The Importance of Keeping Homebound Seniors Active, Body, Mind and Soul – Danville & San Ramon

Danville and San Ramon Areas

You’re a caregiver for an older person in homecare.  This person may be your parent, your husband or wife, your sibling, your aunt or uncle.  Whatever relation you are to him or her, you care about making the life of your relative as rich and comfortable as it can be.  But perhaps, due to the stress of completing daily tasks like cooking and cleaning and laundry, attending to medical needs, arranging doctors’ visits, and so on, you haven’t been able to spend much time or thought on how to enrich the life of your loved one in homecare.  As caregiver, you have taken on a great responsibility.  This can sometimes feel overwhelming and frustrating.  Being a caregiver for a person in homecare can often lead to feelings of isolation.  But this doesn’t have to be so.

You may not realize the importance of actually leaving the home environment with someone in homecare.  Social interaction as well as physical and mental exercise is vital in keeping older persons functioning at optimal level.  Using the body and mind on a regular basis can actually help frail or “failing” older adults gain ground and health.  Even the wheelchair-bound can and must exercise.  Even patients suffering from dementia can participate in and improve from memory games and other special techniques specifically aimed at bettering mental function. Arranging activities like these on your own might sound frightening and unmanageable, but in Danville, San Ramon, and surrounding neighborhoods, there are a variety of services in place to support caregivers and people in homecare, and get you out of the house and into the world at large. Not only does this provide a vital service to your relative, but this kind of regular foray into the world can help take some of the pressure and responsibility away from you as caregiver.  No matter how much we love our homebound relative, we must admit that the circumstance is a challenging one and allow ourselves to reach out for help.

One of the best ways for a person in homecare to mingle socially and stay active is with regular visits to a local senior center.  You might believe that senior centers are just for completely mobile and what are colloquially called “active seniors”, but this is far from accurate.  Most senior centers welcome all persons over the age of 55 or 60, no matter what their physical or mental condition, with safe, appropriate activity provided for all.  A great example in the Danville and San Ramon area is the Dublin Senior Center which offers an enormous variety of services, including health screenings, daily lunches, Meals on Wheels, classes, games, aquatics, cultural events, and much more, including its own lending library. And if you’re concerned about transportation, not only does Dublin Senior Center provide information on Dial-a-Ride and LATVA public transport system, you can also take a class on how to get around the area using both.

Another wonderful option especially created for homebound older persons is Senior Center without Walls.  This service offers a seemingly endless variety of group activities, discussions, and brain quizzes to help keep mental function at its best, and all of this is provided over the phone by toll-free conference call.  And for those who love to read or be read to, Books for the Homebound through Alameda Public libraries will deliver books, videos and other materials to homebound seniors. Call: 510-745-1499.  Talking Books (books on tape and cassette) are also available from the State Library for the visually impaired. Contact them directly at 800-952-5666. This is a great service for people who simply cannot leave home. For these persons, it is important to arrange visits in the home with friends and family members as frequently as possible, in order to allow your relative in homecare to feel a part of the world.  This can also give you as caregiver a much-needed break and offer you a chance to relax or attend to other responsibilities.

If the homebound adult in your care is mobile enough to leave the home on occasion, it is vital to take advantage of the options in the Danville and San Ramon area.  Staying connected to society and to activities outside the home can only be beneficial for your loved one in homecare.  Transportation for you and your relative can be as easy as calling a taxi, whether or not a wheelchair is involved. But what can you do once you’re out and about?  You can take your parent or spouse most places he or she might have enjoyed visiting before being in homecare.  Restaurants, films, museums, concert halls, even some nature “walks” are wheelchair-accessible for the continued enjoyment of older persons without full physical capabilities. Even the spectacular Mount Diablo can be enjoyed by the wheelchair-bound.  Find out more here on the Mount Diablo State Park website.

If you want to keep things simple with dinner and a movie, click here for a full range of wheelchair accessible theaters in the Danville and San Ramon area. This allows you to find show-times and take advantage of online ticketing, which cuts down your wait time in line.  You can also use the helpful icons that let you know which theaters offer listening devices for the hearing-impaired, making it possible for you and your older parent or spouse to enjoy a film together, an activity that you may have believed was a thing of the past.

Keep in mind that even if your loved one suffers from dementia or memory loss, he or she can and must still benefit from and be enriched by music, art, good food, nature, and being a part of the world at large. Isolated homebound senior citizens in homecare lose physical and mental function at an alarming rate, while those who continue to participate in activities hold onto their faculties and can even gain ground.  It may be a great responsibility to be the caregiver for a homebound loved one, but it is also a great gift to know what a positive impact you can have on his or her life.

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