By: Joan Carmen T. Aranda @nursesheart
“Live your life and forget your age.”
The growth of the elderly population increases the demand for various health care provisions because of the effects of the aging process and genetical predispositions. That demand is expected to increase 22 percent by the year 2000 to 305 million contacts per year, and 125 percent by the year 2030 to 562 million contacts per year, based on 1986 physician contact rates and projections of the non-institutionalized population (Special Committee on Aging, 1987– 1988).
As a nurse working long hours in the hospital, I experienced taking care of patients with various illnesses. Indeed, patients experiencing cardiac, joint, and endocrine problems are reasons for them taking maintenance medications throughout their life. Elderly people get sick due to infectious and non-infectious diseases. One reason that causes admission to hospital and for longer hospital stay is fall. The elderly people are at risk for injury. If they are injured, they are opted to undergo surgical procedure. They are also at risk for infections. They may need blood transfusion for the loss of blood during and after surgery. Also, there is a longer period for their healing process. It keeps them bound to hospitals if there is lack of attention to their needs. Not to mention the expense!
On the lighter side, some of the cause of death for elderly such as stroke, cancer, and heart diseases in the U.S. has decreased since 1990 due to improved management, diagnosis, and treatment of the diseases. The shift from infectious to noninfectious diseases is the most prominent change.
Moreover, some elderly needs extra care because of depression which is the leading cause of psychiatric illness occurring in old age, and Alzheimer’s disease which is the leading cause of cognitive impairment in old age. These inhibit them to function spontaneously as well.
We care for them as much as health care providers research on the best means to improve their health, give them wellness, prevent diseases and injury, and bring joy to their eyes.
In our hospital, we advocate patient partnership. We engage patient to their health care management. We take into consideration their wants and needs and we explain to them how we can make it work. Collaboration is key!
Our doctors allow elderly patients to be discharged from the hospital if medical treatment is enough or if not they can continue the treatment at home.
Some elderly said;
“There is no place like home!” “The home is where my heart is.” “I have lived my life more than half a century and there seems to be nowhere like it.”
Then, why not give them what they want. I know one elderly who aged over a century at home cared by a skilled caregiver because she was given her preferred environment bringing her more comfort even though she had hip fracture. At home, our loved needs attention and supervision in many ways. For palliative and respite care, Boundless Care, Inc. is one call away!
- Personal Care. Bathing, washing of hair, dressing, and getting around the house. If a family member could not do it, you can hire a trained care giver like Boundless Care, Inc.
- Household chores. are tasking as well, especially when the family member is mostly out of the house and the elderly is left at home.
- Preparing your meals. Getting enough nutrition is vital in health and wellbeing. Caregivers at Boundless Care, Inc. are best to assist your elderly loved ones.
- Money management. Ask help from a trusted relative, volunteers, financial counselor, or geriatric care managers. Avoid money scams. Never give Social Security number, credit or bank account number, or sensitive information to someone over the phone or through email.
- Health care management. At Boundless Care, Inc., making sure of your elderly loved ones health needs are met including doctor visits and medication regimens is a priority.
- Community involvement. The trained caregiver can schedule and register your loved ones to join local senior centers for various activities. They can make a call for visits from relatives and friends.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Design a Strategy for Quality Review and Assurance in Medicare; Lohr KN, editor. Medicare: A Strategy for Quality Assurance: Volume 1. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1990. 3, The Elderly Population. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235450/
National Institute in Health. National Institute of Aging. Aging in Place: Growing Old at Home. Available from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/aging-place-growing-old-home