As September introduces cooler weather and greater opportunity for safe outdoor activities, help your senior loved ones to renew a proper regimen of self-care. Proper self-care for seniors consists of three inter-related strategies: Maintenance, Monitoring, and Management.
According to a theory advanced in an article in Advances in Nursing Science, self-care maintenance refers to activities and behaviors that help improve personal well-being, preserve health, and maintain physical and emotional stability. As September approaches, help your senior to create a list of self-care maintenance activities that he or she can employ during the month of September. These might include activities focused on illness prevention (such as avoiding smoking, taking proper medications, or exercising and eating healthy foods) and proper hygiene (such as obtaining adequate sleep, regular bathing, and effective oral care).
Your support and encouragement, as well as the support and assistance of others, will go a long way toward motivating your senior to improve his or her self-care. A home care provider can assist in proper planning for effective self-care maintenance.
Researchers advise that a primary aspect of proper self-care is the effective recognition and evaluation of symptoms. Proper monitoring may be accomplished by introducing appropriate monitoring devices, such as a home blood pressure cuff or blood sugar test, or a simple scale for monitoring weight gain or loss. More simply, recording vital information such as heart rate, dietary intake, or mood, on a daily basis can be important for becoming more self-aware of healthy habits. A home care provider can assist in planning monitoring techniques that are appropriate and safe for your senior and will be able to interpret appropriate outcomes based on the information that is recorded.
Self-care management is defined as the response to changes in signs and symptoms when they occur. Changes in outcomes may result from implementing healthier habits, the onset of illness, or the reaction to effective treatment. With the assistance of a home care provider who understands the relevance of physical and emotional changes in outcomes, your senior will be better able to implement an appropriate plan of self-care management. Managing one’s self-care may include maintaining good habits, engaging in activities to avoid further illness, or continuing effective treatment of chronic illnesses. A home care provider can assist with determining appropriate management habits and staying motivated to improve outcomes.
For seniors managing co-morbid (two simultaneous) conditions, proper monitoring by a home care provider can be particularly important, whereas managing one condition could compound the effects of another condition. A home care provider can help your senior to learn and apply appropriate skills to effectively implement informed self-care management of multiple conditions.
Planning to implement self-care skills in September with the assistance of a home care provider may allow your senior to employ effective self-care maintenance, monitoring, and management skills throughout the year.
If you or an aging loved one needs Caregiver Services in Fair Oaks, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.
Barbara Riegel, Tiny Jaarsma, and Anna Strömberg, A Middle-Range Theory of Self-Care of Chronic Illness, 35 Advances in Nursing Sci. 194 (2012).
SELF-CARE IN LATER LIFE: RESEARCH, PROGRAM, AND POLICY ISSUES, 24-25 (Springer Pub. Co. 1998) (Eleanor Palo Stoller, Marcia G. Ory, and Gordon H. DeFriese (eds.)).
E.A. Bayliss, et al., Descriptions of Barriers to Self-Care by Persons with Comorbid Chronic Diseases, 1 Annals of Fam. Med. 15 (2003).