Aging is a natural part of life, and when someone becomes a senior citizen, they are more likely to have heightened medical needs for chronic conditions. If a senior citizen is not relocated to a nursing home, then he or she will continue to live in their own private residence, but they may need home care assistance so that they can spend their senior years in comfort, dignity, and relatively good health. Seniors often visit the hospital the most often and are commonly dealing with one or more physical or neurological conditions, so home care assistance or disability assistance professionals can be hired to help the elderly patient in their everyday life. Caregiver resources are commonly available in most towns and cities, and concerned relatives of a senior can look for care management services and home care assistance for their elderly relative who may be suffering a chronic disease or other ailment. How often to the elderly need extra care, and what does it entail?
Americans and Advanced Age
There are many elderly Americans living today, and they often need extra medical care to maintain their lifestyle and health. The Institute of Aging, for one, released data showing that by the year 2010, 5.5 million Americans lived to the age of 85 or beyond, and by the year 2050, this figure is expected to climb to 19 million Americans, or 5% of the entire population. Often, seniors today are dealing with chronic conditions or visit the hospital more often due to weaker immune systems or injury. By the year 2030, for example, six out of 10 Baby Boomers (those born between 1945-1962) will be managing a chronic condition, and it has been determined that nearly 70% of Americans turning 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. Nearly 80% of senior citizens today are suffering from a chronic disease, and around 68% of seniors have two or more at the same time. This may include Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia. It cannot be cured or prevented, but there are ways to slow down its effects and make the life of a patient more comfortable, convenient, and dignified. Home care assistance can make this possible.
On Home Care Assistance
Home care assistance will involve health care professionals such as nurses and others visiting a patient’s private residence and giving them medications, checkups, companionship, and anything else that they need, and the patient’s health issues may also call for these assistants doing basic housework or other errands such as doing the dishes or cooking, taking care of pets, cleaning up the house, tending to a garden, buying groceries, or anything else that is needed. If a patient is bedridden or otherwise disabled somehow, they may need most such work handled for them.
In the particular case of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, a senior patient will need extra steps taken. Alzheimer’s affects not just the patient’s memory, but it also makes them physically clumsy. For this reason, hazards should be removed from the home. Rugs, small items on the floor, and extension cords should be removed or cleared away so that they do not present tripping hazards, and dangerous items such as scissors, knives, and matches or lighters should be locked away so that the patient does not suffer cuts or burns. And to minimize the impact of memory loss, the home can be clean and spacious, and items will always be put back in their designated areas so the senior citizen can find them more easily. What is more, mental stimulation may help reduce dementia’s progress, anything from human conversation and companionship to completing logic tests such as jigsaw puzzles. Studies suggest that such stimulation has a significant effect on dementia.
Basic safety for an Alzheimer’s patient extends outdoors. Such a patient can go outside and talk walks or visit other areas, but he or she should carry a name tag with photo ID and their address and caregiver contact information so that if they become lost or hurt, and cannot return home under their own power, anyone who finds them can help them get back home safely.