The official blog of the Lung Institute.
For those of us with aging parents or even grandparents that we see often or live with, the idea of senior independence has a distinct meaning. While some seniors are able to continue with their household chores and run their own personal errands, this is not the case for all seniors. Many need help managing their activities and assistance in completing their everyday tasks. Someone coined the phrase, “asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it just means that you’re not in it alone.” This sentiment describes senior independence very well. With February being Senior Independence Living Month, what can you do to help a senior in your life live an independent lifestyle?
Arranging the Home for a Senior
Here are some small things that you can do to better arrange your home or a home for someone you care for:
- Organize the Kitchen. There are always a few go to items in the kitchen that most people use regularly. Try placing these items in a place that’s easy to reach and is accessible without much effort. If you or someone you care for uses heavy items in the kitchen, like a skillet or large pot regularly, then store them somewhere on the same level as the cooking surface. Having to constantly lift or lower heavy objects is asking for unneeded troubles.
- Keep Walkways Clear. Check the hallways, stairways and the general walkways throughout the home and make sure they are clear of clutter. No one likes to take a stumble while walking throughout the home. This is especially a problem for shoes. When entering the home, people love to toss their shoes off and start relaxing as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this usually ends up with the shoes scattered across the walkway. Being cautious about where you place your shoes can save you or a loved one from a dangerous fall.
- Danger Test the Bathroom. Most slips and falls for seniors happen in the bathroom, and for good reason, the combination of slick tile or linoleum flooring and water is a disaster in disguise. In the shower, make sure there is an anti-slip floor matt. Also, look into getting some runners for the floor just outside of the shower and in front of the sink.
Another major point for seniors to maintain their independence is exercise. A quick walk around the neighborhood or a nearby park can make a huge difference in both physical and mental shape. Habits are good, but when we get stuck in a specific mindset or physical state for too long, we start to have muscular and brain atrophy. Spending some time outdoors or with the daily crossword puzzle can be a great aid to ward these off.
Not all seniors need help in maintaining an independence lifestyle, but for those that do, they often look to their family for help. If you or a loved one needs help treating a debilitating lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease (ILD), the Lung Institute is here to answer your questions. Contact one of our patient coordinators at (800) 729-3065 to find out more about stem cell treatments for lung disease.