Elderly problems can involve a sudden need for elder caregivers or other help …Either from an outside source such as a senior home care service, or assisted living facilities. Or perhaps you. Are you ready?

But how do you really know if there’s a real problem. Or if it’s just normal aging? Our loved ones often exhibit unspoken signs of problems when they need help. Little clues.

And in helping with my Dad, I learned that those little clues can be very subtle. So I had to be very attentive. Yet not try to read too much into anything. It can be a real challenge.

Some of the most common clues that I’ve learned about that point to a need for elderly assistance are listed below. Some are more serious and will need to involve senior home care or elderly long-term care. Most seniors will eventually show some of these signs and elderly issues as they age.

If you notice any, talk openly with your elderly parent or loved one or consult a professional to work with you. And above all, do not try to do or figure out everything by yourself.

Being the list type of person that I am, that is my first reaction to any challenge or crisis. Make a list. Or many.

During my Dad’s time first in assisted living and then after he moved in with me, I have observed or experienced many elderly problems that need consideration. Maybe these lists will help you too.

Important Elderly Problems

Physical Clues

  • Noticeable change in weight (gain or loss).
  • Trouble getting out of a chair.
  • Tripping.
  • Complaints of dizziness.
  • Walking with unsteadiness.
  • Overly tired.
  • Incontinence odors (urine).
  • Overly thirsty.
  • Cannot see or read even with corrective lenses.
  • Constantly asking you to speak louder.
  • Asking the same questions too frequently.
  • Too many of the so-called senior moments.

Behavioral Clues

  • Odors from food spoilage.
  • Piles of dirty laundry.
  • Personal hygiene habits have changed.
  • Neatness or cleanliness of the home has changed.
  • The yard has become unkept.
  • Not enough food in the fridge.
  • Medications are not being taken correctly.
  • Getting lost in familiar places.
  • Stacks of unopened mail.
  • Bills are consistently not being paid.
  • Missing appointments.
  • Evidence of safety problems (ex. burns in clothing or cookware).

Elderly Depression Clues

  • Ceased socializing with other seniors or friends.
  • Very little contact with family members.
  • Not interested in conversation.
  • House is kept dark, including in the day.
  • Shade and curtains remain drawn.
  • Disinterest in senior activities previously enjoyed.
  • Sleeping more.
  • Weeping for no apparent reason.
  • Talk of wanting to end it all.

Some of these signs may actually be symptoms of the onset of dementia or Alzheimers. Or depression. It is vital that elderly people receive support as soon as possible. Caring for the elderly can be challenging.

But you need not be alone. There are many local, state and national public benefits with elderly assistance that can help you. And there may come a time when you need to consider whether your loved one needs home healthcare — read about caregiver duties; vs. long term care.

Assessing signs of elderly problems is a serious matter. Make sure you get professional help to pinpoint the real underlying elderly issues, and to help you and your loved one makes decisions about senior home care or possible elderly long-term care needs.

Be sure to also read:

Care of Elderly – Don’t Be Overwhelmed — Care of elderly calls for careful planning. But what steps do you take? Learn to make your best personalized plan.
Care For Elderly In Home – Tips and Ideas — Care for elderly in home takes a lot of planning, whether a loved one is staying in their own home or moving in with someone else (perhaps you). Great tips and ideas – including having some fun!
Fundamentals of Caregiving — Information about typical caregiving, provided by either a senior home care service, assisted living, or nursing homes, even if temporarily. What to expect, what to ask caregivers, and possible sharing of caregiver duties.

to Elderly Health Care Issues

When I started taking care of Dad (he was 93 1/2) I was aware that falls in elderly are the main reason for accidents for those age 65 and over. And it became my primary concern when he moved in with me. Especially since he was almost deaf and blind with macular generation.

Dad was proud too, as many seniors are. He exercised twice a day (only appropriate exercises for the elderly) was fully ambulatory, not even needing a cane. And wanted to keep it that way. So did I — yet we had to be careful. I did not want a literal outplaying of “pride goeth before the fall”!

Our Story

Then one day when Dad was almost 97, it happened. Out of the blue. He fell. By this time he was using a cane. He was in his bedroom, and I was in the next room. It was afternoon and he was going to lay down for his nap. I heard a big “boom” and went running in. He was sitting on the floor by the wall and said he was fine.

