This week’s blog is by guest writer Beverly Nelson of Stand up for Caregivers, a website that aims to protect and advocate for the health and well-being of adult caregivers. The blog provides a number of links to websites offering resources for those caring for seniors. Note that some of the websites, while providing useful information, also include advertisements for paid resources. The Urban Appalachian Community Coalition does not endorse these businesses. We instead recommend that you begin your search with local nonprofit resources, which include Cincinnati Council on Aging, Episcopal Retirement Services, and the Caregivers Assistance Network, among others. Additionally, Core Member Pauletta Hansel and colleague Annette Januzzi Wick offer Caring for the Caregiver, quarterly free reflective supportive online writing experiences sponsored by Giving Voice Foundation and 55 North, formerly Hyde Park Center for Older Adults; both organizations offer many other resources as well. We thank Beverly for bringing this important topic to our blog.
Getting older isn’t easy, especially when you don’t have family around to provide assistance. Many seniors in the Appalachian community are on their own. Want to reach out and offer some support? There are many ways to help your senior neighbors navigate the challenges of aging, regardless of your skills, availability, or budget. Check out the following tips from Stand Up for Caregivers to learn how you can support the seniors in your community!
Offer Assistance with Care Decisions
Making long-term care decisions can be tough for seniors without relatives living nearby to offer advice. Offer to do some research and make suggestions!
- Look out for signs that a senior may need to consider moving into assisted living.
- Help them plan how they’re going to pay for assisted living or home care assistance.
- For example, you can show them how to calculate their home sale proceeds as one way to fund assisted living
- Help seniors evaluate their care options, from independent living communities to nursing homes.
Help with Daily Tasks
Seniors tend to need help with a few common tasks, often related to mobility, transportation, and personal care.
- Help seniors explore their home mobility options, like wheelchair ramps and shower chairs.
- If they need help with bathing or dressing, suggest hiring an in-home care aid.
- Offer to meal prep for a senior and fill their freezer with oven-ready dinners.
Encourage Seniors to Stay Social
Loneliness and isolation can lead to a variety of negative health effects for seniors. Help the seniors in your community stay active and engaged.
- Show seniors how to use video chat tools to connect with loved ones who live far away.
- Research events in the Appalachian Community.
- Encourage seniors to volunteer in the community.
Compassionate community members make it possible for seniors to age in place, even if they don’t have family living nearby to lend a hand. Strong communities thrive on mutual support systems. Look out for your neighbors and they will do the same for you! Beverly Nelson works as an office manager and is the primary caregiver to her 83-year-old mother. She created Stand Up for Caregivers to provide as many resources as possible to help caregivers access the support they need.
Cover photo: Pexels