a huge benefit to living in a retirement or senior living community, like the lifestyle villages in Melbourne. Studies show that older people who lead social and active lifestyles end up with less stress and anxiety, greater self-esteem, and a longer lifespan than those who are isolated during assisted living years. This is why finding opportunities and encouraging socialization should be a priority for caregivers. Even those with mobility difficulties, cognitive decline, and physical ailments should have an element of socialization in their lives. Isolation for these types of reasons can lead to more isolation and further difficulties, resulting in a dreadful cycle. In a retirement community, your loved one will have the opportunity to organize events, practice and cultivate hobbies, and even polish up their sense of purpose to give them a longer, happier, healthier life.
There tends to be a lack of respect for the elderly in our current society. The world seems to forget its wisest, most experienced citizens were once young and in their prime too. In fact, the help and love you can give to your elders may make all the difference in how much longer they can share their wisdom with you and the rest of your family. By paying attention to them, getting them the care they need, and encouraging them to pursue new interactions and activities, you can help foster a global community who appreciates what older people have been through. Then, perhaps, they won’t need to live the ends of their lives hidden away and lonely. These steps are a good way to begin to show your elderly loved one you care about them and want to see them thrive.