Improving Care for the Elderly

Healthcare for the elderly is special. Some specific needs make their care difficult compared to middle aged adults.

Here are a few of such reasons

1. It has been observed that more than half of persons aged 65 and above have some medical problems.

These range from heart disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Arthritis etc.

Most of these diseases have no absolute cure but require proper management to sustain the individual’s life.

2. The complexity of caring for the healthcare needs of elderly individuals is due to the fact that they usually have more than one of these diseases.

Treatment of one of the diseases with a particular drug could adversely affect the patient due to the other present disease conditions.

3. The gradual reduction in function of important organs such as the kidney and the liver also play a role in the complex nature of their healthcare needs.

The major result of these conditions is a gradual decline in their quality of life and a tendency to go into depression

This happens especially since many of them no longer work or might have their children far away.

The health of the older population requires special attention based on knowledge by specialized caregivers and family members.

First of all,

Family members must seek to fully understand the implication of these conditions on the patients activity level, diet and psychology.

2. Adequately trained medical personnel must be contacted for information on any action that needs to be taken as pertains their health.

3. Regular check ups cannot be over emphasized in order to monitor effectiveness of treatment and prevent the progression of such diseases.

4. Caregivers and family members need to encourage and remind them to comply fully with drug dosage regimen.

5. Lifestyle modification involving dietary changes, mild physical activity routine and cessation of smoking or alcohol consumption need to be monitored closely.

6. Most importantly caregivers and family members must support them spiritually, emotionally and financially in other not to make them feel miserable due to their dependence on others.

There is a popular belief that old people are always sick but it has been proved that making the right lifestyle choices early in life can greatly reduce the incidence of such diseases in old age.

Such lifestyle choices include;

– A healthy diet with adequate consumption of fruits, vegetables and water

– A regular exercise routine

– Routine medical check up for early detection and treatment of illnesses

– Responsible use of medications (to prevent damage to organs like the liver and kidneys)

– Personal Hygiene

Your Health is in your hands!

Always make the best choices for your all round health.

Olusanya Oluwatomi (B.Pharm UPH)