There’s often a focus on the physical needs of seniors, especially among family caregivers who may be providing some type of assistance. This is understandable, since older adults sometimes have a variety of physical care needs that have to be met, but it’s just as important to be mindful of the psychological needs of seniors. Here are five of them that are especially essential.
1. Social Interaction
Getting older sometimes means living with physical limitations and other circumstances that can affect the ability to socialize and interact. This is an important psychological need, since a lack of social interaction can contribute to loneliness, depression, and other mental health issues that could affect quality of life, both mentally and physically. Needs of this nature can be addressed by:
• Exploring options with senior transportation services to make getting around easier
• Planning cooking parties, game nights, or other social events that can be held in your aging loved one’s home
• Using remote technology to help your loved one stay connected
2. Security & Safety
Not feeling personally secure and safe can contribute to fear, anxiety, and other issues that can take an emotional toll on seniors. Ease such concerns by assuring your loved one he or she is safe, especially if your parent has issues such as dementia that affect personal perception. Taking steps to create a living environment that’s comfortable, secure, and safe at all times is essential, especially if your loved one has fears about falling or navigating the home.
For many seniors in Palm Desert, CA, 24-hour care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
Seniors need to feel like someone cares, which is why another essential psychological need for older adults is attention. It’s a need that can easily be met by doing things like fully paying attention to your loved one while providing care and showing genuine interest when you ask how he or she is feeling.
A home caregiver can provide your loved one with the companionship and one-on-one attention he or she needs. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Palm Desert families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
4. A Sense of Purpose
More often than not, older adults reach a point where they don’t feel a true sense of purpose anymore. Lingering feelings like this can contribute to depression and mood shifts that can be harmful to both physical and mental health. While every situation is different, seniors may be able to achieve a sense of purpose by:
• Helping others by volunteering or mentoring
• Doing activities that support worthwhile charities or causes
• Exploring meaningful hobbies or activities with purpose, such as gardening
• Interacting more with grandchildren
• Being encouraged to share life stories and memories
5. Independence & Respect
The emotional benefits of being an adult fully capable of making decisions shouldn’t be taken for granted. While there are times when family caregivers need to be more involved in decision-making for a senior loved one’s own good, independence should still be maintained as much as possible. A related need is respect, which includes honoring a loved one’s right to have a say in things that involve him or her. Respect also extends to personal privacy. Psychological needs of this nature can often be met by:
• Providing only the level of assistance that’s needed
• Asking for your loved one’s opinion as often as possible, even about minor things like what he or she prefers for dinner
• Giving your loved one privacy when it’s safe to do so
• Respecting sound decisions your loved one makes even if you don’t agree with them
When considering homecare, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (760) 345-0001.