Daily Activities that Elderly Patients Find Difficult to Do

man at the hospital

There is a point in someone’s life at which their body will experience issues as they age. Joints and muscles tighten, becoming stiffer as the years go by. This is more likely to occur if the individual does not take part in frequent exercise or maintenance of their body.

Similarly, minds that are rarely exerted beyond the minimal day-to-day brain activity will degrade faster compared to those that participate in daily problem-solving. As long as someone performs brain exercises, they have a better chance of preserving their memories and other cognitive aspects. This reduces the likelihood that their brain cells will stop communicating with one another.

Aside from frequent use of brain cells and muscles, people also need to look into their medical history. Some cases of these diseases are a result of epigenetics that were passed on from generation to generation. Once someone expresses symptoms such as being unable to think correctly or conduct day-to-day functions, they should seek professional help.

An example of this is for diagnosed patients to seek dementia care, ensuring that they get the assistance they need. These individuals have trouble making connections in their brains or recalling memories, causing difficulty performing day-to-day activities. Here are some tasks they find challenging:

Going to the Bathroom

It can be tough to use the toilet when you have lost control over your limbs. Some elders also struggle with controlling their urination, requiring diapers to ensure their bodily functions will be covered if they excrete unknowingly. They need to be checked every hour or at least every couple of hours in case they need changing.

Some seniors are attached to tubes that provide them with nutrients or oxygen, depending on their condition. This means that they will need assistance carrying their IV or their oxygen tubes while they use their bathroom. If their limbs no longer work properly, they must either use a bedpan or a diaper to reduce the frequency of getting up.

Due to their illness and lack of control over their bodily functions, they are prone to slipping. There are instances of seniors in homes sliding over their urine. This often leads to dislocation of a hip bone, so once they are found on the floor, the nurse or caretaker should assess them and call for immediate assistance. A way to check for dislocation of the hip is by checking if both legs are of equal length.

nurse and patient

Eating

Older people have trouble consuming food that they ate when they were younger. This may be due to their difficulty chewing due to the absence of teeth and the risk that everyday food might bring to their throat or windpipe. They vary in preference, with some on an entirely soft or a semi-soft diet. Others still can eat everyday food as long as it is approved by their nutritionist and doctor as a non-choking meal.

However, since some people have trouble recalling meal times, someone needs to be present to remind them that they have to eat. They might also have to be spoonfed by their caretaker to ensure they consume the amount they have to. This will also allow their nurse to make sure that their vitamins or medicine are administered after mealtimes.

Patients also need to be cleaned up after they eat. They might be unable to clear plates or wipe their faces, depending on their situation. This is another reason they must be assigned a caretaker to look after them.

Walking

As mentioned earlier, seniors with illnesses are likely to slip. They have limited control of their limbs, especially if they did not exercise when they were younger. Therefore, they will require the assistance of caretakers or walkers to move from one place or another. Older people who are used to physical work, such as farming, are unlikely to have this issue.

Even though it is challenging for them to move around, they should still do so. Walking ensures sufficient blood circulation and keeps their heart rates up. At the same time, it can help organs to function normally. Caretakers must make sure that their patients get their daily exercise. Otherwise, it can hasten the degradation of their muscles and bones.

Seniors may be challenging to look after and care for, but they need assistance to live as long and well as possible. Failure to provide help is negligence by their family members. Doing so places the elderly in a precarious situation. An alternative is for older individuals to prepare appropriately for their retirement.

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