Age affects everyone differently, and for many elderly people the pace of life can slow down a little when you reach your golden years. As a result, some everyday tasks that become more difficult as you get older. Some elderly relatives may experience one or several of these difficulties, whilst others may not suffer at all or have more specific issues with daily activities. But to raise your awareness with the types of challenges that elderly people face, here are 5 everyday tasks that many struggle with.
From big shops to trips to the local convenience store for milk, shopping can be a difficult task for many elderly people, especially those who suffer with limited mobility or dementia. Meanwhile, essential visits to the doctors, hairdressers and bank can be a daunting challenge. Not only do they physically need to get from A to B, but when they get there the obstacles of finding the right groceries, dealing with busy traffic and queues, can be exhausting and overwhelming for some.
If your elderly relative is letting their house slip below their usual standards, this doesn’t mean they’re getting lazy. Housework is not an enjoyable task, but for older people it can actually pose a real physical challenge. Sometimes, deterioration in your relative’s eyesight may mean that they haven’t actually noticed the dust and dirt. There are many reasons why cleaning is one of the biggest everyday tasks that elderly people struggle with.
3. Personal Hygiene
A somewhat embarrassing subject for many, personal hygiene is something very private but very important. Getting washed and dressed in a morning can take hours for someone whose health or mobility is deteriorating. So if your relative is looking a little unkempt, it may be a sign that they are finding personal hygiene a challenge for some reason.
Poor eyesight and unsteady hands, not to mention memory loss or dementia, can make staying on top of household admin an almost impossible task. You might be able to open, read and respond to letters within a few minutes, but don’t take it for granted that your relative still can.
Cooking can be a difficult, as well as a potentially dangerous task for elderly people, depending on their condition. Where dementia is concerned, cooking can be unsafe in case they lose track of their activity and wander off to do something else. This doesn’t mean that they necessarily need to go into a care home, but you or a local service can take care of meals so that they don’t have to. It is about supporting them to stay in their own home with as much independence as possible.
Understanding the challenges that elderly people can face is one of the first steps to helping your relatives to live a happier, easier and more comfortable life. If you notice that someone close to you is struggling with one of these everyday tasks, then you should look to options such as helping them out regularly, or enlisting home care, to help them stay on top of their independence.
Article writte by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam is a freelance word wizard, who often writes for Locala HomeCare.