As a society, it is important for us to take care of each other, especially those who cannot take care of themselves.
Apart from children, people who depend on others for aid to complete everyday tasks, such as the elderly and disabled people, need extra attention to ensure that their daily needs are being met. Why is it so important to prioritise the wellbeing of these individuals, and how can we as a community assist them?
They are a valuable part of our community
Despite some people viewing people with dependencies as ‘extra’ in society, they are a valuable and essential part of our community. Just like everyone else, they go to school, work, pay taxes, and do other necessary things which we all do in order to live. Whilst these aspects vary depending on the gravity of their dependency, such as that many elderly persons are pensioners and therefore no longer work, we must remember that the value of their lives does not depend on their ability to contribute to the economy. What does matter is that these individuals are human beings deserving of human rights and humane decency, thus their physical and mental wellbeing must not be disregarded.
They’re more vulnerable to everyday accidents
When it comes to people with physical dependencies, such as persons in wheelchairs or amputees, they’re typically more vulnerable to everyday accidents like falling down. While these incidents occur frequently for most people, such people with dependencies are more susceptible to serious injuries as a result of a small accident, given that their bodies may be weaker or that they could fall in a more grievous position. Since caregivers cannot possibly be with such persons every hour of every day, advanced technology like the Watcherr wearable monitoring tech can detect falls and notify healthcare professionals so that the person will immediately be assisted.
Ensure that environments are disability-friendly
Unfortunately, countless environments around the world are still not suitable for certain people with dependencies. Many buildings do not have ramps for wheelchair users, or railings for those who can use stairs but are not physically strong enough to do so. This leads to them not being able to visit that place, whether it is a restaurant, hotel, school, workplace, government building, etc, resulting in clear discrimination against them. Apart from it being a legal problem, instances like these negatively and sometimes severely impact the mental wellbeing of individuals with dependencies. These persons should not feel that they cannot enter a building, whatever it may be, due to a lack of care to include features for accessibility.
Become educated on their needs
In order for us to truly improve people with dependencies’ wellbeing, we must first understand how they live their daily lives and what we can do to improve their overall experiences. It is therefore crucial that from a young age we are educated on different peoples’ circumstances, and which needs they can fulfil autonomously as well as which ones we must assist with. By doing so, we do not only show these individuals that we care about them, thus already aiding their mental wellbeing, but we may also support their basic needs whenever required.
Make sure that caregivers truly care
It is undoubtedly clear that without proper care, people with dependencies do not live satisfactory lives. Apart from love and assistance from family and friends, these people need professional persons who are trained to treat individuals and can offer the amount of attention which they require. On top of proper training to deal with both mental and physical challenges which these people face, it is crucial that caregivers actually care about the person/s they are watching over. Without care comes neglect, resulting in a loss in both physical and mental wellbeing for the person with dependencies.
Prioritise pre-empting secondary illnesses
Due to their already lower physical health, people with dependencies are typically more vulnerable to secondary diseases and health issues, including mental health concerns, higher rates of obesity, higher rates of HIV infection, and premature mortality, as found by WHO. We must therefore prioritise pre-empting diseases which they may develop, since cures are not always available and are not completely guaranteed to fix the problem. Tech devices such as Watcherr’s health monitoring system aims to prevent secondary illnesses by carefully and continuously checking health vitals for any inconsistencies. The wearable AI tech sends alerts to healthcare professionals whenever this occurs, so that the problem may be immediately tackled, and the person’s health is safeguarded.
Therefore, it is important that the mental and physical wellbeing of people with dependencies are not disregarded as they are a vital part of our community, and we all must do our utmost to assist them in any way that we can.
Some statements are subject to clinical trials and are not commercially available yet. We are demonstrating our systems on 26-27-28 April 2022 via the Inspire Healthcare (Flanders Expo Gent) event.