Independence is among the most valuable virtues for a senior. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, almost 90 percent of seniors prefer to age in their own place instead of moving to assisted living or a retirement home. In 2010, 11.3 million older adults chose the independent lifestyle, and the number has grown significantly ever since. But living on your own often risks making you become isolated: the lack of social activities and direct contact with others prompts the elderly to become shut-in, further accelerating their separation from the outside world. This downward spiral must be broken in one way or another. Friends and family members should keep in touch with their beloved elderly regularly, but there are other means to look after them.
Employing a Caregiver
A long distance is often the reason why relatives withhold their visits for only special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. But the truth is the elderly need a healthy dose of social interaction on a daily basis. Unfortunately seniors often won’t admit this fact and try to justify their reclusive lifestyle with an array of excuses. Hiring a nurse or caregiver to check on your aging relative could break their hermit-like way of life. Even if they don’t actually need any assistance with their everyday tasks or to get by, they’ll grow to enjoy the presence of someone who listens to them. Knowing that the caregiver will visit them from time to time lifts a senior’s spirit and the good mood prevents them from being depressed. Additionally, the hired caregiver will notice if their health or hygiene levels suddenly drop.
Using Medical Alert Monitoring
Medical alert systems are famous for safeguarding the well-being of older people using them, but the latest advancements in this field have pushed the possibilities even further. Medical Guardian has introduced their newest addition to their system, promising family members a way to monitor the senior’s life in a non-intrusive way. The Family Guardian system presents several sensors that can be placed at key locations in the house. For example, the magnetic door sensor registers every instance the door is opened, while the activity sensor detects movement in a room. Setting them up in the kitchen and sticking a door sensor on the refrigerator indicates how often the resident cooks. All feedback is then accessible from a smartphone app so that if you pick up on a sudden drop in the senior’s activity then you know it’s time to check in on them.
Just Give Them a Call!
This may seem obvious, but the rush of everyday life can often make you forget even this basic interaction. Calling your elderly relative just to say ‘hi’ is a small token of appreciation that could mean the whole world to them. It doesn’t need to be long, the intention is all that matters. Consider setting up a reminder in your smartphone. And with the rising number of tech savvy seniors there are other options as well, such as chatting on Facebook or initiating a Skype conversation. It doesn’t matter how, the only thing that matters is that they hear from you.