Elderly people have different challenges and needs than the rest of the population that must be met every day for them to live independently for as long as possible. Caretakers should help them meet these needs without compromising their health and safety.
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Starting first thing in the morning, proper hygiene is essential. Teeth need to be brushed, and dentures need to be soaked. Whether elderly people under your care want to shower or bathe daily or every few days, safety needs to be a top concern. Railings and nonslip mats can help them maintain balance and prevent falls. Some safety seats fit directly into bathtubs, and another kind actually lifts the person into the tub from the outside. If incontinence is a concern, adult diapers will need to be worn and changed regularly.
Mobility becomes a concern if the person under your care has muscle weakness, vision loss, or other health conditions that can occur with ageing. If the elderly person needs a wheelchair, the home will need a ramp and other wheelchair-accessible features. Similarly, walkers and canes may be required to help him get around safely.
It is important to ensure that an elderly person under your care continues to eat proper meals, especially if she is living alone and may have difficulty cooking. It might be tempting for her to snack rather than cook for one person, which can lead to inadequate nourishment. Check labels and fridge items frequently and throw out all expired items. If it is hard for her to get around, she may not be able to keep fresh food on hand, so it is up to the caregiver to keep a healthy balance of fresh food available. A caretaker can prepare food in advance and freeze the meals to be reheated and eaten. Volunteer and paid services also can bring in healthy meals regularly.
Prescriptions and Doctor Visits
Health issues that require attention become a greater concern with age. If the elderly person under your care has any condition requiring medications prescribed by the doctor, it is vital that he take the medications at the right time and in the proper dosage. If he uses over-the-counter products as well, it is important to read labels and consult a doctor or pharmacist to ensure the products have no possible interactions with prescribed medications. Watch for possible side effects from medication, and help him maintain regular doctor visits by providing transportation and making the appointments if necessary.
Exercise & Activity
Exercise is important to maintain muscle function and to keep elderly people as healthy as possible, and socialising with other people and engaging in mind-stimulating activities are just as important. Some activities will need to be planned according to mobility and health issues, but provided the elderly people's minds and bodies are stimulated, the activities can be as simple as reading a book and going for a walk.
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