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How do we age with empowerment?

Aging is a natural progression of life. It is a rite of passage. As people grow older their physical strength deteriorates and their mental stability can change. With age progression, various medical issues begin to appear. Some common ailments are: high and low blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, arthritis, cancer, joint pains, bladder and kidney infections, as well as lung and breathing issues. Unfortunately, these physical changes begin the process of seniors feeling a loss of power.

Seniors can also suffer from cognitive challenges. Memory changes are the most common. However, there can be serious personality changes. With these changes seniors can need extra care and attention. Many times families do not notice these changes or ignore them because of guilt or their own fear of the loss of their loved one. They will leave them alone thinking this is empowering the senior.

But, when seniors with declining health are left unattended, many are gripped with overwhelming feelings of dejection and purposelessness. Some of them can even turn violent.

Cognitive, along with physical changes, make staying alone in the home an unhealthy and dangerous environment for a senior. Through no fault of their own, seniors can become a fall risk, a wander risk, make mistakes with their medication, and be a danger to themselves and possibly others. For many people, providing full care and attention to the senior is not possible due to work or family obligations.

Seniors desire a life with good health, dignity, respect and comfort. They long for care, love and affection.

Lending a little extra emotional support while still remembering and treating them as adults will also help keep them happy. Understanding these needs and concerns will ensure their good health. This is where a good caregiver can help.

Nadine Glatley is owner of Rent-A-Daughter in Beachwood.

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