Over the next 20 years, our life expectancies are going to increase, and, living well into our 90’s and older will be common. As Dad or the main man in your life enters his golden years, think about how you can help to prepare him for the best elder age living outcome – living at home. Here are some key statistics from the 2016 census report:
- Both men and women typically seek out care services for the same reasons
- Aging needs (rather than mental illness), were the most prevalent reason among senior care receivers
- The hours of care are the highest for Canadians with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
- Help with medical care was the #1 requested professional service
With the help of family, good friends and possibly a caregiver, your Dad can live in the comfort of his own home and familiar surroundings as he ages.
Does he cook his own food?
Senior men who rely on the convenience of frozen and fast food may need assistance from someone who can cook for them. These convenience foods promote poor health and can bring on new illnesses in older age. If Dad has an inability to cook for himself, start finding ways to bring more nutritious food into his home.
Get inspired (hint: A great Father’s Day gift)! Sign Dad up for cooking classes or workshops. He will learn while experiencing a new social environment and take home cooking techniques to improve his eating habits. If he is not physically able to attend classes, consider food delivery and a caregiver.
What kind of activities does he like?
Try keeping Dad’s mind active everyday. Just like the body needs exercise, so does the mind to stay healthy. If the brain starts to deteriorate, challenges such as memory loss, anxiety and depression can begin to occur.
While your Dad will have his preferences and likely gravitate towards familiar activities, look within his range of abilities for other projects that will stimulate his brain. The key is to match them with what he is naturally inclined to enjoy. Look for activities that involve building, playing card games or social engagements that have a competitive factor to it.
There are many free online trivia, puzzles, games and quizzes that you can encourage for maintaining an active mindset. Some suggestions for male seniors include crossword puzzles, adult colouring books, chess games, treasure hunting and simulation games.
Does he drive, accomplish indoor tasks, perform home maintenance and maintain his personal hygiene?
If your Dad has limited mobility, he will turn to his network of volunteer caregivers to assist. This can often be overwhelming on family and friends. Consider separating duties amongst family members and close friends as much as possible, take shifts and call a trusted caregiver for the hours that can’t be covered.
As men age, pride for wanting to maintain their independence and autonomy are usually undeniable especially when the conversation of senior care comes up. It’s logical – we all want to enjoy life in our older years but on our own terms.
Have the talk now, before there is any physical or cognitive decline. Planning for the future is the best gift you can give your Dad.
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
Seniors represent the largest population segment that require some type of home care service. If it’s your Mom or your Dad that needs help, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Vancouver for information on our personalized care plans. Do not hesitate to call (778) 200-1683 to speak to one of our Case Managers.