If you are interested in a career in health care, but you do not want to spend years in school to reach your goals, choosing a career as a home health aide will put you in a position to be truly helpful to patients and impact the lives of patients and their families for the better. What steps can you take to provide the best home health care possible?
Lila's experience is not unique. There are many cases of families who discover that what they thought to be signs of dementia in their aged loved ones are, in actuality, signs of hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
If you are caring for a senior aged 65 and older, it is important to ensure that your loved one gets a flu shot this season. Why? The CDC reports: "It is estimated that between 71 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 54 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in that age group."
In other words, seniors are at high risk for flu-related complications. This is largely because, as seniors age, their immune systems weaken over time. This is true even for seemingly healthy seniors, but it is even more important to prevent the flu if your senior is already suffering from other physical ailments.
For these families, the holidays also represent an ideal opportunity for discussing 'what if' scenarios regarding senior care for aged loved ones. Why are such discussions necessary, and how can they help a family with a loved one who may be in need of assistance?
Why Seniors May Experience the "Holiday Blues"
Psychotherapist Joyce Marter, LCPC, points out several reasons for seniors to feel especially lonely around the holidays. Perhaps your patient is grieving for a beloved mate who has died, or perhaps he or she is having trouble adjusting to physical or mental decline that will alter the pattern of the way holidays have been traditionally celebrated in the family.
If you are providing care for an aged love one, you may also have some concerns about cognitive changes in your senior. What is normal senior forgetfulness and what are warning signs of Alzheimer's? Here are some signs provided by the Alzheimer's Association to help you determine if and when to consult with a physician concerning your loved one's mental health.
Memory Loss: By far, the most recognizable symptom of Alzheimer's is memory loss. It is perfectly normal to forget a name or an address once in a while. But, if your senior's memory lapses are interfering with his or her daily life, then it is time to consult a doctor.
Expert Interview Series: Bill Laidlaw of Nine Clouds on Bedding Options for the Elderly
Bill Laidlaw, president of Nine Cloud Beds, has three decades of experience expert in the bedding industry.
We recently checked in with Bill to learn more about bedding options for bedridden, elderly and disabled individuals. Here's what he had to say:
Terry Fulmer, RN, PhD, FAAN, president of the John A. Hartford Foundation, observes: "Family caregivers of older adults are almost invisible in our health care system, yet the system could not function without them."
According to AARP, nearly 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 express a preference for staying in their homes for as long as possible, and 80 percent believe that their current residence is where they will always live. Even if seniors need some assistance with activities of daily living, 82 percent want to stay in their own homes to receive care.
The need for in home care is likely to increase exponentially in the coming years, considering that approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers retire each day. Home care is set to continue a major growth trajectory over the next decade, as more and more seniors choose to age in place at home.
Senior Population Growing Rapidly
Some would argue that there is already a shortage of caregivers to care for the increasing senior population. But statistically speaking, a wider gap is imminent. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2014, there were 46.2 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65. They represented 14.5 percent of the population.
Now, fast forward to projections for the year 2040. By 2040, adults ages 65 and over will account for 21.7 percent of the population. By 2060, it is estimated that 98 million Americans will be 65 or older. That is more than double the number of seniors in America today.