Dressing is a complicated affair when you get older; or at the very least, it can be. The reasons seniors have challenges getting dressed can vary, but a couple common challenges are chronic back pain limiting ability, poor flexibility at the hips and spine (sometimes due to spinal stenosis, rods, or fused discs), and even poor upper extremity mobility and range of motion. Poor seated balance and low trunk control are other common difficulties that may limit ability to dress independently.
Medications are a part of life for the older adult population often served in home health. The handfuls of pills our patients have to take throughout the day are mind boggling and bewildering. It’s not unusual to see a medication list with 15+ medications on it. If you have trouble remembering to take your daily multivitamin, then you can certainly empathize with the challenge of remembering to take a plethora of pills as part of your daily routine.
“Use it or lose it!” That’s my favorite phrase during therapy. There are so many reasons and case studies that demonstrate the meaning of what i’m saying here, but please allow me to elucidate. When it comes to older adults aging in their own homes, keeping in the game is the surest way to make sure you never leave the field! This general principle that continuing to participate in basic self-care tasks such as dressing, bathing, and grooming ultimately promotes long term health is well understood.