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Embracing Life’s Challenges: Navigating Special Needs in Your Senior Years

Embracing Life’s Challenges: Navigating Special Needs in Your Senior Years

Adjusting to retirement as an older adult is often a struggle for people as they go from working to spending most of their time at home. 

However, older adults with special needs have another hurdle to overcome. They have to deal with the aging process and the additional issues their condition may cause. 

If your loved one has a disability or special needs, you may need help approaching their care correctly as their age affects their circumstances. Below, we’ll discuss a few things you can do to approach caring for an aging adult with special needs with as much information as possible. 

After reading through today’s blog post, click the following link to learn more about convalescent care in Canada. 

Educate Yourself 

One of the first things you should do is educate yourself about the condition your loved one has. An excellent place to start is by consulting a doctor who has experience treating your loved one’s specific needs.

For instance, if your older relative requires the use of a wheelchair, doctors can help you understand what to expect as they begin to age. Many paralyzed adults can manage alone with a chair, but as they age, they may require more assistance with tasks such as getting in and out of bed or using the washroom as their core and upper body strength begins to lessen. 

There are also many resources available online, including support groups for caretakers and older adults who deal with special needs or disabilities, where those who have experience with these situations can share more with you about how to care for your loved one properly. 

These support groups not only cover the practical things you can do to assist the older person in your care, but they will also discuss the types of feelings your loved one is likely experiencing during this time so that you can offer better emotional support. 

By having as much information on your hands as possible, you will be better prepared to help your family members as they begin navigating their retirement years with their disability.

Look into Programs for Older Adults.

Many different programs are available for adults with special needs or disabilities, such as physiotherapy, brain injury therapy, access to service dogs for those with sensory issues and provincial support services that older adults can access within their local communities. 

The Canadian government provides some of these programs, such as Alberta’s Specialized Support Services program. Other programs like physiotherapy are available at hospitals and medical centres, which can be paid for out of pocket or covered by some insurance policies. 

Enrolling your loved one in these programs can help improve their lifestyle as they age. For instance, physiotherapy is excellent for older adults who struggle with mobility issues, as these programs will help them strengthen the muscles they have command over, such as their core and upper body. 

This type of intervention can help older adults who use a wheelchair or walker to maintain balance while standing, help with getting themselves in and out of their wheelchair and other similar tasks that would otherwise require assistance.

Further, older adults with cognitive issues, such as a brain or head injury, can be enrolled in programs focusing on brain and memory exercises.

Overall, these types of programs can improve your loved one’s circumstances. While their disability may not be reversible, participating in specific therapies can help make it more manageable for them and those offering support and care. 

Build a Support Network.

As mentioned above, it’s important for the loved one in your care to feel supported emotionally, as the aging process may bring out specific issues with their disability that they never expected.

Therefore, building a support network that you and the person in your care can rely on is crucial. If you have family or loved ones in your area who can lend support, such as running errands, paying visits, transporting your family member to appointments, and other similar actions, try to get them involved early on so that you don’t have to carry the total weight of caretaking.

Another vital part of building support is to set up meetings with your loved one’s healthcare professionals, such as their doctor, chiropractor, and physical and emotional therapists. These licensed professionals can provide information and resources to help you better understand your loved one’s situation. 

Consider Assisted Living or Convalescent Care.

While you may wish to take on the responsibility of caring for your aging family member full-time, they may have particular medical care and supervision needs that a care home where they have 24/7 access to medical professionals and on-site staff can serve.

These homes are for older ones with a range of abilities and ailments. Your loved one will have access to therapies for their brain and body and have all their chores and tasks looked after by housekeeping. 

While at-home care can be just as effective, if you no longer have the circumstances to care for your loved one full-time, assisted living is an excellent alternative to benefit you and the family in your care.


Adapting to the aging process with special needs can be challenging for older adults and their loved ones. However, there are many practices you can adopt into your day-to-day life and resources you can access to help you better navigate this new chapter in your family’s life. 

If you can no longer care for your loved one, consider moving them to an assisted living centre where they can access therapy and 24/7 assistance from on-site staff. 

Written by Mia

Hey Everyone! This is Mia Shannon from Taxes. I'm 28 years old a professional blogger and writer. I've been blogging and writing for 10 years. Here I talk about various topics such as Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, and Home Hacks, etc. Read my latest stories.

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