I checked him and he seemed OK, no apparent signs of concussion. When I asked, he said he didn’t know what happened — he “just fell.” But being rather limber, he got right up and had no hurts or injuries whatsoever. We thought. I take my caregiver duties very seriously and was alarmed out of my wits. I called the doctor and we went right in. I also wanted to talk about stroke symptoms.

The doctor did not think he had a concussion. She wanted to do a brain scan anyway, common with falls in elderly. She said if I heard a big boom, chances are he had banged his head. And may have bleeding in the brain. If so, I would have to make an immediate decision.

Either take him to the hospital that very afternoon to have a hole drilled into his skull and the blood drained out (which he may not survive); or if we did not choose that, to let her know right away. Because he would die. And we’d have to prepare ourselves fast.

I was in shock. Because of Dad’s deafness, he was not fully comprehending this. She told me not to feel responsible, that such falls in elderly can happen anywhere not just at home, even in a facility with full nursing staff all around. (The doctor later believed he may have had a mini-stroke that can cause elderly falls).

And if everything was OK, the doctor said Dad was still better off living with me at home. And I’d dealt with the important safety issues that could affect him. Thankfully, the scan showed everything was OK. But it was a very sobering few hours.

Especially since the next day I was going to the funeral of my very good friend’s mother. Who had just died. From bleeding in the brain. From tripping and falling off the step on her shuttle bus. She had seemed perfectly fine, they took her to ER, she went unconscious, and died within three days. There was nothing the doctors could do.

We know that falls in elderly can abruptly change one’s quality of life. Sometimes it can be a matter or life — or not.

Sobering Facts

We’re all familiar with a medical alert system for getting help, and basic prevention methods for falls. But falls in the elderly has still continued to be one of the most persistent problems. And expensive. It’s been estimated that one in three American seniors over age 65 falls. Of those, at least 30% require treatment.

Statistics to verify this are there, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Council on Aging, but not exactly accurate, since many falls in the elderly are not reported. Nor do our older loved ones always go to the doctor or hospital.

A common and serious result of falls is hip fracture. An estimated 25% percentage of hip fractures result in death. (My own doctor advised me that elderly usually don’t fall and break a hip; the frail hip breaks and then they fall. Especially in women.)

More than half are sent to nursing homes, sometimes permanently. Several professionals at local nursing homes that we interviewed did agree that one of the biggest reasons for admission is due to falls in elderly. Falling happens more frequently to women.

The CDC has estimated that deaths caused by falls in elderly in the U.S. have increased by 39% from 1999 to 2005. It also estimates about $19 billion are spent annually for treatment of these incidents and resulting elderly problems. Since most of this is paid by Medicare, it has become a major issue for the system. If falls in elderly continue at the same rate, it is projected that by 2020 costs will be over $43 billion.

These are sobering findings. There is good news, though. Much has been done to discover the cause of, and therefore prevent falls in elderly. Studies by the CDC and various medical researchers indicate the main causes of falling. And I had had many discussions with Dad’s doctor and my medical friends. Let’s take a look at some of these causes.

Causes of Falling

Physical Issues

As we know, normal aging causes many physical elderly issues that contribute to falling. Many of these, however, can be controlled. Dad’s doctor went over some of the most common physical issues causing falls in elderly with us:

  • Vision and hearing impairment, as with Dad
  • Dementia (which I think Dad was developing at the time)
  • Problems with feet
  • Arthritis
  • Imbalance, dizziness, irregular gait (Dad’s gait had changed)
  • Problems transferring (to and from bed, chair, toilet, etc.)
  • Not using a cane or walker when needed (Dad now does)
  • Epilepsy and other disorders of central nervous system
  • Osteoporosis; weak bone mass
  • Muscle weakness
  • Chronic health conditions (incontinence, heart problems, high blood pressure)
  • Medications, including over-the-counter

Environmental Issues

The environment is a huge factor in causing falls in elderly, yet most of them could have be eliminated ahead of time; or at least later. So it is very important to check your home or that of your loved one. We had thoroughly prepared our home for Dad, yet it did happen anyway. Here are some of the most common problems in one’s surroundings:

