Why is it better for an elderly person to live at home and have a family member or friend assist them with their needs inside their home or apartment?
A home is a place of comfort, security, and privacy. It is one of the most challenging decisions a person may have to make in their lifetime to move in with a relative or to move into a senior living facility. Logic often takes a backseat to emotion for families facing this challenge. While it’s sad to say, aging can cause our muscles to weaken, our bones to get brittle, our reaction times to slow, our vision to fail, and our balance to be off, putting us at risk for accidents, especially at home. Not to mention that falls, and medication errors are two of the most significant risks for seniors.
According to a report, about half of all falls requiring hospitalization in the U.S. occur at home. The National Institutes of Health study results showed that 40 percent of older adults take five or more prescription drugs, and 90 percent take at least one. But 55 percent of senior citizens do not take their medications as prescribed. Senior nutrition can be challenging.
As we age, the body wants more nutrients; our metabolism slows, our palates change, drugs can lead to taste changes, and chronic health conditions can influence appetite and require special dietary considerations. But why bother? If you live alone, eating frozen dinners is easier, explaining why many senior citizens show signs of malnutrition.
Approximately $51.3 billion is spent annually in the United States on the problem of senior malnutrition. We sometimes need to see things from another perspective. The same is true when it comes to our health. A person you live with may notice signs and symptoms of illness that you do not or choose to ignore.
A good example would be Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is reported that in the U.S., every 65 seconds, one person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and this disease affects one out of every ten people age 65 and older. It is, however, a disease that tends to progress slowly, so you might think it is just age-related forgetfulness at first. In light of that second perspective, an early diagnosis is crucial since treatments are available to slow symptoms and improve quality of life even though there is no cure.