Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie mason Michaelis
Do you remember the old milking stool? My dad was a dairy farmer early in my life. By the time I was six, we moved to town, but I have some memories of the milking routine. The three-legged stools
work very well when all the legs are solid, but if you lose one, you’re in trouble. The milking stool is an excellent analogy for the three critical issues for Seniors who want to continue to live in their own homes. The three legs of a successful senior living situation are proper medication management, good nutrition, and socialization. If you can manage all three, you have a lot of choices.
Medication mismanagement is one of the first things that will send a senior to the hospital. It may not be evident that this is the problem, but symptoms like memory loss, disorientation, and falls may manifest because prescriptions are not taken correctly. Too many, too few, wrong times, can wreak havoc. Even when family members set up the pillbox, and trust that instructions will be followed, they discover later that the pills are left on the kitchen table or even in the trash can. A disaster is not far off. Proper nutrition is another key to successful aging. As it becomes more difficult to cook or access healthy fresh ingredients, the quality of diet declines dramatically. Health will follow the same decline. Finally, the issue of socialization is critical. Severe depression may be the result of loneliness. There is no substitute for friends, neighbors, and lots of activities. So many seniors lose a spouse and continue to grieve at home alone. Remember the three-legged stool, medication management, healthy diet, and socialization.