Tips For Caring For Older Adults
Ageing is defined by a progressive, yet physiological decline of the biological functions of an organism that leads to senescence. Ageing occurs in every cell, tissue, and organ of nearly every living organism.
As we age, our body inevitably goes through many physical changes. These natural age-related changes include reduced bone density, reduced muscle strength, increased body fat, poorer coordination, balance and stiffness around the joints. Older people also become more susceptible to illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
All of this can have a big impact on their daily lives and reduce their independence.
Remaining in good health as an older adult requires much more than what medication and treatment alone have to offer. Below are seven pieces of advice, and some accompanying resources, for those who want their loved ones to age as comfortably, independently, and vibrantly as possible.
1. Keep care at home if possible. Try to find care providers who are willing to provide care for your loved one outside a hospital setting and in the home. For some care providers, this may mean home visits, for others it could mean telehealth appointments.
2. Coordinate your care. Try to coordinate services among all those providing care for your loved one—both formal and informal. This means everyone from the primary care physician to the person who may come in once a week to clean the house.
3. Make care regimens person-centred. Encourage your loved ones to make their own decisions about the type of care they receive and when and where they would like to receive it.
4. Enable social inclusion. Create opportunities for your loved one to play an active role in your family and in your community. Isolation can be a major cause of emotional distress for older people.
5. Learn and practise mindful communication. Don’t be afraid to have what can be a tough conversation about end of life care with your loved one. Make use of the tools and resources available online to talk with your loved ones about the kind of treatment they receive and where they would like to receive it.
6. Educate yourself. Try to keep up to date with the latest innovations in elder care and best practices in long term care.
7. Create a safe environment. Make sure the environment in which your loved one lives encourages their independence and autonomy, mitigates and risk of injury or harm, and feels like a personalized home environment.
NEED A PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR YOUR ELDERLY ONES?
Being involved in an elderly rehabilitation programme with the Physio Centre of Africa(PCA) can provide a number of benefits to you. The physiotherapists at PCA will devise a personalized treatment programme to help you achieve the following outcomes:
- Maximize your safety
- Reduce the risk of falling
- Restore your confidence
- Regain your independence
- Balance and walking re-education
- Maintain your muscle strength
- Help you to carry out activities of daily living
- Improve your quality of life
If you or a loved one are seeking physiotherapy or a Care Giver, PCA is here to help.
For more information on how to regain your loved one’s independence speak with someone at PCA today on 0813 028 0496.