Check in on your loved ones

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-Being - SUE BUCKLE

While vis­it­ing your el­derly rel­a­tives or friends, it’s im­por­tant to take note of any changes in well-be­ing or liv­ing stan­dards. A messy house, empty fridge or poor hy­giene are all in­di­ca­tions that they may be strug­gling and could need sup­port.

Home mod­i­fi­ca­tions

Mo­bil­ity can de­cline as peo­ple age, and chronic con­di­tions such as arthri­tis, or in­juries and ill­nesses can make nav­i­gat­ing the home chal­leng­ing.

Take note of any parts of the home that may be caus­ing dif­fi­culty such as stairs, an el­e­vated shower or the back­yard.

Mod­i­fi­ca­tions can be made to aid safety such as safety switches and han­dles, or in­stalling a walk-in shower or a chair lift to re­place the stairs.

Fi­nance man­age­ment

Keep an eye out for any signs of dis­ar­ray in keep­ing up to date with bills and fi­nances. Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment web­site Money Smart pro­vides ideas and ser­vices for man­ag­ing ex­pen­di­ture in older age.

It also con­tains in­for­ma­tion on how to ac­cess sup­port ser­vices to make everyday tasks, such as pay­ing the bills, a bit eas­ier.

Keep­ing the fridge stocked

Check­ing the fridge is a great way to as­sess the daily liv­ing stan­dard of your loved one. Phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions may pre­vent them from ac­cess­ing the shops or their abil­ity to pre­pare a healthy meal. It may be an in­di­ca­tion that they need some in-home sup­port to achieve these daily tasks.

Men­tal well­be­ing

Be­yond­Blue re­ports that iso­la­tion is a grow­ing is­sue in older Aus­tralians. The hol­i­day pe­riod can be a par­tic­u­larly lonely time for the el­derly: friends and neigh­bours go away, doc­tors and com­mu­nity cen­tres close, and the heat may make it dif­fi­cult to leave the house.

Sit­ting down to have a chat with your loved one to dis­cuss how they’re cop­ing can be the most ef­fec­tive way to alleviate their feel­ings of lone­li­ness.

Phys­i­cal and men­tal changes are part of get­ting older, but there are many sup­port ser­vices that can make day to day liv­ing that lit­tle bit eas­ier. Paired with the sup­port of fam­ily and friends, your loved one can con­tinue to live in their home in­de­pen­dently for many years to come.

Give us a call at Just Bet­ter Care on 9484 8788 to find out how we can as­sist you to sup­port your loved ones to live hap­pily at home.

Sue Buckle is a reg­is­tered nurse and is the Di­rec­tor of Just Bet­ter Care Hills Dis­trict

Reg­u­lar check­ing of el­der loved ones is im­por­tant for ev­ery­one’s well-be­ing

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