Understanding the Risks When Providing Activities for Seniors
Seniors need different activities during these later stages of their lives, since they no longer receive enough mental, emotional, social and physical stimulation. You need to be aware of the potential risks and threats too, since these individuals are no longer as strong as they used to be. Knowing the dangers can help you devise more effective and safe strategies.
Senior citizens are particularly prone to accidents since they can no longer fully support bodily functions as they used to when they were still young. Old men and women can be vulnerable to falls, as their sense of balance and overall bodily strength and stability are not as capable as before. One of the most useful approaches you can do is to elder-proof your home. You have to install safety items that will make the environment more conducive to move around in.
Install rails on the walls, especially near steps and stairs. The floor has to have good traction when the elders are stepping on it to avoid slips and falls. You may have to move seniors to the lower floors so that they no longer need to climb up and down the stairs. During the night, lights have to be kept on, just in case seniors need to go to the bathroom and kitchen. There should be floor mats and other drying materials to avoid wet and slippery floors.
The immune system of seniors also becomes compromised as they grow older, so they become more vulnerable to a variety of diseases. They can get health problems by maintaining contact with others that have conditions like tuberculosis, pneumonia, infections, etc. You can keep them safe from others when doing activities in groups by providing the right tools like masks, gloves and giving them enough supplementation.
Make sure that the senior is taking in enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals to fight off bacteria, viruses and other invaders. Older individuals get to enjoy activities with friends and providers more if they stay protected from possible diseases.
Risk for Activity Intolerance
Seniors no longer have the same strength, conditioning and endurance as before which makes it very important for you to do an overall physical assessment first, with the aid of a physician. This will ensure that you are only offering activities that are suitable to the patient’s age and physical capacity. Listen to the senior’s verbalizations and observe the responses when doing activities so you can determine whether to increase or reduce the intensity and duration.
Risk for Isolation
When providing activities for seniors, always give praise and compliment them for small accomplishments to encourage independence. Most seniors still long for the feeling of being able to do things on their own. There are talk therapies, physical therapies and other rehabilitative methods that can help them attend to activities of daily living without any problem. Be patient and listen to their concerns and sentiments, since older individuals who develop low self-esteem tend to isolate themselves from others.