Living alone is a common situation for many elderly people and can present many challenges. One of the great advantages of home care is that it permits an elderly person to maintain a feeling of independence and comfort in familiar surroundings. Also, you and your family may be better able to control the care received. Everyone hopes that experience with aging will be healthy and trouble-free. However, many medical disorders and conditions can make doing daily activities more difficult and limit independence. Understanding these conditions can help people live as healthy a life as possible. Reading about them is a good start.
Alzheimer disease, Dementia's, and Memory Loss: A person with dementia may not be able to take responsibility for his own safety. He is no longer able to evaluate consequences the way the rest of us, and because he forgives so quickly, accidents can easily happen. He may not realize that he can no longer manage tasks. The disease may affect those portions of the brain that remember how to do simple things, such as turn on the shower and slicing meat. This inability to do manual tasks is often unrecognized and causes accidents. Because the person also can not learn, you will have to take special precautions to guard against accidents. Families may need to take responsibility for the safety of even a mildly impaired person. This is the time to create a change of pace before a serious accident occurs. An evaluation by a professional can give you a picture of what the person can do safely. If you do not have this resource, observe the person closely as he does various tasks.
In the House: Put away dangerous items such as medicines, kitchen knives, matches, power tools, and electric gadgets like curling irons that if misused could start a fire of hurt the person. Safely lock away insecticides, gasoline, paint, solvents, cleaning supplies. Mildly impaired people may use them inappropriately. Consider that the person will easily become confused by clutter, may try to do things that are no longer safe, like using the stove, and may gradually become clumsy, so he will trip over things like low furniture or loose throw rugs. Consider the person's level of injury now, but plan ahead for increasing disadvantage. The person can declare without your realizing his increased risk. As the person's illness progresses, repeat your survey. There are books about “Alzheimer proofing” your home and the Alzheimer's Association has helpful resources to advise you.
Home care may consist primarily of making sure that the person does not become lost, disoriented, or injured. For these kinds of assistance, home care is often better than residential care. Also, what the care people need at home is not primarily medical or nursing care, but help with what is called the activities of daily living (ADLs). These include cooking, eating, dressing, and bathing, using the toilet, help with household chores, shopping, paying bills.
Undernutrition : A type of malnutrition caused by inadequate food intake or the body's capacity to make use of needed nutrients. Undernutrition is a problem for many aging people who live alone or who live in nursing homes. Undernutrition and weight loss do not always go together. People can undernourished without losing weight. They can be overweight and undernourished. Most people who do not consume enough food also do not consume enough vitamins and minerals, sometimes resulting in a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Many do not drink enough fluids, sometimes resulting in dehydration. There are books to help about “undernutrition” or go to Nutrition.org online access to government information on food and human nutrition for consumers.
Home care may consist primarily of making sure that the person eat a varied diet. It should include lots of fruits and vegetables, protein-rich foods (such as fish and poultry), and high-fiber exports and cereals. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important. Water, fruit or vegetable juices, and caffeine-free and tea are good choices. For most healthy, active elderly who eat a varied diet, eating large amounts of a particular food or using dietary supplements is not necessary.
Osteoporosis: means porous bones. In people with osteoporosis, bones become less dense or more porous. Bones do not become porous overnight. Bones slowly begin to become less strong long before people reach old age. And the process continues as people age. Osteoporosis is recognized as a disorder that can be detected early, treated effectively, and often preceded.
Osteoporosis is common. In the United States, about 8 million women and 2 million men over 50 have osteoporosis. In millions of other women and men over 50, bone density is low but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis.
To keep bones deple, the body needs an adequate supply of minerals (mainly calcium and phosphorus) and vitamin D. Minerals are incorporated into bones, making them strong and strong. This process is called mineralization. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from food and incorporate it into bones. Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D can be consumed in foods. The body needs sunlight because vitamin D is formed when the skin is exposed to sunlight. To keep bonesense, the body also needs to produce appropriate amounts or several hormones.
Home care may consist primarily of making sure that the person exercise regularly. Examples are walking, stair climbing, dancing, and weight training. In weight-bearing exercise, people support their own body weight. Typically, 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise each day is recommended. Consuming enough calcium and vitamin D helps maintain bone density. Elderly should consume 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium and 600 to 800 international units of vitamin D every day.