Taking care of an elderly person
Old age can come quite unexpectedly due to some illness, or it can come gradually, when a person from year to year loses its former strength and interest in life. Older people become dependent on their relatives, so it is important to take responsibility by taking full care of them.
Taking care of an older person is a difficult process and requires a lot of patience and time. It is important to remember that it is necessary to take care of both the physical and psychological condition of a loved one.
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Rules of communication with elderly people
Specialists believe that the main problems of elderly people are the difficulties of socio-psychological adaptation. Older people suffer from memory impairment, reduced ability to navigate in time and space. This leads to confusion, anxiety, fear.
Very often, when caring for an elderly person, relatives face such a problem in elderly people as feelings of guilt and inferiority. Usually it occurs in those who suffer from any chronic illness, considering themselves a burden on the family.
To maintain a psychologically comfortable environment in the house, it is necessary to observe simple rules:
- the old man is like a difficult child: if he rebels, he is likely to feel sick. Here it is important to learn the true reason for this behavior;
- avoid conflicts and arguments in conversation, as well as harsh criticism;
- to take seriously the anxieties and fears of one’s own person. It is better that he speaks out loud to help him improve his psychological state;
- listen to the old man to the end under any circumstances. If it is necessary to stop the conversation, do it gently and be sure to continue it at an opportune moment;
- hugging, looking into his eyes, sitting next to him, tactile contact is important;
- never force him to do anything by force. Conspiring, persuading, asking for help from close people is the way out in this situation;
- it is also important to encourage the elderly to take care of themselves and the room;
- not to interfere with the old man’s communication with his friends, to help him go out, visit the shop, go to the clinic, etc.
Elderly persons are also cared for by trained nurses. If it is not possible to take care of a loved one on their own, you can find a nurse for him to trust. It is ideal if the nurse has a medical background. But it is important to remember that a stranger cannot replace a loved one. Full communication should remain even if the nurse is working.
The features of an elderly person’s sleep
For elderly people, sleep should be up to 8 hours a day. If a person is sick, they can sleep longer. Since most elderly people have a very vulnerable nervous system, quality sleep is very important for them – it is the key to its recovery. One sleepless night can lead to physical weakness and bad psychological condition.
The most important thing is to give him the opportunity to sleep well. Old people can also sleep during the day with breaks, but the total duration of sleep will remain the same, because at night they will rest less.
The following factors will help to create optimal sleep conditions for the old man:
- silence in the room;
- a comfortable and not too soft bed;
- an air-conditioned room where the temperature will not exceed 22 degrees;
- a warm and light blanket;
- an evening stroll before going to bed outside or at least around the house (if you can’t get some fresh air);
- dinner 3-4 hours before bed (no coffee, tea or sweets);
- no daytime sleep (the old man should be offered interesting activities to replace him).
Many older people face the problem of night diuresis. It occurs due to age and kidney dysfunction. In order not to run to the toilet all night, it is better not to use a lot of fluids in the evening, and to reduce diuretic intake. You may also need special diapers for adults.
Personal hygiene in old age
Compliance with personal hygiene must be mandatory. It is almost the same as normal hygiene, but you should know that the skin at this age becomes drier. It is necessary to use soap with moisturizing effect and nourishing cream against dryness.
If the old man can’t take care of himself, you should do all the work yourself. Wash, bathe, do manicures and pedicures, cut hair – all this can do as a nurse, and a native person.
Additional advice on caring for older people
Specific nuances may arise in each case, but there are recommendations that apply to everyone.
If there is an elderly relative in the family:
- It is desirable to give him a separate room, while regularly airing it and watch the air temperature (not below 18 degrees);
- provide the old man with a bed of normal height (in a sitting position, his legs should reach the floor);
- remove deep armchairs from the room from which it is difficult to get up;
- reduce the possibility of an accident (make handrails, remove excess furniture, cover the floor with a non-slip coating, etc.).
Proper care for an elderly person can be quite difficult. It is important to have patience and a sincere desire to help. If it is not possible to provide the old man with proper care, it is better to trust professionals. They will create all the conditions for a quality life of an elderly person.