A photograph shared by Kris Krug on Flickr shows an elderly woman with a photo of herself when she was much younger.
Professionals in health care [LG1]
face a growing number of aging patients. The Center for Disease Control (CDC)[LG2]
estimates workers will encounter more patients with elderly diseases that effect the mind. Furthermore, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are not enough qualified professionals to handle the growing number of people who now require “memory care” and other services for aging clients. [LG3]
Dementia and other diseases of the brain afflicting the elderly begin to show signs when patients are in their early to mid-60s. With many baby boomers in the population nearing this age, the number of dementia patients is growing at a steady rate and it will continue growing for the next couple decades.
It is important to explore different ways to care for the aging population. Below there are some important things to remember.
Patience Is Key With Patients
Caring for the elderly is a noble job. Anyone that has taken care of a loved one or volunteered knows this all too well. As patients age, they become more forgetful and at times confrontational. So, it is important to remain patient when you are working with clients, especially when you begin working with new patients. Take time to get to know them. Building positive rapport makes your job easier.
Regular Communication Keeps Things Clear
Communicating with each patient’s care team frequently ensures everyone is on the same page, medications are being properly administered, and the patient is comfortable. Communicating with the patient’s family is also important so you know when things change if the patient forgets something. During the next decades with the aging population growing, it will be even more important to communicate with families.
Treat Aging Patients with Dignity
Our elderly citizens give a lot to society, and many of them find themselves at the end of their life being cared for by strangers. It is embarrassing to these patients when their family does not come more often to see them. So, make sure you always treat them with respect and dignity. Explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. If they ask you not to do something respect their wishes.
Do Not Take Things Personally
Stress from tight financial situations, loneliness, frustration over loss of mobility, and sudden sadness and emotional outbursts can be common in aging people, according to the United Kingdom’s Stroke Association. When a patient snaps at you or acts difficult, remember their mood will likely pass quickly. Diffusing the situation is always the best option.
Working in healthcare is rewarding, but it is difficult work. Remember the positive impact you have on patients and the important role you play in society as a caretaker when family members are unable to be there.
If you have a loved one that is in need of rehabilitation, please contact Sterling Staffing Solutions at 281-240-3536. If your loved one has a terminal illness and requires comfort, palliative or hospice care, please contact White Orchid Hospice at 888-403-8326.