Aging Process: Forum

elderlyIn a couple of weeks’ issues senior citizens often have to encounter will be put on the table at a community forum in Ridgefield.  The aging process brings with it – as many of us know – a whole slew of new challenges, but getting the know-how ahead of time can facilitate this process.  Families of the elderly are encouraged to participate in ‘The Next Step…Senior Solutions’ as well.

At the event – held at the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA) Center on Governor Street – senior services providers will be accessible and a Q&A session from the audience will take place.  RVNA Director of Community Health and wellness, Barbara Newland explained the reason for the event which is to: ‘take an in-depth look at the decisions seniors face and the choices available to help them maintain their highest level of independence in our community.”

Then there are the efforts to help the elderly live in their homes as long as possible, maintain as independent a lifestyle as possible.  There are many technological advances going on in this area (most notably vis-à-vis at-home monitoring), but in addition there is Bardstown at Home – a local non-profit which trains individuals on giving home care for elderly.  According to its founder, Suzanne Reasbeck, since people “fight to keep [their] independence as long as [they] can [it makes sense that] the movement is toward home care. If we would spend time learning more about how to do some of the basic care tasks that people need.”

The non-profit – which has been in operation for close to 7 years now – offers help with everyday tasks like transportation to appointments, grocery shopping and wellness checks, trying to meet the basic needs of the elderly demographic which is almost-independent. The organization has developed a ‘Plan of Care’ which looks into the person from a holistic point of view, covering the following areas: “diagnoses, medications, limitations, needed equipment, dietary needs, developing detailed care instructions and knowing available services or assistance.” That data is then recorded and made accessible to those assisting the elderly.

There are many ways to tackle the issue of aging.  The first is knowledge and recognition; once that is accomplished it facilitates the rest.