Read Previous ABC Blogs – A & B Accessibility & Balance

C, D, & E – Community, Decision Making, & Emotional Well-Being

F is for Finances and G is for Guardianship

H is for Healthcare, I is for Independence, and J is for Joy

K is for Knowledge and L is for Legacy

M is for Medication Management

Medication management becomes crucial for seniors due to several age-related changes and factors. Keeping track of multiple medications, their dosages, and schedules can get complex.

If you’ve recently been enlisted to help manage your loved one’s medication schedule, here’s what I always recommend to my clients to make sure we’re as organized as possible:

  • Create a full list of medications, including supplements and over-the-counter pills. Share this with doctors and pharmacists to check for interactions.
  • Use pill organizers, labeled containers, or even smartphone reminder apps can be invaluable to avoid mix-ups.
  • Ask the doctor or pharmacist to explain each medication’s purpose, dosage, and potential side effects. Don’t be afraid to raise any concerns.

Ensuring seniors take the right medications at the correct dosage significantly improves management of chronic conditions and overall health. Good medication management helps seniors stay healthy and reduce avoidable hospital visits, allowing them to live independently longer.

N is for Nutrition

Good nutrition is essential for everyone’s health; this is especially true for seniors. But did you know that a third of adults 65 and over who live at home eat too much, and 10% eat too little? You might think that those in some kind of managed care fare better, but over half of adults in hospitals and nursing homes are malnourished.

The good news is that there are ways to support healthy eating in your aging loved one.

  • First, address any challenges you observe. Make note of issues like difficulty chewing, lack of appetite, or challenges with cooking, and work together to find solutions.
  • Focus on enjoyment. Prioritize fresh, appealing foods and try to make mealtimes a pleasurable experience.
  • Outside help: If cooking is too taxing, services like Meals on Wheels provide nutritious options. There are also resources like the USDA’s good packages through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. CSFP is designed to supplement the diets of low-income seniors 60 and older.
  • Exploring personal chefs: For customized meals, a personal chef can be a great option. They can prepare meals for the week, tailored to specific dietary needs and preferences. This supports independence while prioritizing nutritional health.

Important note: Always consult a healthcare professional before making major dietary changes or starting new supplements.
These practical steps contribute significantly to overall well-being. Don’t hesitate to seek help from our team to navigate medication management and nutritional needs. These are both highly individualized care needs, and your loved one deserves support and care tailored to their specific needs.

O is for Organization

A well-organized home is not just about aesthetics; it’s key to creating a safe and secure living environment. Unfortunately, thanks to the slings and arrows of aging, combating clutter becomes more difficult with each passing year.

There are many reasons for this. Throughout our lives, we tend to accumulate possessions. As years go by, these items can pile up, leading to an environment that feels haphazard and chaotic.

Keeping up with cleaning and organizing chores becomes more challenging as our mobility and general health changes. This can make it difficult to sort through belongings and get rid of unwanted items. Declining cognition, too, makes the act of organization feel especially challenging.

If you have a loved one whose home is starting to feel a little crowded, this is your sign to initiate a little spring cleaning initiative. By minimizing clutter, maximizing accessibility, and promoting a safety-conscious atmosphere, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and emergencies in your loved one’s home.

Not sure where to begin? If you’re tackling this project yourself, keep these tips in mind:

  • Start small: Tackling one room or area at a time prevents feeling overwhelmed.
  • Sorting and prioritizing: Categorize items as “keep,” “donate,” “discard,” or “unsure.” Focus on essentials and items that bring joy.
  • Storage solutions: Utilize clear bins, labels, accessible shelving, and creative storage ideas to maximize space and make things easy to find.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please reach out. As an Aging Life Care Manager®, I have trusted, professional decluttering specialists I can refer you to.

P is for Physical Activity

Staying physically active is crucial for every senior’s health. But, as you may already know, it can be challenging to motivate your loved one some days. If this is something you’ve encountered, know that you’re in good company.

There are a few reasons for this. Changes in mobility can be very demotivating 一 at any age. Decreased strength, flexibility, and endurance can make physical activity more challenging and less enjoyable. Pain or discomfort from chronic conditions like arthritis, joint pain, or back problems can further hinder participation in physical activities.

There are psychological barriers, too. Decreased confidence in physical abilities plays a bigger role than many of us realize, too. Fear of falling or injuring oneself almost rank high up on the list of reasons that seniors resist getting active.

Despite all this, the emotional and physical benefits of an active lifestyle are impossible to ignore. As an Aging Life Care Manager®, I’ve learned that the key to helping your loved one discover an activity that’s right for them is to focus on what’s enjoyable and achievable.

  • Low-impact options: Walking, water aerobics, chair yoga, and tai chi offer great benefits.
  • Balance and strength training: Simple exercises can be done at home to improve balance and prevent falls.
  • Home modifications: Adapt activities to current fitness levels and any limitations. Consult with a physical therapist or fitness professional for personalized guidance.

Staying active – even in small ways – enhances overall well-being for adults of any age. Once you find an activity that your loved one can look forward to, establishing a routine that includes stretching, walking, and light exercise is usually much easier for everyone.

Read the next blog here: Q is for Quality of Life, R is for Resilience, S is for Safety