No one looks forward to growing older, but it still happens even to the best of us. While it can seem frightening, it’s just a part of living a long, wonderful life. With age comes some challenges, such as hearing and vision loss. However, you can prepare yourself to deal with these issues. By preparing ahead of time, you can age while maintaining the lifestyle you love.
Regular checkups with your doctor are critical to ensuring good health. You always want to find problems before they happen; prevention is always easier than trying to cure. Additionally, if your physician does find a health issue, you have more treatment options and a better chance for successful treatment. By checking in regularly with your primary care physician, he or she can also provide helpful hints on staying fit overall. They’ll likely recommend a nutritious diet and moderate exercise, if your health allows it.
Get Aids Early
Between the ages of 41 and 60, many people begin to experience trouble with their vision and hearing. Often, it’s a good idea to begin wearing glasses or hearing aids at the first sign of a problem. It may sound silly, but your eyes need an adjustment period to get back into their groove. Glasses are key to ensuring your eyes continue to work properly. You’ll have to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor who can appropriately prescribe you the right strength in your glasses. If you vision trouble is limited to when you’re reading, you may be able to wear reading glasses. Hearing aids may also be necessary. Since hearing concerns are common among seniors, you should give your ears their own adjustment period. Depending on the kind of hearing aid, you might need more time to adjust to it. Always check with your doctor to make sure you’re using the correct type.
People often fear getting older. The reason it seems so scary is that it’s charting into unknown territory. You don’t have to be scared! You should approach an older age as a triumph. After all, you’ve made it this far, so you can celebrate your accomplishment. Aging comes with its own perks, such as retirement, grandchildren, and the freedom to do what you want. If you’ve got dreams, achieve them. Go travel with your spouse. Plant that garden you’ve always wanted. This is your time; there’s a reason these years are called your “golden years.” Also, it’s never too late to begin your health journey. You’ve got to put yourself first sometimes, and there's no better time than now.
Don’t dread your golden years. By practicing good health, seeing your doctor regularly and preparing yourself for the changes to come, aging is just another milestone in your life.
Read more from the Senior Living IDEA: Getting the care you need: Find your health care 'quarterback'
Surgery for seniors is considered serious business by medical experts. Older surgical patients can react differently to anesthesia and the stress of undergoing surgery far differently than younger healthy adults do. Some seniors take more time to recover, are more vulnerable to infection and might experience post-surgical cognitive decline. It is essential that seniors and/or their family members discuss surgical risks and alternative options with their doctors beforehand.
As individuals age, their body systems can slow down significantly. Some seniors develop circulation problems, heart disease, endocrine disorders, bone density, and muscle mass losses or issues with mobility. All these circumstances and a number of others may make an older surgical patient recover slower than their younger counterparts. Some studies show that surgical patients over the age of sixty can take up to three to six months to regain their presurgical functioning status.
More Vulnerable to Infection
Seniors who have developed one of many autoimmune disorders are more vulnerable to getting an infection following surgery. Surgical equipment must be properly sterilized in an autoclave before each case before introducing them to the sterile surgical field. Introducing contaminants into the surgical site can lead to severe infections that may require further surgery to address. Hospitals are notorious for harboring many different types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and strict compliance with OSHA and other governmental regulation entities is required for all types of health care facilities. The surgical operating suites must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated in between cases to meet even stricter cleaning guidelines. Any opening into the body, including urinary catheters, feeding tubes, IV lines and the surgical incisions themselves, put all surgical patients at a higher risk for postoperative infections with seniors facing the greatest challenges. Proper assessment for higher infection risks, appropriate use of intraoperative antibiotics and close postoperative supervision by trained medical personnel for a longer time can all decrease some of these surgical risks for seniors.
Postoperative delirium has long been known to exist in older patient populations undergoing surgical procedures. This condition typically only lasts from a few hours to a few days following surgery. However, many health care experts caution that seniors pose a higher risk of longer-lasting cognitive decline than the average healthy and younger surgical patient population groups. This cognitive decline in elderly patients can last from a week to three months during postoperative recovery, and this cognitive loss can impact memory and the function of many body systems, including the ability to eat, move, speak clearly and ambulate, among others. Usually, POCD (postoperative cognitive dysfunction) is transient in nature and will resolve with a higher level of postoperative care. However, some medical specialists believe that permanent cognitive decline can occur, especially in seniors.
