As we progress through life, new challenges continuously present themselves.
From our college years to starting a career to parenthood and beyond, there’s always something pushing us to adapt and grow…
And perhaps no stage of life comes with as many trials and roadblocks as seniorhood.
We may see our elderly loved ones dealing with these changes right before our eyes. But as with many things in life, it’s difficult to fully understand them until we experience them ourselves.
That’s why it’s important to educate ourselves — so we can better empathize and care for the seniors in our lives.
Follow along as we highlight the biggest challenges and issues seniors face today. By the end, you may discover several age-related problems you never even considered.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we’re more likely to develop multiple health conditions at the same time…
“Common conditions in older age include hearing loss, cataracts and refractive errors, back and neck pain and osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, depression and dementia.”
While some of these issues only show up as minor inconveniences, others can be life-threatening or permanently diminish a senior’s quality of life.
Aches, pains, and arthritis can make even simple movements a struggle. Vision and hearing loss can make connecting with loved ones more difficult. And worse yet, dementia can leave seniors unable to remember their family members, friends, and environment.
Even the fear of developing a condition as frightening as dementia can be a source of immense stress, and is something many seniors deal with daily.
Financial stress is one of the increasingly relevant issues seniors face today.
These days, people are living longer than ever before. That, plus the rising costs of healthcare, living expenses, and common goods can make it difficult for seniors to keep up with the financial demands of daily life.
Although many seniors are willing and able to work into their later years, job opportunities may be scarce, and others may be limited by age-related physical changes.
Isolation, Loneliness, & Lack of Purpose
Losing friends and loved ones is an unfortunate part of growing older.
After the death of a spouse or close friend, seniors can suffer from the detrimental effects of isolation: loneliness and lack of purpose.
Quality time with friends and family becomes even more vital as we age, and having access to hobbies we love can give us a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Also, many communities host regular senior events, providing valuable opportunities for social time and new friendships.
Senior Discrimination (Ageism)
Unfortunately, various stereotypes about the elderly exist in society which can affect their ability to receive certain quality of life benefits.
Ageism can be an issue in healthcare, at work, and even in seniors’ daily lives. They may be given substandard care, passed up for a job, or treated differently while out and about due to their age.
These experiences can be belittling, condescending, and dehumanizing for someone just trying to live their life. At its worst, ageism can even result in elder abuse and neglect.
One of the biggest issues seniors face today is the ever-changing world of tech.
Technology has been advancing at breakneck speeds for decades now. With everything including shopping, bills, finances, and more going online, staying tech savvy is crucial to everyday life.
Keeping up with these changes can be difficult for seniors, and this lack of understanding can leave them vulnerable to financial scammers.
Making Final Preparations
Arguably the most difficult part of growing older is making those final life decisions.
Writing a will, handing off any businesses, and arrangements for the remains all need to be sorted out, but can be incredibly challenging to talk about.
Making these preparations means accepting the inevitable, and also involves putting your final wishes in the hands of others.
During these times, it’s important to provide your elderly loved ones with support and compassion.
Age-Related Declines in Strength & Mobility
The WHO does a great job of summing up age-related physical changes:
“At the biological level, aging results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity, a growing risk of disease and ultimately death.”
Decreases in physical and mental capacity lead to losses in strength and mobility, which can make daily activities much more difficult.
These changes can result in a senior’s gradual loss of independence, often to the point where they need help around the house, getting groceries, and with general movement (i.e., walkers, canes, etc.). Limited mobility may also prevent them from doing things they love, like running, playing sports, active hobbies, etc.
Seniors are often provided with live-in care or moved to nursing homes to adapt to these changes and maintain their quality of life.
But for those that live alone, falls are the greatest risk to their health and safety. With one in four Americans over 65 experiencing a fall each year, a rock-solid emergency plan is essential.
Preserve Your Senior’s Independence & Peace of Mind With Rescu
The Rescu app is the fastest way to get help in an emergency, and you don’t have to say a word over the phone to use it.
It’s the perfect app for seniors who live alone because all it takes is two taps on their smartphone or Apple Watch to dispatch help to their address. They’ll never have to worry about explaining their situation to a dispatcher or answering difficult questions in a crisis, which can save valuable time.
The app also stores their personal and medical information, automatically sending it to first responders when they’ve sent an alert, and instantly notifies all listed emergency contacts via text.
That way, as their caregiver, you’ll immediately know when they’re in trouble and be ready to help as soon as possible.
Starting at just $7 a month, the peace of mind and independence Rescu provides is second to none. Click or tap below to download today.