Meeting the Challenges of Aging
Courtesy Legacy Assisted Living and Memory Care, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine
It can be as subtle as a family member noticing that mom or dad has lost weight unexpectedly or as obvious as dealing with the consequences of a fall. Seniors and their families are encouraged to be vigilant about minimizing risks and optimizing healthy living, but circumstances can change quickly despite best efforts. At some point it may become necessary to think about moving to a more secure and beneficial environment.
“People are living longer than ever before,” says Steve Streun, owner of Legacy Assisted Living & Memory Care. “Yet even though great strides have been made in medicine, we all do age (although we do so differently!) and the mind and body experience changes that affect how we live.” Even if individuals remain relatively healthy, signs of aging such as thinning skin, slower reaction times, trouble with memory, and changes in the ability to see, taste, smell, or hear can cause concern.
Streun often talks with families who are worried about aging parents’ wellbeing. While the decision to move to assisted living is not always an easy one, there can be enormous peace of mind in knowing that loved ones are enjoying the greatest amount of freedom possible within a safe environment, where they can be observed for any potential warning signs and where quick action often prevents problems from occurring.
For instance, older people sometimes have a fear of falling and, according to Streun; it isn’t just about ensuring that rugs are securely fastened to the floor. “It’s fairly common for people to worry about slipping in the bathtub or shower, but many conditions can affect equilibrium, like headaches or inner ear problems. You may notice your mom or dad holding on to furniture or the wall when walking. They may seem unsteady on steps or slanted ground.” Falls can be serious, resulting in hospitalization. For some, injury from a fall can cause other problems that cause a general decline.
Another common concern among family members is whether their loved one is taking medicine correctly. Because many seniors take a variety of prescriptions with different instructions and possible side effects, monitoring can be critical to prevent dosage mistakes or discover potential side effects. “As handy as the day-of-the-week pill containers are, there may come a time when they aren’t enough,” says Streun. “Our staff is trained to ensure that all medications are dispensed correctly, at the right time, in the right form, and as directed. It can make a huge difference in how residents feel and how they are able to interact.”
Some older people, especially those who live alone, may neglect their nutrition, even become dehydrated. Families frequently hear the rationale that it’s just too much trouble to prepare a meal. Streun describes one family who tried to remedy the problem by ordering meals that were delivered to the home. Even that didn’t help and, in fact, resulted in additional weight loss. He advises that it isn’t simply a matter of having food available, but ensuring that it is eaten and, hopefully enjoyed.
Another often overlooked problem associated with aging is loneliness, which can lead to depression. Individuals can become lethargic and isolated, exacerbating the problem by losing touch with friends and failing to engage in activities previously enjoyed. “Everybody needs a reason to get up in the morning,” says Streun. “At Legacy, we’re enthusiastic about every new day and the possibilities each holds. We communicate that philosophy with our residents, interacting and engaging them in meaningful ways that help them feel valued and an integral part of our family, which they are! Life is about experiences. Legacy is our residents’ home and they value the same things that traditional families love––things like good conversation, home-style food, group gatherings, laughter, and individual attention.”
Located within wooded acreage, complete with walking paths and raised gardening beds, Legacy Assisted Living and Memory Care offers residents private rooms with great exterior views. In additional to medication assistance and housekeeping and laundry services, residents also have ready access to the TMC community wellness swimming pool.
Guests are invited to visit Legacy, complete with a tour of the grounds and garden and an opportunity to talk with staff and residents. Visitors can see for themselves the difference Steve and Kimberly Streun’s philosophy makes, combining advanced technology with a strong faith and loving care.
For more information, please call 903-337-1625.