Making Hobbies Accessible to the Homebound
As they grow older, many seniors become less and less mobile due to medical conditions or the frailties associated with aging. While these seniors may be less able than they were before, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have fewer interests or desires to engage in activities that once fulfilled them.
A Homebound Aging Population
As of 2010, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there were “more than 38.9 million people over the age of 65 in the United States. Up to 3.6 million of these people are considered housebound and in need of home-based care.”
The article went on to say that while the definition of homebound varies somewhat, it has “a broad range of disability levels” and “it is evident that people who are homebound suffer from a multitude of medical and psychiatric illnesses.”
Given this, it’s no surprise that there aren’t any across-the-board recommendations for how to help homebound seniors. However, many of them are receiving elderly care in the form of in-home care, judging from a National Association for Home Care & Hospice fact sheet that cited 12 million individuals as receiving it in 2010.
Helping Seniors Stay Active and Happy
Unfortunately, being homebound often means losing out on social activities that seniors used to count on. It may also mean an inability to engage in exercise, do crafts, read a range of literature or access materials for other hobbies. If your elderly parent or aging relative is homebound, however, you can help them stay plugged into their hobbies.
First, it is helpful to have a talk with the senior. What do they miss? What do they wish they could do? Is it possible for you to help them access materials, supplies, books, exercise equipment or other things that might help them live more happily?
Second, talk to the home health aide, if you have one. Often times the people providing home care will be happy to help seniors get set up with activities, assist with physical therapy or find supplies. This type of senior care is not only professional and reliable, it can make the senior’s life a whole lot happier.
What Can You Do?
In addition to enlisting the help of a home care provider, you might also see what you and other adult children can take on for the benefit of the homebound senior. Perhaps you can make a weekly or monthly date to engage in a certain craft activity.
Maybe you can drop off and pick up library books, to keep your relative’s reading schedule full. And although they are housebound and cannot get out themselves, you always have the option of taking them places with you, such as to family functions or your kids’ school events. Look for little ways to help that don’t take much time, and you’ll probably make a big difference.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in the New Haven Area, please call and speak to the caring staff at Talem Home Care. Call today at (203) 590-9099.