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Helping Seniors With Long Term Recovery: Tips For Carers To Make The Process Easier

Every year over 525,000 Americans experiences their first heart attack while around 795,000 people experience strokes. Of that number, 75 percent of them are aged 65 and over. Recovering from medical conditions such as these can be a long road for older people. As we age, so does our bodies and immune system and recovery can take a longer time. The process of healing and returning to optimal health can be a stressful and trying time for both seniors and their caregivers, whether they are patients that are newly diagnosed or living with it for years. By implementing simple changes, you can ensure the process is a smooth and easy one for either yourself or a loved one.

Arrange For Help Sooner Rather Than Later – Both Personal And Infrastructural

The days immediately after medical events such as strokes, cardiac episodes, and even falls can find older Americans feeling frail and with limited movement. Small adjustments to both their living environment and making help available can help them in those initial times. Standard additions such as the placement of bath rails and reorganization of items to a more accessible level can help them maintain some level of independence and prevent further harm. Slips and falls are one of the most commonly reported incidents amongst seniors in America. Around1 in 4 older Americans experience falls each year and in those times where they are in long term recovery, these chances increase sizably.

In addition to making your home accessible, be sure to plan with other family members or carers a timetable to be present and help, particularly in the early days after being released from the hospital or care facilities. This is also the point where you will need to consider whether you can provide the level of long term care that person may need and do so comfortably at home.

Weigh Their Rehabilitation Options- Care Facilities Vs Recovering At Home

Speaking of providing long term care, considering the best rehabilitation option is one of the most important decisions in the recovery process of an older loved one. While most of us prefer to age at home, in a place surrounded by family and comfort there are cases where care facilities may prove to be better medically and financially. Some stroke patients can suffer long term loss of their motor skills and require round the clock care and physical rehabilitation. This can prove to be along, tough road and requires much commitment from both the caregivers and the patient. One of the most cited reasons for families not choosing assisted living is its costs. Take the time to inquire whether their state health insurance covers senior facilities and the extent of its coverage. Only then can you align your budgetary reach and make a decision on what you can afford.

Don’t Forget Their Mental Health

Our physical and mental health are strongly linked; a decline in one can impact the other. In long term recovery for seniors, this is particularly prevalent. Approximately 15 percent of adults 60 and older deal with mental illness including clinical depression. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, 1-5 percent of the senior population are affected by depression. This can be further broken down into 13.5 percent of those that require home healthcare and 11.5 percent of those in hospitals. In addition, certain illnesses can trigger or worsen these symptoms including dementia, strokes and multiple sclerosis.

For those recovering, this can stem from long hospital stays or even PTSD from the actual event such as a stroke or fall. In long term recovery, there can also be a loss of motivation and sometimes, poor mental health can be influenced by a drastic change in their lifestyle such as regularly being active outdoors. It is important that we pay attention to both mental and physical recovery as they interrelate with each other. Think of ways to keep your older loved ones recovering (or in some cases, yourself) motivated. Account for small progress and celebrate them as targets. In addition, speaking to a professional or even confiding in a family member can be beneficial to them getting their thoughts out. While the way life may look may have changed, its new routine does not necessarily have to be viewed through a bad light. Establishing hobbies and a strong support network for senior citizens can prove invaluable during this time.

What To Avoid When Speaking With Someone Who Has Dementia

In recent years, those who live with dementia are leading fuller, more active lives than they may have done in previous decades. Treatment is more readily available, and though there is no known cure as yet, the general public are better informed in how to approach those who have it.

But if you’ve not met someone who has dementia before, there are a few easy mistakes to make which can be embarrassing and distressing for everyone involved. Below are a few things to avoid when conversing with someone who has dementia.

Recall

One of the most difficult symptoms of dementia to navigate is the loss of full recall (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11826-memory-loss-signs-of-dementia–more-). Many people with dementia can become very distressed and embarrassed when asked a direct question about past events that they have difficulty remembering. Sometimes the inability to recall can be very slight or can be dramatic.

“If a person with dementia talks about a subject that shows they are having difficulty recalling, you should ask yourself whether it is truly necessary,” writes Stephen James, an author at Academized and PaperFellows. “If you do need to help them remember something, avoid asking them directly, and talk, instead, about what you remember about an event or story.”

Confusing Directions

Dementia can affect verbal cognition. Remember that if a person with dementia is having difficulty understanding an instruction, continuing to repeat that instruction is likely to confuse them further. If you need a person with dementia to perform a series of actions, such as putting on a coat and shoes and getting into a car, listing them off in one go is going to overwhelm them.

Instead, give clear direction for each task you want them to do. It is important to issue them as directions rather than questions as they may have difficulty understanding the context for each action.

Complex Language

In fact, it is a good idea to modify your language over all. Even those who have had a large vocabulary may have difficulty fully comprehending long winding sentences. Using complex words and difficult phrases is likely to cause confusion which, in turn, can lead to embarrassment and irritation.

Instead, use simple sentences with uncomplicated words. Having said that, remember that dementia doesn’t affect a person’s IQ, so it is also important not to become condescending.

Emotional Subjects

Living with dementia can be distressing enough without someone constantly reminding you of all you may not recall. If you are speaking with someone who lives with dementia it is important to avoid conversations which may make them emotional. This can include correcting aspects of their lives that they may not recall, or distressing events such as a loved one’s death which they may not remember.

It is best to avoid conversing on explosives subjects such as politics or religion,” says Jane Renbourne, a regular contributor to Custom Writing Service and BigAssignments. “Though they may be able to recall aspects of this, those who live with dementia have difficulty dealing with conflict. Even what seems like a slight disagreement may spiral out of control. “

Impatience

Most importantly of all, it is important to remain as patient as can be when interacting with a person living with dementia. Showing haste to complete their sentences, telling them things you think they should remember and disrespecting their need to communicate for themselves is as upsetting as it is with anyone else. Remember that however difficult adapting to dementia is for the observer, it can be a constant source of frustration for the person who has it.

However, if you show some understanding and patience, there is no reason that both you and your friend with dementia cannot spend some wonderful and meaningful times together.