Helping your loved ones age in place begins with having basic understanding of their chronic illnesses. It is important to understand chronic illness trajectory because as disease takes its course decline and higher level of care may be inevitable. Aging is not the only factor that determines an elderly person's functional ability. Poorly managed chronic diseases can impair function in the aged person. Poorly managed chronic diseases will result in hospitalization and/or need for other higher level of care which will prevent your loved one from living in their residence.
4 ways to help your senior loved ones age in place
Get a better understanding of your loved ones present illness process and trajectory by speaking with their health care provider. Knowing what to expect will help you prepare for decline.
Medication adherence is key! Taking medication as prescribed helps manage and keep disease under control. This will minimize exacerbations and the need for higher level of care.
Help your senior loved one follow up routinely with their health care provider. Often, routine visits can help identify early signs of disease exacerbation. When identified early, flare ups can be managed to prevent hospitalization.
Last but not least, encourage your elderly loved one to remain current on vaccinations. Living with chronic illnesses weakens the immune system. Immunizations help ward off acute infection.
Lorraine Arkaifie, MSN, APN