  • Poor lighting (both indoor and outdoor), especially if the person has vision issues like the common macular degeneration 
  • Pets getting in the way
  • Uneven floors, patios, sidewalks (had to repair our sidewalk and driveway)
  • Rugs and carpet (low nap is best); smooth slippery floors, such as some vinyl and wooden floors
  • Things out of place; clutter around
  • Extension cords in the way
  • Broken or unstable furniture
  • Lack of railings and/or grip bars (we installed several)
  • Weather conditions such as snow, ice, even rain – best to remain at home inside

Falls in elderly can be decreased and controlled a great deal just by dealing with the possible issues above. (See our page on Care For Elderly In Home – Tips and Ideas). But it won’t be totally perfect, as we certainly found out. When you read our page, I’m sure you’ll have your own ideas to add too.

The bottom line is, the more cleared out, simplified and clearly marked the environment is, the better. And couple that with plenty of sturdy and supportive areas to grab and hold on to — around furniture, stairs, and transfer areas particularly.

If basic measures are taken, plus awareness about changing physical health and needs, then a great deal of the risk factors for falls in elderly will be eliminated.

Most falls in elderly, although they may require treatment, do not necessarily result in death. Severity of injury varies. But those who have had a fall are frequently afraid of it happening again in the future.

And statistically, it does happen again.
But sometimes elderly become, then, overly cautious and dependent out of fear, with lessened quality of life. If we use common sense, awareness, and moderation, many of these elderly problems can be prevented. But perhaps never perfect.

Also make sure to read:

Care of Elderly – Don’t Be Overwhelmed — Care of elderly can seem overwhelming sometimes, as well as rewarding. Learn the specifics on what to do.

to Elderly Health Care

There are many public benefits available for elderly assistance at both the national and state levels, and often local. Many of these will provide temporary financial help.

You will be familiar with some, but you may not be aware of how many more programs could be available at your state and local level. Local organizations in your town can help with elderly issues.

First Steps for Elderly Assistance

Where to begin?
You can always start by contacting your local senior center. Or, you may be already dealing with a health care provider or medical social worker because of current elderly problems with health.

Be sure to explain in detail all of the needs you anticipate to this valuable contact person. She/he may have all kinds of information to help you with, after understanding your specific needs. Also contact your church. There are often staff or volunteers who assist with elderly issues.

We also have a separate page on More Temporary Financial Help ideas for further state, county, city and private sources — elderly assistance programs that help with the basics for food, medical, housing, temporary financial help, and in many other areas. Some of them involve an application process, sometimes complicated, so you or your elderly loved one may need help with that.

Elderly assistance programs usually require preparing your personal and financial information in advance. When you make an appointment to apply for benefits and elderly services, they will notify you of which documents you will need to bring. And be sure you ask!

Common items you may be asked for:

    ___Two forms of ID, including drivers license or state ID card.
    ___Birth certificate.
    ___Marriage license.
    ___Legal change of name documents.
    ___Spouse’s death certificate.
    ___Social Security card.
    ___Veteran’s information incl. discharge papers.
    ___If employed, proof of employment including pay stubs.
    ___Other social services you receive, i.e. Food Stamps.
    ___One to three months’ of certain utility bills.
    ___Previous year’s tax forms.
    ___Proof of monthly income, and from where.
    ___Current balances in checking and savings accounts.
    ___One to three months of statements for bank accounts.
    ___All balances for IRA, pension, other retirement accounts.
    ___Other investment information.
    ___List and documentation of all assets.

Most likely you will not need all of them.
Again, be sure you ask!

Elderly Assistance Organizations

Many of these elderly assistance organizations have national, state, even local offices. It is always best, of course, to deal with the office in your state. The way states administrate programs can differ. Here are some general resources:

Social Security.
As a primary part of elderly assistance, most elderly people and their families are familiar with Social Security benefits. Starting at age 62, you are eligible to receive monthly income based on you or your spouse’s work history (whichever amount in higher), having paid the Social Security retirement tax for at least 10 years. Sometimes benefits can be paid to other family members. There are many details to understanding and calculating Social Security benefits. Call 1-800-772-1213, or visit their web site at: www.ssa.gov.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This elderly assistance program is available to those over age 65; disabled and blind may also qualify. It pays monthly benefits. You may be able to receive both Social Security and SSI. See Social Security contacts above.

