The Importance of Keeping Homebound Seniors Active, Body, Mind and Soul – San Francisco

San Francisco Area

How important is it for an elderly person in home care to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally active? Gerontologists and other geriatric specialists agree: it’s vital. As any of us age, our physical and mental capacities might change and be somewhat less reliable. But when Alzheimer’s disease, alternative dementia, or other mind- or body-challenging issues come into the picture and home care is necessary, it is more important than ever to keep adults in home care active in every way possible.

With a parent, spouse, or other relative in home care, as caregivers we tend to focus solely on meals, medical issues, and tasks of daily care. It is all too easy to forget that the person we love is still inside a less-than-youthful mind and body, and, under the stress of care management for a parent or spouse, we may forget to attend to the entire person. Even if a trained home-caregiver is actually administering the physical help that our loved one needs day-to-day, we may still feel the strain of worry and responsibility, not to mention the complex set of emotions that arise as we watch someone we love losing the autonomy that defines independence and being an adult. If we are administering much of the care on our own, our concerns and need for support increase tenfold. Non-essential matters such as entertainment, exercise, and other enjoyable activities tend to fall by the wayside.

So what can you do to insure that your relative is living a rich, varied life and is well-cared for on every level? Frequent outings, social visits at home, regular exercise, and other activities have been proven to slow down and calm down the progression of dementia symptoms. Keeping your relative as active as possible is paramount to maintaining a high quality of life and health for a homebound adult. And knowing that your spouse or parent is living the richest possible life can only increase a caregiver’s quality of life as well. Fortunately, in the city of San Francisco, there are numerous resources to help lighten the burden of homecare and increase quality of life for you and your homebound relative.

What are your choices in San Francisco if you want to venture outside the home care environment? What happens when you want to enjoy very simple activities like going to the movies or out for a meal? You can still enjoy these outings, and it is vital to any person in home care to continue to be included in the outside world whenever possible. It is just as important for caregivers to dispel anxiety and relieve stress by getting out in the city and experience the lighter side of life. Perhaps you believe that this is no longer possible, but you can do these things relatively easily, and even on a regular basis. All you need is information and a little bit of extra planning.

Step one of any outing in San Francisco with an adult in home care is safe and reliable transportation. As a caregiver for a homebound person, you need to feel secure that your relative’s physical and emotional safety are protected when you leave the home environment where all needs, be they medical or psychological, are being carefully addressed. If your loved one in home care has good motility and stable mental orientation most of the time, the easier it will be for you to simply hop in the car, taxi, or bus and proceed to your destination. Of course, many caregivers face a greater challenge than this, but this is a challenge that can be simply overcome with the use of transportation services for those with compromised mobility.

For less mobile adults in home care in San Francisco, whether wheelchairs are in use or not, there are quite a number of options. The public transit of the city of San Francisco is widely recognized to be one of the very best in the country, so it may come as no surprise to learn that every public transportation vehicle is equipped with wheelchair accessibility and drivers who are trained to aid the elderly and wheelchair-bound. Para-transit is also available. Find out everything you need to know about public transportation for older adults and their caregivers here. Another option in Marin County is provided by The Whistlestop , an organization specifically geared towards keeping the elderly population active and part of their community, with transportation services, meals, and many other resources. And for escorted driving services, try SilverRide.

Once you have the question of transportation covered and you are heading out, for example, for a casual weekday meal, where can you go? If you are concerned that your options are limited, you’ll be thrilled to discover otherwise here. When you enter this site you’ll find listings for the addresses of 359 San Francisco restaurants with wheelchair access, including helpful customer commentary, menu descriptions, maps, contact information, and even a way to make reservations online. You’ll also find every possible cuisine and price range imaginable to satisfy you and the recipient of your care. And if you’d like to follow dinner with a movie, find a list here of theaters with wheelchair accessibility and available listening devices for the hearing impaired.

There are other essential ways caregivers can and must keep their spouse or parent engaged and active. If you are not aware of all of the activities for older adults available in the city of San Francisco, be assured there is an entire community focused on the well-being of people like you and your relative. There are programs for older adults of every level of mental and physical capability, including educational classes, crafts, aquatics, exercise, and more. Find paid or volunteer programs that match your parent or spouse in home care with a trained peer-companion. Find services for the sight- and hearing-impaired. Any activity you could desire or imagine for your loved one in home care is available through one or more of these agencies and facilities:

30th Street Senior Services
225 30th St., San Francisco, CA
415 550 2210
http://www.onlok.org/30thsite/index.asp

Family Service Agency of SF
1010 Gough St., San Francisco, CA
415 474 7310
http://www.fsasf.org/
http://www.fsasf.org/programs/seniors.html

San Francisco Senior Center
481 Ofarrell St.
415 771 7950
http://www.sfsenior.com/

Castro Senior Center
110 Diamond St.
415 863 3507

Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired
214 Van Ness Ave
415 431 1481
http://www.lighthouse-sf.org/

Mission Neighborhood Center
362 Capp St.
415 206 7752
http://www.mncsf.org/senior.html

Institute On Aging
3330 Geary Blvd #2W
415 750 4111
http://www.ioaging.org/services/

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California St.
415 292 1241
http://www.jccsf.org/

Italian-American Community Services
678 Green St.
415 362 6423
http://italiancommunityservices.org/

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly
909 Hyde St. #628
415 771 7957
http://sanfrancisco.littlebrothers.org/

Most residents of the city of San Francisco appreciate how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful, various, and unique city. If you are the caregiver for someone you love, you are even more fortunate that so many resources are at your disposal to best serve you and your loved one in home care. Despite the stress, worry, and financial concerns that may seem overwhelming at times, help is out there. You can enjoy a variety of ways to break out of your routine and leave the home environment with an adult in home care, bringing the best possible quality of life to yourself and someone you love.

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