Why ADLs Are Essential for Your Aging Parent

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Reasons Activities of Daily Living Are Essential for Your Senior Parent in Oshkosh, WI

The activities of daily living (ADLs) are the essential tasks people complete each day to maintain healthy lives. As they get older, it may become increasingly challenging for seniors to handle these important daily tasks, and they may need assistance with completing the activities of daily living on their own. Learn more about ADLs and why they’re so essential for your aging loved one’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Eating

At its most basic level, this fundamental ADL involves being able to feed yourself, chew, and swallow food. More broadly, it includes being able to prepare nutritious meals and snacks for yourself. Proper nutrition is essential for seniors to prevent a variety of health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Aging adults with mobility limitations or chronic health issues may have difficulty with this ADL, and family caregivers can help their loved ones by taking care of grocery shopping and preparing meals their loved ones can store in the fridge or freezer and reheat later. 

Helping your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals is one of the many types of support an in-home caregiver can provide. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Oshkosh, WI, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Dressing

In addition to being able to put clothes on and take them off, dressing involves choosing clothing that’s appropriate for the current weather conditions and anticipated daily activities. Aging adults should be able to manage zippers, buttons, and other kinds of clothing fasteners without assistance. If you see your parent start to wear the same items of clothing for several days, it may be due to a decrease in his or her dexterity and flexibility. If your loved one has these types of issues, he or she can benefit from clothing options that are easier to manage, such as slip-on shoes, pants with elastic waistbands instead of zippers, and shirts with magnetic closures instead of buttons. Elderly people with serious balance or coordination challenges may need additional assistance with dressing themselves.

Bathing

Personal hygiene is vital for a senior’s health. Regularly bathing and maintaining good hygiene habits (including nail and hair hygiene) are essential for aging adults to avoid a variety of health issues, such as skin infections. If your parent is failing to practice good bathing and hygiene habits, consult his or her physician to determine if there’s a physical cause. If your loved one is concerned about falling in the bathroom, consider hiring a professional caregiver to help your loved one bathe, wash his or her hair, and get in and out of the tub or shower safely. 

When considering at-home care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

Continence

An independent senior should be able to control his or her bowels and bladder. It’s not uncommon for an aging adult to experience occasional incontinence, but it must be addressed so it doesn’t become a serious health issue that could impact a senior’s ability to age in place. Although incontinence can be a sensitive topic, it’s essential to address it with your loved one. If your senior parent is experiencing regular incontinence, he or she may need assistance with staying clean and changing his or her clothes after accidents.

Toileting

Being able to use the bathroom without help is one of the most essential ADLs. Aging adults should be able to get to the toilet, use it, and clean themselves after they use it. Bathrooms can be hazardous and challenging to navigate for seniors, and your loved one may need assistance to use the restroom safely. If your parent is nervous about going to the bathroom alone, requires help to get up and down from the toilet safely, or needs to go often, consider hiring a caregiver to provide the support your loved one needs. 

Mobility

Being mobile means a senior is able to get out of bed on his or own and begin the day without a great deal of difficulty. Essentially, your loved one should be able to get around the home without needing constant physical assistance. When your loved one is mobile, he or she is better able to preserve his or her strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Whether your parent is able to ambulate independently or needs the assistance of a mobility aid, such as a walker or cane, he or she should remain as mobile as possible. 

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Oshkosh, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (920) 216-6276 today. 

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