Medical Benefits

There are several medical benefits available on both the federal and state levels. You will be familiar with most, and it is best to visit their web sites directly or call, as guidelines do change. Here is a list of possibilities:

  • Medicare — Medicare national health insurance program for those over age 65, and sometimes for younger people who have disabilities. There are several “Parts” to Medicare and it can be confusing. The Medicare web site is thorough, and you can begin to apply 3 months before you reach age 65. However, it is best to ask for professional advice. Often your local senior center can set you up with someone. Or call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227, or visit their web site at: www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicaid — This is a federal program for those with limited income and assets run by the individual states so requirements differ. Call your State Medical Assistance office, or Medicaid services at 1-800-638-6833, or visit the Medicaid web site.
  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) — A federal program also run by the state, providing counseling and help to Medicare recipients and their families. Their web site at www.shiptalk.org. will help you find an office in your state and what your state offers. Or call Medicare at 1-800- 633-4227.
  • Consolidated Health Centers — These Health Centers are federally funded and offer comprehensive primary and preventive health care, plus many social services, to those who are medically unserved and underserved, such as low income, uninsured, homeless, those in public housing, migrant and seasonal workers, etc. Services are offered to all residents in that area regardless of ability to pay. Speak with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or call 301-594-4300 for more information.
  • Area Agencies On Aging (AAAs) — These agencies were established under the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965 are affiliated with the State Agencies on Aging specifically to help the elders age 60 and over and their families. There may be several such agencies within a given state. Services vary widely according to local budgets and resources. Your state may also have a Board On Aging. You can look up these agencies by searching for your State, and then Area Agencies On Aging.

Veteran’s Assistance
If you or your loved one was a veteran, you may qualify for many additional elderly assistance benefits, including health care, disability, pharmacy, burial benefits, life insurance. Call 1-800-827-1000; or visit the web site at: www.va.gov.

Food Stamps
This is a valuable program for elderly assistance, and is through the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). As of 2008 it has been re-named “SNAP” — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Individual states may use a different name. Affording food is one of the basic elderly issues. This program can help you with temporary financial help for food.

If you qualify, you will be given a special debit care for buying groceries. Most grocery stores participate, as well as Meals on Wheels and some senior centers. You must qualify to participate, and your resources may not have to include your home, car, or some retirement accounts (IRA, Keogh, 401k).

This is run by the state, so check the State listings in blue government section of your phone book. Or visit the usda.gov/snap web site.

Legal Aid
There are Legal Aid Societies in all states that provide elderly assistance. They are further broken down by city, county, or region. Legal Aid is staffed by professional, licensed attorneys and paralegals to specifically help those with lower incomes.

Legal Aid can help in a variety of matters such as simply explaining your responsibilities and rights under current law about certain issues. Other areas include helping with debt, landlords, utilities, elderly abuse, being sued, employment issues.

Since these are local offices, check your phone book, call your Attorney General’s office, or ask your senior center.

The Centers for Independent Living (CIL):
A program in many states that provide many services for independent living, such as information and referrals; training for independent living skills; counseling; advocacy; community; planning; and recreational events. Services differ with each state. Contact your state, or get general information at the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), which particularly helps those with disabilities.

Free Tax Help
This important elderly assistance service is also provided on a local basis, and may be available from a variety of sources. Many churches and senior centers offer help. (Our local senior center provides free tax advice by a professional).

More…
It is always smart to start by inquiring with your senior center or church. Your City Hall may provide information as well. Some states and counties have organizations such as Community Action Councils. Your county may something similar — providing free meals, clothing banks, counseling, and various types of financial help.

For more state, county, city and private sources, see our page at More Temporary Financial Help.



Home

The hand reflexology chart has proven to be very handy to me recently. Some years ago I took a class in hand reflex points and basic hand massage, as well as foot reflexology. It was very effective for using on both myself and my kids.

