As Mother’s Day draws near, many Bucks County residents will be spending time with family, giving flowers and other tokens of appreciation.
This year, instead of the typical gifts, the Home Instead Senior Care office of Bucks and Eastern Montgomery Counties is encouraging people with older mothers to consider a different gift with more lasting impact than roses. Whether it’s taking mom to a movie, inviting her to walk in a nearby park, or just spending time with her, helping aging parents remain active mentally, physically and socially can help prevent, even reverse frailty – a serious condition that not only threatens our older loved ones’ ability to participate in some of life’s greatest pleasures, but also their independence.
To further address the threat of frailty to the greater Philadelphia area’s more than 184,000 residents ages 65 and older, Home Instead of Levittown is also providing free online tools and resources through its Get Mom Moving program. These materials (including activities for the mind, body and soul) are designed to help keep seniors engaged and fit and to help fight frailty. Further, keeping an older adult's mind, body and social life active can prevent or even reverse frailty, and family caregivers assisting seniors are in a unique position to help them figure out what activities will work best. The key is to find simple activities that seniors find pleasurable or enjoyable.
So, if you are a family caregiver, how do you know what to look for? Home Instead Senior Care and Stephanie Studenski, M.D., M.P.H., University of Pittsburgh geriatrician and researcher have put together a brief list of warning signs that a senior might be becoming frail:
- Change. If a senior has always been interested in talking to the neighbors, reading the newspaper or volunteering and is withdrawing from those interests, suggest your loved one see a doctor.
- Inactivity. If your senior suddenly becomes less active, investigate what could be the cause.
- Slowing down. If grandpa always used to have a bounce in his step and now, suddenly, trudges along, that’s a bad sign.
- Loss of appetite and weight. A senior who always had a healthy appetite and doesn’t any more should be of concern to their loved ones.
- Unsteadiness. Loss of balance comes with aging but an increasing unsteadiness is a sign that something could be wrong.
To find out how you can help keep a senior in your life active, contact Home Instead Senior Care located in Levittown for free Get Mom Moving activity cards at (215) 943-7700 or email franchise owner Larry Blacker directly at email@example.com.