Self Care

Up Against the Sands of Time: 5 Tasks That Might Get Difficult In Old Age

difficult old age: 5 women sitting on a bench and one in a mobility chair outdoors.

It can creep up on you. Your joints get stiff, your memory may get a little fuzzy, your energy isn’t quite where it used to be. Things can suddenly take a lot longer to do. You may find yourself more in need of a support network. There is help available when things get difficult in old age.

Mobility

Getting around is not as easy as it used to be. You have to plan your journey, and you have to think with letting others know where and when you are going and when to expect you. Mobility is something you can handle, but it needs a little thought.

A number of conditions can contribute to difficulty in mobility. This can range from arthritis to hip trouble, old injuries, etc. Age by itself and the wear and tear that is attendant on growing older can be enough to make moving around hard.

Some people opt for mobility scooters, others need wheelchairs or walkers. The technology is always advancing, and getting a hip or knee replacement can sometimes handle the issue. Mobility isn’t even necessarily about going anywhere – how do you get around your house? Is it accessible, and are there handrails where you need them?

Maintaining some level of activity is going to help with your mobility when it becomes difficult in old age. Some light exercise, even walking, is going to keep you moving and prevent joints seizing up or getting totally out of shape. Some independent senior centers will be able to offer helpful advice with this.

Medication

Aging brings with it complications that you may have observed in some of your older relatives, but somehow never thought of in relation to yourself. One body condition may lead to another as parts just seem to wear out, and your body may need some help regulating the processes that were once automatically managed.

You need to make sure that you are taking your medication regularly, and that you are taking the right amount. Mixing it up can prove not just upsetting but actually harmful to your health. And in the worse cases it can even be life-threatening.

A lot of people will use a dosset box so that they can sort the pills by time and day and amount. It is a great system where at a glance you can see what pills you need to take and whether you missed a dose.

All these little systems are not hard to set up, but it might also help to have someone who checks in with you to make sure you haven’t forgotten. Even a dosset box isn’t going to remedy the problem if you forget to ever look at it. There are many things that can help when life gets more difficult in old age, but one still has to remember to do them.

Transportation

You may be able to rely some of the time upon the kindness of relatives, but it is understandable if you are not always wanting to impose on them, and you wish to seek out other solutions.

Transportation is not entirely disconnected to mobility issues and may be affected by your mobility needs.

Thankfully there are usually local facilities set up in most places that understand the difficulties of getting around when moving around becomes more difficult in old age. A lot of places offer free or reduced travel for seniors. Most public transport is designed for easy access, so mobility issues shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Some churches and social clubs will provide transport for the elderly. This is simply because they understand the importance for seniors, who may live fairly isolated lives throughout the week, to socialize.

Access to your own vehicle may not be possible when you hit a certain age. Mobility issues and eyesight issues, and other health complications can make the whole driving experience a challenge.

Personal Care

A number of factors can contribute to someone not being able to care for themselves properly anymore. Of course, there are a number of different conditions that one is more likely to suffer from when they reach a certain age. Old age can, of course, present challenges in and of itself. Frailty and less energy and strength are not uncommon.

These problems can be exacerbated by loneliness and depression. Elderly people can find themselves feeling isolated if their family move away, or if their friends have passed on. It makes socialization even more important because people can sometimes fail to see the point of making an effort to look after themselves.

A solution that a lot of people choose is to have the help that comes in to take some of the burdens. Moving into an assisted facility is also a very popular way of replacing a support network that may no longer be able to provide the amount of care necessary.

If the desire is there, often the ability is not. It can sometimes take the intervention of a loved one to see that a person is failing to cope, as some people may be reluctant to disclose it themselves.

Nutrition

Anyone who has lived alone knows that it can be hard to motivate oneself to cook for themselves.

When the person lives as part of a couple, perhaps one of them is more able than the other. But the strain placed upon the able partner gives them less time to look after themselves.

Some people may not have correctly estimated the amount they needed to live on when they retire. And they may not have the means to afford good nutrition.

There is also the fact that people may be continuing lifelong bad habits of not eating properly. Failing to understand its increased importance as they age, maybe doing worse merely because of this. Thankfully it is never too late to learn.

The social aspect of eating can not be underestimated, and a  lot of places that provide the chance to gather socially will also provide food. It is a vital aspect of some cultures and multiple generations of families eat together. This whole social structure, replaced by social clubs and church gatherings, can often be enough to ensure that someone’s nutrition improves.

Conclusion

With preparation, any of the eventualities of aging can be handled. The fact that everyone will experience them, and there are people who understand the needs of the elderly, means that anything that becomes difficult in old age already has a solution in place. Failure to utilize them usually rest solely upon the fact that the individual is unaware of the available resources. This can be easily remedied.

 

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