Caring for the elderly is a tough and challenging job whether we’re speaking about intra-familiar care or care in residential homes. There are a number of unique challenges presented by geriatric care that require a certain set of skills, but also some rather specific, dedicated technology.
One of the most important pieces of equipment that can be invaluable for caring for elderly parents and in care homes is the remote monitoring systems. Such remote monitoring systems enable caregivers and family members alike to remain connected to the person that they are caring for, whether in the same house or from a distance. This can help in situations where the elderly person has had a fall or even managed to wander off and get lost. In care homes nurse call systems must be infection controlled, accredited and secured and such powerful, wireless systems can make all the difference in minor accidents and emergency situations alike, not to mention helping those under care to feel protected, safe and connected to caregivers 24 hours a day.
In addition to the technical challenges when caring for the elderly there are a whole raft of more emotional challenges that while they can be eased somewhat by installing technology and creating the right infrastructure, must be met on a more human level. It is important to understand that becoming older can be frightening and having to leave your own house is often one of the most upsetting and distressing things for us all. It is important that elderly people are encouraged to remain as active as they possibly can, both mentally and physically, as well as socialising to help them to feel connected and avoid feelings of isolation and solitude. In addition to this getting some exercise each week is very important and classes such as pilates or yoga can be excellent for some elderly patients, while for those who cannot manage such activities physiotherapy can be vital in the quest to retain mobility and wellbeing.
It is also very important to remember that elderly people often suffer from a wide range of complex and chronic conditions that require high level or specialist care as well as equipment such as mobility hoists and wheelchairs. In many cases family members responsible for care will only have limited specialist support and so it is important to try to understand as well as empathise with these conditions. Luckily the internet is an invaluable tool that can facilitate rapid learning of at least the basic symptoms and advice on how to deal with relapses, symptomatic relief and how to make the person in question feel as comfortable as possible. The importance of a little understanding is also highlighted when it comes to organising any medications that need to be taken. Purchasing a box that organises tablets by days of the week is a very good idea for all caregivers.
Recent research has also highlighted the importance of understanding the potential interactions and side-effects of taking a wide range of medications. If an elderly patient is experiencing new symptoms then there is a high probability that they are drug induced if they are taking a large number of medications. Having someone to keep an eye on such issues is very important for elderly patients.
Maintaining good hygiene is imperative when working with elderly and potentially frail patients, so ensuring that antibacterial hand gel is to hand is absolutely imperative. It can be incredibly daunting and difficult to find the time to do everything necessary for an elderly relative alongside holding down a job or caring for children, so getting help from outside, such as a cleaner can be instrumental in avoiding stress.