Elderly Care in Matthews, NC
Whether you have just started your elderly care journey with your aging loved ones or you have been caring for them for years already, constantly educating yourself and making sure that you understand what caring for aging adults entails ensures that you remain in control of the care approach and better informed. Part of this is familiarizing yourself with the terms you are likely to hear within the context of your elderly care journey and knowing how they apply to your parents’ care needs. This continued learning helps you better understand what others in the care community mean when they use those terms, and makes it possible to use that knowledge to create an effective and personalized care plan for your seniors.
One such term is functional decline. Used frequently when discussing the effects of aging, “functional decline” refers to the changes within the body that make it more difficult for your parents to keep up with the physical demands of everyday living. As opposed to cognitive decline, which involves the ability to process concepts, come up with solutions, remember things, and understand the need to complete certain tasks, functional decline refers specifically to the body’s physical ability to perform tasks. This can happen for a wide variety of reasons, including simply the natural changes that occur with age.
Some of the characteristics of functional decline include:
• Loss of muscle mass
• Reduced flexibility
• Reduced range of motion
• Increased balance issues
• Reduced strength
• Reduced stamina and endurance
Coping with these reductions in the physical ability to handle daily functions can be stressful on seniors and lead to issues including depression, anxiety, loss of motivation, a sense of helplessness or hopelessness, and even more rapid rate of physical decline as they either push themselves too hard and end up injuring themselves, or give up and become immobile, letting their bodies continue to break down due to inactivity.
Use some of these tips to help your parents cope with functional decline:
• Recognize the signs. Seniors may be unwilling to discuss their changes with you because they worry that it will mean they lose their independence or that they will not be able to continue living the quality of life that they desire. Because many of these changes occur gradually over time, they may not even be aware of their extent themselves. Pay close attention to how your parents behave and function so that you can recognize signs of functional decline. Some of these signs might be increased bruising that could indicate balance issues or diminished strength, inability to perform tasks in the same way they once did, or more frequent requests for assistance with basic activities.
• Stay active. Well some level of functional decline is expected as the body ages, you do not have to just accept it and let your parents’ bodies continue to slowly break down. Instead, encourage them to remain active and engage in activities that support strength, flexibility, balance, and range of motion to keep their bodies healthy and conditioned.
• Get help. Functional decline does mean a change in your parents’ ability to handle certain things, but it does not have to mean a change in your parents’ quality of life or level of activity. Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to find out about hiring an elderly health care services provider who can help your seniors handle tasks, modify tasks to encourage a higher degree of independence, and support healthy activities such as physical exercise and staying socially active for a high quality of life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Matthews, NC, contact Caring at Heart today. Our staff will answer all of your questions about caring for an aging adult. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail. CALL TODAY (704) 837-4564.