8 Simple Ideas To Help Seniors Start Off The New Year Right
2021 has been a year of changes. Besides changes in their health status or living conditions, many seniors are faced with the challenges of handling everyday affairs. It is easy to get bogged down with details, a never-ending to-do list, paperwork, and other things that can cause anxiety or fall through the cracks resulting in problems later. Staying on top of things creates peace of mind. As memory or health issues begin to arise, it is common for seniors to sometimes be confused or miss important details.
Here are 8 simple things you can do to help seniors start the year off right. Consider taking a few hours in the month of January to review these areas.
- Review their Medicare/supplemental, prescription, and/or dental insurance for 2022 and make sure they have the correct insurance cards to present to their doctors or pharmacy. If their health status has changed or if they need to set up routine appointments, assist them if needed.
- Review expiration of driver’s licenses, car registrations, auto insurance, family events, or other important dates they should be aware of. Consider providing a calendar if needed with notations so they don’t miss important deadlines or appointments.
- Many seniors will accumulate mail, not knowing whether to toss it or keep it. Offer to help them sort that stack of mail they have accumulated, toss or shred unnecessary items while making sure important ones are filed away correctly. Consider scanning important documents and keeping them on a thumb drive in a safe place in case originals are lost or misplaced.
- Many seniors, especially those with difficulty walking or standing for long periods, may need assistance cleaning out their refrigerator or pantry, taking care to toss expired items. It can also be a good time to share ideas for simple healthy meals including fruits and vegetables that they can prepare. If grocery shopping or planning is difficult for them, there are many local options for shopping and delivery.
- Due to physical limitations, many seniors have difficulty keeping their homes clean, especially the kitchen, bathrooms, floors, and managing laundry. Consider spending a few hours a month to assist with this, or hire a caregiver or cleaning service to help periodically.
- Review precautions with seniors in your family to protect them from scams, phishing, or fraudulent phone calls or emails. These scammers are very good at engaging seniors in conversation and then asking them for personal information or threatening them with the termination of a service or financial issue to get them to release personal information, pay money, or sign up for a service.
Remind seniors that legitimate businesses will not call them to ask for personal information or threaten them in any way. Help them spot spam calls – area codes or numbers they are unfamiliar with. Encourage them to let these calls go to voicemail. If it is a legitimate company the senior does business with, they can call the business back at the verified business number on their statement or account. Be careful using the number left on a phone message if in doubt. Make sure home and cell phone numbers are registered in the Do Not Call Registry at https://www.donotcall.gov/.
- Check-in every week or two to see if your family member has any concerns. Sometimes seniors are hesitant to call family members because they don’t want to complain or inconvenience them. However, most seniors can stay in their homes longer and be independent if they communicate regularly with family members who are willing to offer occasional guidance or assistance. Sometimes just knowing they are not alone can make all the difference in helping a senior life comfortably and confidently.
- Know when to ask for professional help. At Great Life Senior Care LLC, we are passionate about what we do and offer a caring, personal touch. We have carefully selected, highly qualified, warm, and honest caregivers. Great Life Senior Care is ready and able to assist seniors and their families with home care service touching on all facets of daily living. We help our clients remain independent, provide peace of mind for families and loved ones, promote healing and extend life, reduce stress, and keep families together.
Anita White, Contributing Author, Great Life Senior Care, LLC.