Then recently when the local visiting nurse came to her twice-monthly meeting with Dad and me, lo and behold, she brought us the wonderful gift of hand massage, along with her own hand massage chart. And it was very similar to mine.
(See the charts below).

If you study this art, you will find that there are several versions of the hand reflexology chart. So this is not meant to be a diagnostic tool or cure, but to offer a soothing method of stress relief, and perhaps some healing, to you and the person you care for. It is a wonderful addition to senior and elderly activities. And a comforting enhancement to elderly health care.

The areas designated on my charts are general. If you massage a particular place in a general way, you will most likely be quite effective in targeting the area you want.

About Hand Reflexology

As with foot reflexology, there is a correlation between parts of the hand, or zones, and various other parts of the body, as shown in the hand reflexology chart (one for the front and back of the hand – see below). These are areas are interconnected through the nervous system, and in Eastern traditions, it is believed they are also connected through energy flow, or chi.

So when you massage a zone in the hand (or foot), you also affect the correlating body area. This is an excellent elderly activity to do with the person you care for. It provides social interaction, gentle touch, and genuine stress relief.

Precautions
There are various elderly issues that we need to be aware of when doing hand massage. My father’s skin, for instance, is very thin and tends to bruise and spot. Others may have sores or broken skin.

Be sure to ask your senior recipient if they have recently had surgery (and avoid massaging those correlating zones), or if they have pain in a given area, or if they’re under any medical restrictions.

Check in with them frequently as to whether they are experiencing any discomfort during the massage. You may need to adjust your pressure. The rule of thumb in all cases is gentleness.

Unless you are a bona fide health practitioner experienced in these techniques and are familiar with a more complex hand reflexology chart, you would be doing this only for its soothing benefits, not to try to induce a healing process – although it could result anyway.

Technique

To help create a relaxing environment, you can first begin by playing calming music and using scented candles or other aromatherapy methods. Then take a look at the hand reflexology chart and discuss with your recipient what you’re going to do, and if they have any special areas to work on.

Elderly usually, though, enjoy having their whole hand massaged, rather than just a particular zone, although you can pay particular attention to it if you know an area needs special attention.

Also ask about their favorite hand lotion, and ask them to bring it to you (if you are in a place where they can get it). Otherwise, bring your own scented lotion. Lavender and vanilla are popular scents, as well as citrus and often coconut. But anything nice will be appreciated.

Put a generous amount of lotion on your hand, and rub them together, coating both of your hands. You will then massage until the lotion has been absorbed by your recipient. A gently rubbing motion is excellent to use with seniors, as perhaps careful pulling. However, deep pressing (as with acupressure) may not be recommended.

Elderly problems that are common include easy bruising and sensitivity to pain. This is not meant to be the type of massage in which you press until pain is felt.

Hand Reflexology Chart

Feel free to print out either hand reflexology chart, above. They are basic and meant to be used for a simple, soothing hand massage. (A professional will have a much more detailed chart). The senior in your life will definitely enjoy and appreciate this activity.

Be sure to also read:

Health, Music and Mood — Is there a correlation between health, music and mood? You may already know that music can make us healthier. Get the amazing scoop on why music and Mozart beat the blues and mend the mind and immunity.

to Elderly Activities

Care for elderly in home takes a lot of planning. Whatever way it happens, it may involve big changes in life style, and it’s best to plan for in advance, if possible.

Care may take place in their own home (perhaps with home healthcare services too), or your elderly loved one may be moving in with someone else (perhaps you). Which was my case. I found that I indeed did need some home services later on.

You cannot do this alone.
It is important to stress right here. Even if you are doing it alone. That was a big mistake I started to make at first. And there are many ways to find support (see below).

The state’s trend in Minnesota, is to encourage care for elderly in home, including with family, for as long as possible. The reasons?

Cost is the first. It is less expensive and therefore seniors do not go through their assets as rapidly, at which point the state would subsidize care. Another is health and well-being. The state is very aware that senior health is much better when living with loved ones, largely due to better nutrition, social interaction, personal supervision, and mental stimulation.

Every situation with care for elderly in home is unique and different. But I learned there are common tips to consider.

