I think we all agree that the largest and saddest problem among seniors is isolation. In fact, studies and surveys alike indicate that the number one reason seniors live longer is socialization. Humans are social beings and the need to interact with others is fundamental. Whether a senior lives alone, or in a senior housing apartment, they spend most of their time alone. Some may not want to “bother” their families or neighbors by asking for help or company. Rest Homes, or Senior Residences, have daily programs to appeal to residents’ social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and physical wellbeing. Those are the essential components of Wellness. Fun is something everyone needs. Humor is ageless and all can benefit from a funny movie, story, game, or song.
Proper nutrition is essential to one’s health. When a person ages and may live alone, the desire to cook, especially for one, usually decreases, and shopping for groceries can become difficult for many reasons. Special diets also need to be considered and can be hard to follow or understand (diabetes, salt restrictions, allergies, etc.) At Brookhouse Home, with the help of a registered dietitian, we pay attention to a healthy, balanced diet for everyone.
3. Medication Management
As people age, memory problems and some confusion can be common. Remembering to take the right dose of medication at the right day and time is crucial to maintaining good health and managing certain health conditions. Living in a setting where you do not have to think about ordering your meds, keeping track of when to take them and monitoring reactions is a huge benefit.
When an older person lives alone, especially if family is not near, often their home is not well suited for safety. Using an elevator instead of stairs, having grab bars in the shower, taking away scatter rugs and electrical cords that are unsafe, accessing the laundry which may currently be in the basement – these are just a few of the reasons a Rest Home is a safer option. Falls are the number one reason a senior is admitted to the hospital and often a fall results in major, life changing injuries. A rest home such as Brookhouse Home’s primary focus is safety of the residents. There is no longer a risk of leaving the stove on, or eating something with an expired date, or running out of water, or forgetting to order oil for the furnace, etc.
5. Care and Hygeine
One factor that worries families and concerns seniors themselves are daily tasks of including hair care, clothes washing, housekeeping and feeling and looking tidy. There is an amazing amount of improvement in these areas when someone is living in a semi-assisted setting and looking and feeling better, and brighter, is key to staving off depression and sadness in the elderly. The older generations of women have always remained very particular about their clothing and enjoy presenting well. There is a great deal of information that affirms that feeling good about ourselves does not have an age limit.
– Judy Kane is the Administrator of the Brookhouse Home for Women.