Old age is a sensitive phase in life. Elderly persons’ minds and bodies don’t function the same way as they used to, creating a confusing and worrying time for them. For this and for many other reasons, proper geriatric care is important within the community.
As persons get older, they need and deserve a lot of care and attention. Geriatric care aims to sustain elderly persons’ physical and mental health to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. Here are 7 reasons why geriatric care is a key sector in healthcare.
Elderly persons are more prone to physical health problems
As a person gets older, their body inevitably becomes weaker and frailer. Because of this, health problems big or small become a battle for the body to fight and recover from. Elderly persons are more prone to having chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, or cancer. Moreover, their bodies may not respond to certain medications as they used to, meaning that they must have frequent check-ups to know how their bodies are reacting to the disease and medications. Elderly persons therefore need constant and personalised care to be able to continue living as healthily as possible.
Dementia is common among the elderly
As the body ages, so does the mind. According to WHO, around 50 million people suffer from dementia worldwide, a disease which causes memory loss and inability to perform everyday activities. As most cases are found in elderly persons, many of them are put in senior care homes to have constant surveillance and care. Since dementia causes deterioration in memory and thinking, carers of those with the disease must be professionally trained to handle them in situations where they may feel confused and chaotic. Without the proper care, patients with dementia can sometimes turn violent with those around them, including family members and friends, and can become dangerous to themselves and others.
Enhance elderly persons’ quality of life
Within the whole community, the aim should not be to simply prolong the lives of the elderly, but to do so whilst keeping a high quality of life. Elderly persons deserve the necessary care to continue living their lives as autonomously as they can, without feeling like a burden to those around them. Geriatric carers must therefore not only focus on aiding their physical state, but also keep their mental wellbeing in mind. Many geriatric professionals encourage physical activity such as walking or yoga to those who are able to. This not only improves balance and coordination, thus lessening the chances of falls, but also increases endorphins and dopamine in the brain which boost happiness.
Trained professionals can detect and prevent health problems
Since elderly persons are more prone to serious health risks and diseases, it is vital that any health problems are identified and taken care of before they become grievous, as the body may not be able to recuperate afterwards. Geriatric healthcare professionals like senior home carers are trained to notice early signs of such health risks and prevent them from becoming any worse. It is therefore important that the elderly get the frequent professional attention that they need, as in some cases, serious conditions which result in death could have been avoided with the proper care. Incident-related injuries such as through falling can also be avoided in senior care homes, as carers would be there to immediately tend to their needs. With the Watcherr system, certain diseases and incidents can even be prevented, as staff are instantly notified of potential health risks which can be promptly dealt with.
Senior care homes provide a community of peers for the elderly
Geriatric care in senior care homes is also important so that the elderly have a place to go once they cannot live by themselves anymore, where 24/7 care is available in a welcoming environment. Senior care homes also provide elderly persons with a community of people at the same stage of life as them. Whilst they may come from different backgrounds, they can make new friends and enjoy their final years in a community of their peers. Being able to interact with others who are going through the same or similar experiences gives the elderly a sense of kinship and discourages loneliness.
Families of the elderly in senior care homes can have peace of mind
Unfortunately, not all families have the time and space to take care of elderly family members. Some are just too busy with work and other responsibilities to give the elderly the care and attention they need and deserve. So, in some cases, being put in a senior care home is the best option for the elderly person and their family. Since the person can receive the proper care from qualified and experienced healthcare professionals, their family can rest assured that they are in good hands and can live a happy and healthy rest of life.
Carers aid to combat loneliness
Sadly, some elderly persons do not have families or people who can take care of them in their time of need. Loneliness can cause serious mental health problems which in turn affect their physical state. In fact, lonely people are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those who have relationships within a community. Instead of senior care homes, one can choose to have an in-home carer to receive the same quality of care whilst remaining in their home. Some prefer to stay within the comfort of their own home as it aids in their feeling autonomous and involves a smaller change in lifestyle. These carers frequently become very close to the person they’re caring for, and offer 24/7 health support whilst eliminating feelings of loneliness.
Geriatrics is an extremely important sector in healthcare which cannot be overlooked. As people get older, they deserve even more care and attention than when they were younger, as their bodies become weaker with old age and cannot fight off diseases easily. We as a community must aim to make the lives of the elderly as best as possible, and this can only be done through the proper care of healthcare professionals.
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.