Our seniors are a wealth of information and sound advice!
So, why do they make these 5 easy-to-avoid healthcare mistakes?
The Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging recently held its Wellness Expo at the Great Northern Mall and McGregor PACE was proud to take part in the action. In addition to offering entertainment and educational opportunities throughout the event, the organization offers health screenings to assist seniors in staying on track with their physical maintenance. McGregor PACE is always looking to extend the amount of time seniors can remain independent and healthy enough to stay in their own homes, so health screenings are important to us. But, screenings aren’t enough. Seniors and their families need to know what to do and what to avoid in order to be healthy.
1. They value form over function.
Vanity is a deadly sin, but it’s one that many of us are guilty of. With that said, seniors who value looks over practical health accessories like glasses and hearing aids are doing themselves a grave disservice. Seniors often refuse to use canes and other walking assistants because they feel they make them look old or weak. The truth is that not using these aids can result in falls, accidents, and broken bones, and potentially lead to more health issues down the road.
2. They don’t pay attention to the signs.
“Maybe you should get that checked out?” Seniors hear this often around the house, and there could be a reason. Elders often tell their families about symptoms, but when the family suggests getting help, they refuse, saying they’ll wait and see how things work out. Most larger health issues start out small and develop over time, and early intervention is key to stopping them in their tracks. If there is a symptom, they should get it checked out before it’s too late!
3. They don’t believe in asking for help.
The “back-in-my-day” discussions never get old, do they? Walking uphill both ways to school and playing football with no pads on are favorite stories our seniors enjoy telling the willing ear. Unfortunately, “back in my day, we did it on our own” is a story we hear far too often. The old way of handling health issues was to keep it to yourself and never show weakness. Unfortunately, doing so completely cuts loved ones out of the picture and makes it impossible for them to help. Seniors should change the narrative and get help when they need it.
4. They don’t participate in preventative programs.
Just because they’ve never had a flu shot and they have survived doesn’t mean they don’t need one now. Shots, breast and prostate exams, and routine checkups are all examples of preventative procedures that gain value with age. Just because they didn’t do it at 40 or 50 doesn’t mean they should avoid it at 60 or 70. And, if they wait until they have pneumonia to get help instead of getting the shot that could’ve lessened its effect, they’ve waited too long.
5. They figure they’ll remember when it’s time to take their meds.
It’s hard enough to keep up with birthdays, social events, and doctor appointments without worrying about which medicines to take and what time they need to take them. That’s why having a medication calendar and a pillbox that is separated by day and time of day is so important.
If you need help talking to your parent or senior family member about the importance of these issues, you aren’t alone! That’s why McGregor PACE is always here to help you navigate the waters of tough conversations and to help by offering screenings and advice as part of our program! Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help make taking care of your senior easier.