Nearly half of all seniors have at least one gun in their house. A gun offers some seniors a sense of safety, and can be an important tool for hobbies like hunting and recreational shooting. But among seniors who have dementia, a gun transitions from a useful tool into a potentially lethal weapon. Monitoring a senior gun owner for dementia symptoms may save their life.
Here are the warning signs to look for, and how to ensure your family’s safety.
Aging is inevitable, but much about how you age is within your control. Researchers increasingly find that healthy living, a fulfilling life, and lots of social support offer a path to slower, better aging. The right senior living community makes it easier to remain active, happy, and in control, potentially helping seniors remain independent longer.
As an older adult, or the loved one of an older adult, it is important to know certain signs and red flags concerning prevalent diseases. For many seniors, dementia is a great concern. Studies show that it is a valid source of anxiety among seniors over the age of 65. According to the Alzheimer’s Association study of 2017, 1 in 10 seniors over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s Disease; the number only increases when other types of dementia are included.
In the popular understanding of dementia, people with dementia can’t safely live alone. They don’t recognize their loved ones and might barely even know themselves. This portrayal is a simplistic picture of a complex collection of diseases. Dementia is a slow and unpredictable illness. It doesn’t always manifest as cognitive issues. For example, the key symptom of a dementia called primary progressive aphasia is a loss of the ability to speak, frontotemporal dementia might manifest as behavioral changes, and Alzheimer’s may progress slowly for many years.
As your parents have aged, have you noticed a change in their activity or recreation pursuits? It is common for older adults to adapt their social calendars and physical exercise routines to meet the needs of their bodies. Chronic pain or other conditions can make once active adults become less active in their senior years. However, if your loved one is struggling to keep up with an active and engaged lifestyle, there are still plenty of ways they can move their body, connect with friends, and live a healthy life.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean that your parent can no longer drive. Senior driving allows seniors to maintain their independence, cultivate an active lifestyle, and sustain relationships with loved ones. Senior driving can also pose a serious danger when vision worsens, thinking isn’t what it used to be, and reflexes become slower.
So often, adult children will say they “want to do what’s right” in support of an aging parent. They want to provide all the care and support possible, but sometimes it gets to be too much. There comes a point where outside help, or even a change to a more suitable living situation, may be in order.
When a loved one has dementia, it can be difficult to know where to begin. For the adult child who receives a distressing diagnosis, or who notices changes in an aging parent, it can be hard to make sense of the sheer volume of new information and options. Fortunately, today's senior living landscape offers a range of options to ensure that Mom or Dad enjoys not just a safe living space but a community rich with possibility.