“Old age is not a joy” - a proverb, well-known to everyone, characterizes briefly and accurately the physical and mental state of an elderly person.
Old age is an inevitable period in human life
This is the most undesirable period of life predetermined by nature, causing fear and powerlessness before understanding the inevitability of the onset of the final stage of life.
Each person, by any means, tries to delay the advent of old age, participating (as far as the forces allow) in public and domestic affairs, drawing the fruits of his own labors and achievements, rejoicing in the successes of children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, the youth of the soul is powerless before the inevitability of a withering body.
Accumulated over the years, various ailments, which at one time many waved their hands and which were taken lightly, make themselves felt at the sunset of life, manifested massively and simultaneously.
Old age is a powerful accumulator of all diseases
In some cases, specific conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia (decreased intelligence, senile dementia), which significantly complicate the life of both the patient himself and those around him, join in helplessness, moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, resentment, and sudden changes in mood. Dementia in most cases is observed in older people who have crossed the threshold of their 80th birthday. Those suffering from this disease forget the names of loved ones, do not recognize them, lose their orientation in time and space, the ability to dress independently, take medicine, cook food, and monitor personal hygiene; stupid behavior, aimless walking are often inherent in them.
Caring for an elderly person is an important factor necessary in the declining years
An elderly person in need of care often does not realize the absurdity of his behavior, therefore he is not able to adequately assess what is happening. The disease progresses and makes him helpless and completely dependent on others.
In such a situation, caring for older people over 80 lies on the shoulders of relatives and friends, whose task is to provide quality and constant care. Tolerance and one's own time are important priority values for a person whose helplessness becomes the main state.
How to organize the right care for an elderly person
Organizing elderly care requires following a number of recommendations.
- It is required to constantly be in sight of an elderly person so that he does not feel abandoned and does not experience negative emotions. It is strongly not recommended to approach from behind so as not to scare him. An important factor is communication, distracting the elderly person from self-isolation and depression.
- A friendly facial expression, a friendly and sincere smile, an address to a person by name, constant care and guardianship are the components on which care for older people over 80 is based.
- If an elderly person has memory problems, hardly recognizes loved ones, forgets their names, do not strain his attention too much. In such cases, it is required to contact the elderly person not in an interrogative, but in an approving and affirmative form. For example, instead of asking the answer to the question: “Who came to you?” in order to help remember the name of the visitor, it’s better to say: “Your grandson Sergey has come to you” or “I am your son Aleksey”. An elderly person needs to clearly demonstrate the actions that he should perform; for example, show the process of combing hair, dialing a phone number, turning on / off the TV.
If an older person is able to read the press or books, play board games, you should use this. It is necessary to conduct discussions on topics close to the patient that interested him in the active period of life. This may be talk about exhibitions of paintings, theatrical productions, sports competitions, science news. Preferably reading aloud, viewing family photo albums, various illustrations.
It is undesirable to visit an elderly relative in whole groups, because a patient who has difficulty keeping several objects or faces in sight will quickly get tired. A reasonable maximum would be a visit of 2-3 people. If there are signs of fatigue, the visit should be interrupted, motivating the departure for an elderly person understandable reason: a visit to the doctor or the fact that you need to pick up the child from kindergarten.
Medical care for an elderly person
Modern medicine cannot effectively cure constantly progressing dementia in old age. Medicines can only reduce or weaken individual manifestations of the disease, stop its development and delay the final period. Therefore, everyday and full-fledged medical care for the elderly is of particular importance, the main tasks of which are:
- Ensuring the safety of an elderly person , because the most serious manifestation of changes in the senile psyche is their loss of orientation in space and time. The cause of domestic injuries in old age are problems with the musculoskeletal system, decreased vision and hearing. He perceives the environment in a distorted form and often cannot correctly evaluate his own actions that could be dangerous (falling outside and inside the room, forgetting to take the terrain and the way home, street injuries with an unconscious violation of the rules, a burn with hot water when bathing, poisoning when mistakenly used drugs, contact with the flame of a burning object).It is recommended to purchase a cane to help with movement, remove dysfunctional objects from the field of vision of an elderly person, put medicines in an inaccessible place to avoid poisoning, or put them in separate boxes and sign the time for each. Make sure that the pensioner himself does not go to the balcony, accompany him when leaving the house. It is undesirable to change the situation inside the rooms; there should not be objects on the floor that you can trip over and fall over. When the patient is in an easily accessible place (patch, firmly attached business card, bracelet, identification medallion), there should always be data with his name, surname, home address, phone numbers of relatives.
- Good nutrition . With age, metabolic processes in the body slow down, so it is worthwhile to reduce the content of fats and carbohydrates in the diet of an elderly person, as well as their consumption of salt. For the prevention of constipation, you need to eat foods high in fiber: stewed fruit, juices, fruits and vegetables. When eating, which is difficult for the patient, help is required (a reminder of the order of food, the use of cutlery, feeding from a spoon).The patient's desire to eat independently, even if at the same time he makes negligence and mistakes, you only need to encourage.
- Personal hygiene . A patient, a previously physically active and clean person, can become sloppy, lethargic, and forget how to use a toothbrush, toilet, and washbasin properly. Chronic insomnia negatively affecting the general state of health is another negative component of old age. For its prevention, it is required to ventilate the bedroom in a timely manner, not to expose the elderly person to stress. You can use sedatives as prescribed by your doctor.
Caring for a bed patient
Caring for bedridden elderly people is particularly difficult. You can wash it with a damp towel, use a dry shampoo to wash your hair, completely eliminating the use of water and cleansing your hair well. Hair needs to be combed every day; long curls are preferably shortened to avoid tangling.
Caring for disabled elderly people is often complicated by their natural needs. If the patient is able to be in a sitting position for at least 5 to 10 minutes and feels the urge, then you can put a dry closet near the bed and drop it on demand. You can wear a diaper at night. If a person is completely unable to sit, does not feel the urge, then it is required to use diapers for adults.
One of the dangers is the appearance of pressure sores, and the older the person, the faster they appear. The main task in caring for the bedridden patient is to prevent their formation, timely detection and treatment at the initial stage. The first sign of a pressure sore is the appearance of a red spot on the skin, in the center of which in the near future a kind of "wet callus" will form. Such foci should be treated with a mixture of shampoo and vodka in a ratio of 1: 1, and then lubricated with an ointment of wound healing effect. The pressure sores that have begun develop rapidly, so the patient should be examined as often as possible (at least twice a day), paying particular attention to the area of the shoulder blades, sacrum, knees, elbows and hip joints. Caring for older people over 80 years old requires the prevention of pressure sores: the patient needs to be turned on the other side every 2-3 hours and his body posture changed. Once a day, a full body massage is required, in which you can use a manual electric massager. Anti-decubitus mattresses also sold in medical equipment stores or online.
Making care of an elderly person
Very often, care for an elderly person due to various circumstances can be carried out by outsiders.
Making an elderly person care can be done in several ways:
- Making a will (or a gift agreement) in favor of persons caring for a pensioner.
- The conclusion of a life-long maintenance contract is the most compromise decision between both parties. Under this agreement, the property owned by the pensioner is changed to lifelong care for older people over 80 in favor of people providing such care.