Living in a Retirement Community

Life in a Retirement Community

An article by Ms.Gita Ravi – A Resident of Covai S3 Senior Care Centre

We living in COVAICARE have access to most of these facilities mentioned below and more. Staying in independent villas, we are a pampered lot. We have many health talks from time to time on various health issues elders may face, entertainments organised for us, and, common dining facilities with nutritious food, we also have a Music Corner where elders who are musically inclined gather and sing away without a care, and residents gather to listen. There are people like me who smile and walk away not fully realizing for now that old age is slowly catching up the only consolation being nobody rich or poor can escape this phase of life. Youngsters who work in India and abroad spend quality time with their loved ones when they come on holidays and go back satisfied with the feeling of a holiday well spent,  happy to witness the quality of life their parents are leading.

Besides, all this there is one more thing I have no mention. It is really a pleasure to die here that sometimes I get tempted to drop dead. Col. Sridharan will make sure he attends and stay till the very end of the most important day in our life where for once we don’t have to pretend to be in a mood we are not in. We just have to lie back and relax while people are at our service. God what luxury, he and his team make our departure so enjoyable that we are tempted to raise and shine again but Col makes sure we don’t, by attending the cremation, waiting for us to turn to dust so that by any chance we don’t come back and disturb him again.

 Having said all this, few tips for my friends who are not fortunate enough to live in COVAICARE. Of course, these points are not from my scatter brain.

The most important part of caring for the elderly is to love them and keep them active. There are many different ways to care for the elderly, whether by caring for them in the comfort of their own homes, bringing them to your home or moving them to a senior centre. With time and little hard work you can properly care for your loved one by following a few steps.

1. Plan Ahead:

Many children will eventually need to provide care for their parents. Planning ahead can help solve some of the issues before the situation becomes a last-minute emergency (for example caused by sudden illness or injury). Use technology, make the home safe for elderly and anticipate the expenses of providing care in advance.

  • Be sure that you’re ready for an emergency. This includes having an emergency plan in place, posting emergency phone numbers, and preparing a home first aid kit.
  • There are many technologies available which can help track of the elderly, making sure that they are moving around and thus safe and are talking and are taking their medications. For example there are GPS trackers and medicine boxes that light up when medicines need to be taken. This helps allow them to stay in their homes for longer.
  • Grab bars in showers and toilets.
  • Caring for elderly can be quite expensive. Do your research in advance and explore your options and potential grants that night benefit your loved ones.

2. Keep your loved ones active:

  • Exercise can help protect older people from disease and reduce their functional age by 10 or 15 years. It can even result on big health benefits for those who have been sedentary for many years. It can delay the need for care and keep them away from disease for longer.
  • It is recommended that elderly people do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (running, swimming, walking, biking) five times a week. They should also perform exercises for flexibility (stretching, yoga, tai chi) got at least 20 mins every day.
  • Those who are unable to exercise independently can still benefit from being active. Passive Range of Motion (POM) exercises can help elderly people maintain joint mobility.

3. Keep an eye on their physical and mental health:

If he/she has pains or medical issues, take them to the doctor..If pains/medical issues are severe enough, it is imperative that you get medical help right away.

  • Watch out for sign of weakness, extra forgetfulness, lack of direction or other unsteadiness.
  • Mental health is often overlooked but it is an important part of caring for an elderly person.  Keep an eye out for depression such as lack of interest, listlessness or deep feelings of sadness or anger. This can be very difficult time for elderly people so make sure to monitor their mental well-being as well as their physical health.

4. Speak to your loved one’s pharmacist:

  • The elderly maybe prescribed different drugs by different doctors and only the pharmacist will know all the medications your loved one is taking. Make friends with them and speak to them regarding possible side effects and interactions.

5. Get help with driving:

  • The idea of stopping driving can cause a lot of anger and resentment for an elderly person. Remember that being able to drive is an important component of maintaining independence and it can be difficult to accept that they are no longer fit.

6. Discuss Finances:

  • Speak to your loved ones regarding their finances and possible insurance plans for long-term care.
  • The elderly are particularly vulnerable to scams so make sure to discuss these and protect them. Get a credit report check at least once a year to make sure no one has stolen his or her identity.

7. Discuss legal issues:

Find out about their legal attorney; help them with writing a will and health care proxy documents.

  • If your loved ones have not obtained these documents, help him or her to create them.
  • Determine what sort of care your loved one wants and doesn’t want if they become unable to speak or communicate. Legal documents called “advance directives ” specify this-including whether or not to use dialysis  and breathing machines, tube feeding, or to resuscitate in case if cardiac arrest.

8. Consider a home caregiver to help elderly person:

  • This will solve the physical difficulties of caring for your loved one. A home caregiver can help the person accomplish whatever they need and take a lot of burden off the family members. They can also help the elderly person to maintain some independence by keeping them in their homes.

 

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