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How Seniors With Health Problems Can Live A Quality Life

How Seniors With Health Problems Can Live A Quality Life
Aging brings with it many positive, and some not so positive, aspects. On the one hand, as they age, many individuals look forward to traveling, spending more time with grandchildren, gardening and engaging in other hobbies. However, for some adults getting older means declining health. Arthritis, diabetes, cancer, renal issues and dementia are just a few of the conditions aging individuals must often live with every day. In some cases, seniors with multiple health issues may need 24-hour supervision or assistance with bathing, dressing and meals. Retiree insurance can help to defray some of the costs associated with these services.

Long-term care facilities might not be the solution for every senior who has a chronic condition. In such situations older adults often live with their adult children or other family members. However, those in the household must be aware of the challenges that come with caring for adults with physical or mental ailments. While some of these health issues are treatable, there are challenges when older adults have multiple health problems. The good news is that many of these challenges can be overcome with planning, and accepting the fact that the affected person will require some assistance to live a quality life.

When a senior suffers from an illness that requires medication, it is important that they take the medication as prescribed. For this to occur, others in the household should accompany the individual to medical appointments to ask questions about the medical condition and medications. This is an opportunity to clarify how a medication should be taken and what should happen if the medication causes side effects. Another inquiry that should be made regarding medications is whether there are foods or other substances consumed with the medications, could cause adverse reactions.

Anyone living with a senior who has chronic health issues should make sure that their family member or loved one eats nutritious foods. Consuming a variety of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains will provide essential nutrients that help fight off infections, and fiber that aids in digestion. Low-fat milk and yogurt provide bone building calcium.

It is also important to make sure that the individual consumes enough fluid and watery foods like fruit and healthy soups. Dehydration can occur, even when the person is not thirsty. When an older person is dehydrated, symptoms can include disorientation and rapid heart rate. These symptoms could be mistaken for other conditions.

Living with an older adult who has health issues can cause stress for families. It is important to learn what services are available to help lighten the load. Senior services agencies sometimes offer assistance through paid caregivers or companions. These workers can help with light housework or sit with a family member while family caregivers take a break.

Author is a freelance writer. For more information on Benistar please visit http://www.benistar.org