Many elements affectthe living environment, and air quality is one of the most obvious. Many seniors have health problems that affect their lungs, such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but even those with healthy lungs still don’t have the level of lung function that a younger person would have. Pure air can, therefore, make a significant difference to the welfare of seniors, helping them to breathe more easily, increasing the oxygen that enters their blood, and helping prevent the proliferation of pollutants and sources of infection. As well as pure air, what other factors affect the quality of the environment for seniors?
Older people tend to feel the cold more thanthe youngand are more vulnerable to hypothermia. Feeling cold in your home is miserable, and when you’re older,it’s harder to warm yourself up through exercise or by using clothing and bedding. Adding too many layers of clothes makes it harder to move, also, as well as being a nuisance. On the other hand overheating can be a problem, making people feel sleepy and lethargic and often causing headaches and dehydration. Overheating can lead to hyperthermia, which in seniors can be life-threatening in a short space of time. A happy balance is best, so maintaining a temperature of between 64 and 68ºF is ideal.
Older people tend to have more aches and pains, thinner skin, and chronic conditions like osteoarthritis that make it more difficult to get comfortable. Plenty of soft cushions and pillows would be great to help with pain, but unfortunately,seniors also find it harder to stand up and sit downand could findit a struggle to get out of a deep, soft chair. A compromise is advisable, so a chair that’s supportive and not too deep with removable cushions and pads will provide the best of both worlds. A chair with massage function and heating might be soothing for a senior also.
However comfortable the environment, seniors need companionship. Even if they’re happy in their own company, it’s not good for people to become isolated. Pets are wonderful companions to seniors and a popular choice. What’s more,care homes and assisted living facilities are recognizing how therapeutic owning a pet can be, so even if your senior family member isn’t able to stay in their home, they could still take their pet with them when they move. You can find out more about the value of pets to seniors on the in-home care website www.inhomecare.com.
Seniors are more vulnerable to both bacterial and viral infections, and any illnesses they have are liable to hit them harder and could well lead to complications like pneumonia. This means keeping the environment clean is essential for their continued health. If they can’t manage to keep everything in tip-top condition themselves, they need to be helped by a friend or family member, or an in-home care service to make sure they and their home are clean.
A hygienic, comfortable, and warm environment with clean air and plenty to keep seniors occupied makefor the best and safest living environment, helping them to stay happy and well for longer.