First, educate yourself as to the fundamentals of caregiving, and of typical caregiver duties. Some of the preparations must be done before a loved one moves in with you. Or, if they are remaining at home, take action right away. With ta good approach, it’s very possible to care for elderly in home for a long time.

My story – and what I needed to do

…to move my father in with me, from assisted living, and why. He felt that at this time of his life, the most important thing to him was to live with family for as long as possible. Dad has serious vision and hearing loss but is otherwise in very good health. But no matter what the circumstances, care for elderly in home involves many of the same considerations.

As we mentioned in our page on Elderly Help – Making A Plan, there are several categories to consider for your particular situation:

  • Health care
  • Safety
  • Social needs
  • Nutrition
  • Personal needs
  • Daily tasks and housekeeping

When my father and I decided he would move in with me from assisted living, there were several factors I needed to consider. He was in great need of social interaction and activities, and help with daily tasks. Because of his deaf-blind condition, he became somewhat lonely and isolated, although surrounded by lots of people in assisted living. He could only socialize or participate on a limited basis.

I knew that it was of utmost importance to make sure Dad had plenty of social interaction and positive attitude to maintain good memory and mood. This is one of the advantages of care for elderly in home.

Dad was already in very good health, exercised a lot, and had excellent nutrition. (If you’d like elderly nutrition tips, see our page on Elderly Nutrition.) For us, the main issues regarding care for elderly in home were safety, and social and mental stimulation.

Nevertheless, I knew I had to be prepared that anything could change in any area at any time. I had to have a game plan in place. There are many specifics to plan for with care for elderly in home. Some of the situations we had to think through are below.

Planning Care for Elderly In Home

Information

asian female doctor

Emergency and Directions
Care for elderly in home requires detailed information that all involved have access to.

On the fridge, post a sheet of paper with all of the necessary medical information, doctors, hospital, important phone numbers and addresses, who has power of attorney, who are the primary contacts, etc. Also include detailed prescription and medication information and schedule. This was a valuable idea we learned that was mandated at Dad’s former assisted living.

The information is for anyone who may need to help in an emergency. The information should also be given to all appropriate family members or caregivers who will be involved with your loved one.

Make sure power of attorney has been designated, as well as an executor, plus healthcare directives in place. Also it’s ideal to have a letter of instruction, a will, living trust, etc. The appropriate family members or people involved should all be given the same information. 

caregiver with elderly woman with walker

Help and Resources
When you care for elderly in home, you do not need to feel alone. I did lots of research and made a list of various resources in my community  to draw on, should something happen. Some of these may also work for you:

  • Home healthcare services and visiting nurses (quality and reputation will differ).
  • Source or store for independent living aids and assistive devices (a local pharmacy specialized in this).
  • Geriatric case manager, if appropriate (his doctor recommended one, should the need arise).
  • Visiting companion services (I got a referral from church and also the senior living campus down the street).
  • Church contacts (many have a visiting parish nurse or a befriender program).
  • Library visits (local libraries have volunteers for seniors).
  • Help from state blind or deaf organizations, and other appropriate organizations with lots of advice and even free devices and materials — it was wonderful for Dad. They came to visit several times a year with updates.
  • Neighbors, friends or family who can pop in while you’re out.
  • Local small businesses who run errands and help with the elderly may also sit with them while you are out.
  • Who can help if and when you go on vacation.
  • Respite care resources (our senior campuses have a set up for this on-site for up to a week).
  • Adult day care (it may include transportation to and from).
  • Senior transportation.
  • Support groups (for you, if needed).
  • Hospital and hospice (check into these before you need them and while you’re not in a crisis).

This list should include phone numbers, addresses, web site addresses, and contact names. Give this list to all family or others who will be involved.

Health

This is a vast topic. With care for elderly in home, there are a myriad health issues that can come and go, some will be more serious. You must be very knowledgeable about all your loved one’s current health issues, treatments, medications, and what the doctor believes could be expected to occur in the future (if known).

Dad and I determined that as things happened, we would call upon home healthcare when necessary, allowing him to stay living with me as long as possible.

In the meantime, I took precautionary steps for “just in case” scenarios. With care for elderly in home, you never know what can come up. One step was purchasing incontinence products in advance, should that situation occur, and special cleaning products.