Seniors and their caregivers should discuss these possible postoperative complications with their family doctor, surgeon, and other specialists prior to having surgery. These risks can often be decreased with some preventative precautions and preparations.
If you or an elderly relative is going to have surgery soon, take a look at these tips on how to prepare.
Placing a loved one in a senior home can be a difficult moment to experience, especially if the loved one is not thrilled about the situation. Once they are settled in, however, you do have to be vigilant that their health is not being negatively impacted by neglect or abuse. Some elderly do develop conditions that make it difficult to care for them, but this is a reason why you seek a senior home that employs staff who can care for specific conditions, lifestyles and requirements. Here are three ways to protect your elderly loved ones in senior homes.
The best way to ensure your loved one is doing well in a senior home is to visit them often. If you let too much time pass between visits, you may not notice minor scratches or bruises. If they are occurring frequently, you have to start asking questions. When you visit often, you can spot changes in personality, health and mood much more quickly, too. While the expectation is that the staff will always notice minor changes, the patient and you will always be the best advocates for your loved one. Then, you can speak with the medical professionals about what you are noticing. Your goal is to ensure care is keeping up with any conditions they have or are developing. It is well-documented that the elderly benefit from family visits.
Familiarize Yourself with Laws That Protect the Elderly
In recent years, new laws to prevent and punish elder abuse have been passed at a federal level, enabling the protection of a vulnerable section of the population. If you have concerns, you have the option to speak with an ombudsman. This professional is a neutral third party assigned to go investigate complaints and claims. Rules and laws mandate senior care facilities keep accurate medical records, provide adequate supervision during all activities and access to assistive medical devices.
Review Financial Records
Protecting your loved one also involves reviewing their financial records. Accidents can happen, and the senior home may overcharge for a service or payment. The elderly are also easy victims of identity fraud and theft. Reviewing their financials at regular intervals means you can spot odd charges or purchases early.
Helping your loved ones to feel comfortable and safe is so important in these modern times. You never know what kinds of things might come up as a potential danger, so it’s important to always be prepared. That's why it is essential to do your research when placing a loved one in an assisted living facility. Choose one that has good reviews and proper accreditation. To protect elderly loved ones, visit often, familiarize yourself with laws that protect them and keep an eye on their financials.
The standards of senior homes have grown over the years. Many senior citizens find these environments to be welcoming and a pleasure to stay in. This article provides you with important information to help you find one for your loved one that's both comfortable and attentive.
If a parent or another loved one is getting older and unable to care for themselves, you have the difficult task of finding a home for them to live in. The best senior homes are attentive to their residents and treat them with dignity. Before you have them move into a particular home, you need to ask these important questions.
Is the Location Clean?
The appearance of a senior home says a lot about it. If you're looking at a home and it's visibly unkempt, you should look elsewhere. While no place will be spotless, there is still a general amount of upkeep that needs to adhere to. The bathrooms, bedrooms, dining area, and other rooms need to be maintained. You should also be on the alert for any foul odors or unsettling sounds. Keep a list of any senior homes you tour and what sort of sights stick out in a bad way. If the proprietors can't treat their building well, how can they be expected to treat their residents well?
Is the Staff Happy?
A disgruntled or apathetic staff can really cast a pall over a senior home. It can also signify a dangerous environment. Happy staff who genuinely care for their charges are less likely to participate in the neglect or abuse of seniors. Take a look around to see not only how the staff looks but also the residents. You want your loved one to be in the care of people who want the best for others. Anyone who would put their safety at risk or would be reluctant to offer anything but half-hearted assistance should not be considered. Every person, no matter what their age is, deserves to be treated with respect.
Is It Fun?
A senior home should not just be a place for people to live out their twilight years. It should also be a place where they can have fun and relax. Take a look at what sort of recreation is available. Things like exercise classes and live music performances can really liven the spirits of residents. You should also speak with residents about what they like about living there.
The standards of senior homes have grown over the years. Many senior citizens find these environments to be welcoming and a pleasure to stay in. You can find one for your loved one that's comfortable and attentive. Take the time to research as much as possible so that they can be set up with the best senior home possible.
Want more content about senior care and senior living? We have you covered. Check out our relevant articles in The Senior Living IDEA.
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