By Camille Johnson
image from Unsplash
In 2016, one in four older Australians lived alone. This is just one of many indications of a growing epidemic of loneliness among seniors. With limited or no friends and family nearby, basic survival and emotional support needs become difficult. If you’re looking to empower your senior through everyday life challenges, here are some helpful tips and advice, courtesy of Our Lady and St John the Baptist RC Church.
Use Ageing-in-Place Strategies
There’s no place quite like home - so why not make your senior’s home as comfortable as possible? This will also support ageing in place.
● Senior-friendly home updates: Get a general contractor to swing by their place and take care of issues such as lighting, installing a stairlift, and updating counter and seating heights.
● Bathroom updates: Installing features such as handrails or a built-in shower area will support ageing-in-place, ensuring a safer environment for your senior.
● Area Agencies on Ageing: This organisation helps people live in their homes for as long as possible and will be an excellent resource for your senior.
● Finances: Help your senior navigate and organise their finances by teaching them the process of combining PDF files. That way, they don’t have to worry about misplacing important documents and can have everything available in a single convenient file.
Managing Health Needs
Next on the list is to manage your seniors’ health needs. Here’s how you can help:
● In-home care: If your senior struggles with mobility and forgets to take medication, consider in-home care to help them out.
● Prioritise mental health: Mental well-being is as critical as physical health. Be sure to look up Medicare coverage for senior mental health resources.
● Decision making: Help them make better choices by calmly evaluating their circumstances.
Once your senior’s home and health are sorted, try to get them engaging with the community more. Following are resources they can use for social support:
● Senior centre: Senior centres offer a variety of drop-in activities and group trips your loved one can partake in.
● Park district: You can expect to find local health fairs, senior-specific programs, and socialisation time in your local park district.
● Local financial planning office: Seniors are often victims of financial abuse. Set your loved one up with consultations on retirement planning, Medicare, and Power of Attorney.
The ageing process comes with its fair share of health-related issues and chronic illnesses. In addition, alienation and loneliness is a growing issue in the senior community. Help your loved senior out by supporting them through living alone - from a distance.