We don’t need studies and research papers to prove how important quality of life is for people of any age, especially old-age. Senior citizens are prone to chronic conditions and loneliness. Getting old involves the weakening of the immune system, digestive issues, allergies and other chronic serious diseases that restrict their ability to care for themselves.
Hectic work schedules leave youngsters with no time to spend with them and we miss taking good care of our elders. Hence, a support and palliative care center is considered to be the right place to fulfill all their unmet needs. Even family members or caregivers can acquire special training in these supportive and palliative care centers and provide support to their aged family members.
Yes, proper medication and food are significant. But is it sufficient? Dr Amit Jain Consultant & Head - Pain and Palliative Medicine, Dharamshila Rahat Supportive and Palliative Care Centre shares seven tips for caregivers to make sure that the elderly person, in the family lives a quality life:
Palliative care is not a new concept. However, these days’ people are rigid about going for something that is not highly preferred. Old-age homes and other facilities are given more importance due to easy accessibility. But what if the elderly person is suffering from advanced-stage cancer, end-stage organ failures like chronic obstructive lung diseases, kidney failure, end-stage heart failure, liver diseases and advanced neurological disease? Is an old age home the right choice in such conditions? A palliative care center is the perfect place where the elderly patient’s physical, psychological, spiritual and social and mental requirements are taken care of. Proper nutritional food, physiotherapy/counseling, spiritual sessions and medications are all covered here.
Unavoidable social inclusion
Isolation can be a leading cause of anxiety, depression, and emotional distress in senior citizens. They need attention just like any member of the family would. Going on outings/ shopping/ movies/ going to the park and socializing with senior citizen’s groups just like other people is very important for our elders. With time we tend to dismiss them as they no longer have to offer anything and in turn, they also adopt this attitude pretty typically.
Regular physical activities
Due to illness and lack of energy to do things, our grandparents tend to spend maximum time in their bed which is not a good practice. Lethargy and laziness can directly impact their mental health encouraging negative thoughts or fear of the recurrence of their treated maladies. A visit to the nearby religious places can help change their everyday mundane environment.
Notice the signs of depression
With time, elderly people start spending more time in isolation. While some of them might enjoy the routine, others might be hiding signs of anxiety and depression. Make sure your grandparents are not left alone. Include them in everything you do. Let them join you when it comes to family parties, dinners or movies. One can also avail of psychological counseling for them at supportive and palliative care centers. It adds up to their social support and mental counseling. Maybe they might just start sharing their mental issues or thoughts with you. Isn’t that perfect? That would be ideal right?
Spiritual sessions and music therapy
For years’ music has proved to be the best resource with therapeutic effects to heal physical, mental, and emotional troubles in humans. It does wonder if implemented in the right manner. Every instrument has its way of doing miracles for the human mind. Music has the ability to enhance mood and create a sense of positivity which is very much required by someone suffering from a terminal disease. Simultaneously, sessions that include yoga, meditation, and spirituality come with motivational factors calming the mind and increasing the body’s response system. It helps maintain physical and cognitive abilities in people and if practiced regularly, can make permanent changes.
As we age, our body changes and so does the need for adequate nutrition. It helps us stay active and keeps chronic conditions at bay or at least reduces the effect significantly. Consuming foods with empty calories such as chips, baked goods, alcohol, candies etc. not only harms elderly people but also worsens their ability to fight diseases. Consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables, dairy products, seeds, and nuts is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health.
Several times chronic conditions are reported at an advanced stage when cures are not possible. This leads to complicated situations, leaving the patient and family devastated. Regular checkups help track any disease in the very initial stage and create awareness to act at the earliest. Post-diagnosis, help from support and palliative care centers will prove beneficial in the recovery journey of the patients.
Working schedules can be hectic and if you have children, it is very difficult to take care of a senior citizen all the time. Get in touch with your doctor to know about the nearest palliative care centers. You can easily find one and above mentioned all the points can be covered there. It provides a complete solution to help and support elderly patients cope with severe conditions.
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