Talk to your loved one’s doctor and local pharmacist for guidelines about products, sanitation, assistance, procedures, and other matters. Play out possible scenarios in your mind and how you would handle them. What would you do, at least temporarily, and who would you then go to for help.

Safety Measures

When Dad moved in with me this was very eye-opening. Lots of changes needed to be made for safety. So we discussed planning, crucial communication, what to do when he’d be home alone (which was infrequent and for a very short time), re-vamping areas of the home prone to causing accidents like the bathroom, stairs, bedroom, kitchen, etc. You can find many catalogs and online sites for senior products that offer lots of solutions.

Activities and Keeping Busy

Care for elderly in home also involves fun!
Plan with your loved one about what activities, hobbies, and projects they enjoy, and which chores they can help with to keep busy. This also allows them to feel a sense of contribution. Also ask them which activities they want you to participate in, and which they like to do by themselves.

One of our favorites is me reading aloud to Dad. Each evening I read from a book, and twice a week I read him the local newspaper. A schedule is very important to the elderly (and caregiver), to add structure, continuity and something to look forward to and count on. Within this schedule can be variety or something new and fun. Most elderly need consistent meal and snack times.

My Dad liked to walk. This was difficult during the winter here, and when living with me he no longer had many long halls to walk down, as in assisted living. So his doctor recommended a very simple treadmill. He also walked through our rooms and halls, and went up and down the stairs to exercise with me. (Get exercise ideas on our exercises for the elderly page).

When you go out, decide which outings they can come along on. Especially during inclement weather.

We planned for Dad to accompany me to the grocery store, department stores, or large discount stores, so he could do some walking in the aisles with me. If he got tired, we sat him on a bench or in the in-store coffee area for awhile. We went to church every Sunday as much as possible and if we couldn’t, we watched services on TV.

Your circumstances will be yours. But perhaps these tips and experiences about care for elderly in home will trigger more ideas for you. I can’t stress enough how important careful planning is.

Also of utmost importance is to learn to relax, go with the flow, and accept What Is. You learn to live in the Now, as they say. Especially in their now.

Caregiving involves Care and Giving, two very wonderful words. So relax and enjoy this time with your loved one. You’ll be less stressed. And you will be making very special memories.

And know that you are not alone. There is a wealth of resources available to help with care for elderly in home. Find out about them and get them in place as soon as you can. This will help with your peace of mind, and allow you to also take care of yourself.

Activities Books

Are you looking for lots of ideas for activities and games? Well we have a couple of excellent Kindle books for you! (And you don’t even need a Kindle device — you can just download them to your computer).

senior activities books

“201 Fun Senior Activities” — If you need a comprehensive book with loads of activities, then this is the perfect Kindle book for you! (Kindle books can also be easily be read on your PC without an actual Kindle device.) This book contains lots of new ideas, as well as neatly organized activities from our web site — so you don’t have to search all over. It’s sectioned into handy categories, such as General Activities, Activities for Men, Fun Food Activities, Holiday Activities, Outdoor Activities, Dementia Activities, and much more! Just go to our Kindle page at:

“71 Fun Games for Seniors” — Want some great game ideas? Whether for the whole family, games to do alone, or ideas for activity directors, this Kindle book has load of games! Something for everyone and for just about every occasion. It contains lots of new games, plus many of those mentioned on our web site — all nicely organized so you don’t have to hunt all over. We have Holiday Games, Party Games, Mind Games, Dementia Games, Outdoor Games, and much more. It is thorough! (And you can read a Kindle book on your PC with a free download, without a Kindle device). So check it out on our Kindle page at:

“Fun Party Themes For Seniors” — This is a really comprehensive book for full party planning, including easy and delicious family recipes right from my Dad’s recipe box — he loved to entertain! Even decorating (and some crafts) to follow the party themes. If you don’t have the time or desire to plan everything out, this book will do it. Or if you want a few new ideas, get them here. Take a look on this Kindle page:

Be sure to also read:

Elderly Health Care – Issues and Solutions — Get more tips and insights about various health issues that our elderly face (and that you may too, as a caregiver).


to Care of Elderly