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What are Activities of Daily Living?

The phrase ‘activities of daily living’ (sometimes abbreviated to ADLs) encompasses all the vital tasks a person must carry out each day to maintain their health and wellbeing. This includes things like cooking, eating, bathing, transferring in and out of bed and getting dressed. Though activities of daily living are varied in nature, they have one thing in common; these are the things we must habitually do to function well and avoid illness.

Unfortunately, for seniors with memory loss, activities of daily living can sometimes become daunting or even impossible to take care of alone. Though these tasks typically become a little more difficult with age for most people, seniors with dementia may face a range of additional challenges. Professional memory care in San Antonio is an excellent option to offer seniors the tailored and compassionate support with activities of daily living that they truly deserve.

How can Senior Care Enhance Quality of Life by Addressing Activities of Daily Living?

  1. Nutrition. For any aging senior, getting all the right nutrients can become challenging. Seniors have a unique set of nutritional requirements, and issues like reduced mobility can make cooking or getting out to buy groceries difficult. If a senior has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, there are often even more barriers to overcome. They may forget which items to buy at the store, for example, or have difficulties in putting ingredients together appropriately. Most senior care facilities in San Antonio offer residents freshly prepared meals and snacks each day. These meals are carefully nutritionally balanced by expert dieticians and culinary teams, and can be made to suit the dietary requirements and preferences of individual residents. With improved nutrition without the hassle, seniors realize improvements in their physical health, energy levels and overall wellbeing.
  2. Personal hygiene. Tasks like showering, using the bathroom and teeth brushing are ingrained into our minds from an early age, and quickly become an almost unconscious daily practice. For seniors who struggle with memory loss, however, these day-to-day processes can become difficult to execute efficiently and reliably. Take showering, for example – though it might seem like a simple task, it actually involves various important steps. You must first get undressed, before stepping into the shower, turning on the water at the right temperature and using a shower gel or soap in the correct way. Things like hair washing involve a whole separate process, too. It’s easy to see how seniors who struggle with memory loss may become overwhelmed by these tasks, missing out vital steps that could compromise their hygiene or safety. In a memory care facility in San Antonio, professional caregivers offer dignified support with these personal care tasks, allowing seniors to feel clean, comfortable, and confident at all times.
  3. Getting dressed. Many seniors with reduced mobility struggle with dressing, but individuals with dementia might also forget vital steps in the process, like in which order items of clothing need to be put on. They may also have difficulties with dressing appropriately for the weather conditions, opting for a short-sleeved shirt and shorts in the depths of winter, for example. Compassionate caregiver support allows seniors to get dressed safely, choosing the correct outfit for the weather and any specific activities they have planned.
  4. Routine. Putting all of the above tasks together into a daily routine can be a challenge in itself for seniors with memory care needs. Things many of us take for granted, like automatically knowing that when we get out of bed, we then brush our teeth, wash our face and get dressed may become much more difficult. Professional caregiver support can offer seniors valuable daily reminders of what to do and when, alongside dignified practical assistance to effectively preserve their health, hygiene and happiness.
  5. Independence. Each senior in a memory care community is unique, and professional caregivers are well versed in offering excellent, highly tailored caregiver support to seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Great activities of daily living assistance will allow seniors to complete all the tasks they need, while also retaining their dignity and as much of their valued independence as possible. 

Why is Professional Caregiver Support Beneficial?

It’s not uncommon for seniors with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to be resistant to caregiver support efforts, as these conditions can affect everything from memory and attention to behavior and personality. For example, if a senior does not understand why a caregiver is trying to help them with an activity of daily life, they might feel confused, which could then lead to frustrated, disruptive behavior or aggression. 

Memory care professionals see the person behind these behaviors and frustrations, empathizing with the difficult emotions an individual may be experiencing. With this knowledge and genuine kindness, they can provide the appropriate practical support with the true compassion our senior friends and loved ones deserve.

How do Activities of Daily Living Contribute to Quality of Life?

Activities of daily living form the foundations upon which a person can build a happy, healthy, independent and fulfilling life. Without good personal hygiene, for example, seniors may become vulnerable to infections or feel less confident in social settings, and without adequate nutrition, they may suffer from malnutrition or reduced energy. Activities of daily living truly sit at the core of wellbeing, which is why they should always be prioritized by senior care providers. 

For more information on how we strive to empower seniors by offering tailored assistance with activities of daily living, arrange a visit today.

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