Carrie was widowed at 68. Her husband had just retired the previous year. They had been diligent in working and saving for retirement. She had admonished him to retire earlier, especially given the fact they were financially set, but much of his meaning and purpose in life was rooted in his profession. It was difficult for him to let it go. When he finally did let it go, it was only a few months before that massive heart attack overwhelmed him while out on a walk.
In the 10 years since, Carrie managed to move on with her life, even politely refusing offers from her two adult daughters to move in with them and their families. She liked where she was. She had a lot of friends, enjoyed her community, and had no desire to leave.
Things began to change recently.
She had a few health issues, but more than that Carrie was struggling with her physical capabilities. Some mornings it was extremely difficult to get out of bed. Other days she found extreme challenges just taking a shower. As a result, she began to let her personal hygiene suffer.
Some family and a few friends would visit from time to time and as they noticed her dealing with these struggles, they mentioned a few things, but for the most part didn’t think it was all that bad. After all, they would think to themselves, people get older and they slow down.
In effect, Carrie was struggling with ADLs.
ADLs — or Activities of Daily Living — are the basic tasks most people need to go through in order to survive. They include getting dressed, bathing, toileting, cleaning, preparing meals, and so forth.
Carrie was having difficulty with many of these ADLs. She didn’t openly admit these struggles to her family, but it became more apparent with every visit.
While most her family lived out of state, they did talk about her getting help from a few friends who were still able to provide assistance. She didn’t want to be a burden to them, so she essentially dismissed those concerns.
She was left alone to continue struggling with these ADLs. Eventually that caught up with her. She didn’t have to go through this, though. Neither she nor her family really thought much about homecare agencies, even though there were three operating in the area she could have called on for help.
No aging senior should be left alone to struggle with Activities of Daily Living when a homecare agency is ready to serve.