Staying active is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many adults slow down significantly as they age which can negatively impact both the body and the mind. If you have an aging loved one, you may be considering ways to help him or her live a healthier life. In-home care services may be the answer. The goals of home health care services are to help elderly individuals improve function, maintain greater independence, and avoid hospitalization or admission into long-term care institutions. Learn more about how an in-care agency can offer ADL activities for improved health.
What are ADL Activities?
Activities of daily living (ADLs) are a series of basic activities that are performed on a daily basis by individuals living independently at home or in assisted-living communities. ADL activities can be broken down into five main categories. These include:
- Personal hygiene – Bathing/showering, oral care, grooming, and nail care
- Continence – Physical and mental capacity to use the toilet
- Dressing – Ability to make appropriate clothing decisions and dress/undress
- Eating – Ability to feed oneself (may or may not be able to prepare food
- Mobility/transferring – Getting in and out of bed, moving from a seated to a standing position, and walking independently from one place to another
If a person requires support with one or more ADL activities, he or she may be a good candidate for in-home care services. Some individuals who do not need help with activities of daily living may also benefit from having a health aide stop in to provide regular assistance with various tasks, such as food prep, transportation, and help with simple chores. Individuals with certain health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or other dementia, can also benefit from help from an in-home care agency.
What are the Benefits of Staying at Home?
It can be challenging for families of aging loved ones to make the decision between staying at home and moving to a nursing facility. For individuals who wish to stay in the comfort of their own home, in-home care services can be a blessing. There are many benefits of caring for the elderly in their own home, such as:
- Ability to maintain a sense of independence
- Freedom from the strict schedules at most nursing facilities
- Comfort of staying in a familiar place
- Ability to keep personal possessions
- Flexibility to continue with personal habits and routines
- Less expensive than most nursing facilities
- Healthier environment with fewer illnesses and disease
- Ability to receive specialized care for conditions like Alzheimer’s
One of the biggest benefits of working with an in-home care agency relates to your loved one’s overall well-being. In-home care services are custom tailored to the individual’s unique needs. This means that patients are able to maintain a higher level of living which can boost happiness and extend a person’s lifespan. Living at home also encourages the elderly to continue caring for themselves whenever possible which keeps them active and motivated to live well.
What Activities Can Improve Health?
The primary goal of ADL activities is to keep aging individuals active and healthy, both mentally and physically. There are many ways to achieve this, including through traditional exercise and physical activity. Exercise has been proven beneficial in older individuals by reducing the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, obesity, and breast cancer. Remaining active and flexible can also help decrease the risk of fall-related injuries. Like most people, the elderly also need motivation to keep active and engaged in daily activities.
When encouraging older individuals to exercise, it is important to remind them of the benefits of staying active. Regular physical activity can help increase their endurance, balance, muscle strength, and flexibility. It can be helpful to develop a realistic exercise plan and set goals. If the individual is new to exercise, it is important to start slow. Walking and light yoga can be great beginner activities that adults can do at their own pace. Staying active with friends or family can also be advantageous. Not only is the elderly individual remaining active, he or she is also engaging in social activities.
An in-home care agency can also help with your loved one’s nutritional needs. Older adults often develop poor eating habits in their later years. This is often related to a decreased sense of taste and smell, depression, or teeth problems. Aging individuals may also have trouble getting to and from the grocery store, or may have difficulty preparing or cooking food. However, eating healthy is more important than ever as you age. While energy levels may decrease with age, the elderly require more of certain vitamins and minerals after age 50, such as calcium and vitamins B6, B12, and D.
Maintaining good nutrition has a direct impact on health and well-being, but it is not always possible for some elderly individuals to get the nutrition they need through food alone. That is where supplements may come in handy. An in-home care agency can help ensure that your loved one is receiving the nutrition he or she needs by suggesting nutritional supplements or multivitamins to fill in the nutritional gaps. Our home health aides can also encourage your loved one to engage in mental activities for increased brain health. Playing games, listening to music, and similar activities can help keep the mind sharp and reduce the risk of declined cognitive abilities.
Contact an In-Home Care Agency
There will likely come a time when you feel your aging loved one needs help from a trained health professional. An in-home care agency can provide your elderly family member with the services needed to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle while remaining at home. With the help of certified and trained home health aides, your loved one will receive assistance with ADL activities, in addition to other services such as food prep, transportation to and from appointments, and light cleaning. For more information about how in-home care activities can improve the health of elderly individuals, contact the in-home caregivers at Comfort Home Care.