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Top 10 Reasons Older Adults Leave Home for Institutionalized Care - Don't Be One of Them

Aug 17, 2007
As we move through life at ages 50, 60, 70 and beyond, we notice subtle changes in our abilities. The changes may seem small at first glance. However, subtle changes quickly become difficult to reverse if ignored.

We become less active; what used to be an easy trip up a flight of steps now leaves us breathless with aching knees. Trimming our toenails and putting on shoes and socks is a struggle. The organizational skills and sharp memory we once had have gone by the wayside. Sometimes we cannot remember what we were getting ready to do. We begin receiving past due notices on bills.

The one pill we previously took for arthritis has now turned into ten pills a day for various ailments and we have three doctors we see on a regular basis. Getting up out of a chair takes more effort. Our balance when we walk is not what it used to be; we have had some near falls. In our younger days we bathed and dressed each morning to get ready for the day. Now we rarely bathe and think nothing of wearing the same clothes day after day.

Friends and family members have expressed concern. Who are they to tell us what to do or how we should live our lives? If any of this sounds familiar it may be time to evaluate your day to day activities.

The top ten reasons leading to institutionalized care include: medication non-compliance, cognitive impairment, physical decline, depression, incontinence, lack of personal care, weight loss, sight or hearing loss, chronic health conditions and inability to maintain a home.

Often many of these sneak up on our parents or ourselves. Many are interrelated. Depression may cause weight loss, lack of sleep and decreased socialization. Lack of personal care may cause bladder infections which often result in disorientation and falls. Not taking proper medications, taking too many or taking too few can cause hospitalization.

We must all be proactive in order to age gracefully and healthfuly. Discuss your concerns with famiy members or you health professional before they become larger concerns. Try not to wait for a crises situation that will result in you having fewer choices rather than more choices to live your life the way you want, at home.
About the Author
Pamela Dombrowski-Wilson is an author and owner of In Home and Family Services, Inc. a counseling and direct care company serving older adults and their family members. Visit http://www.inhomeandfamily.com or http://www.pameladwilson.com for more informaion
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