The needs of people in old age – part 2
Furthermore, respiratory functions get weakened. A very serious and dangerous disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic, as indicated by its name, inflammation of the lungs caused primarily after continuous and chronic exposure to noxious stimuli, such as smoking.
Regarding brain function, a decrease in blood flow and synthesis of neurotransmitters, has the effect of reducing the psychomotor and cognitive abilities of elderly people. Also, a very serious disease of our time, which is found mainly in people over 65 years, is Alzheimer’s. It is a form of degenerative, incurable dementia. Symptoms include memory loss, and confusion, aggression, depression and gradual decline of bodily functions.
Finally, it is worth mentioning an embarrassing situation for the elderly, which deprives them largely their independence. This situation is urinary incontinence, and although it can occur in any age group, the incidence rate is increased significantly with advancing age. Common causes of incontinence are changes in the anatomy of the urinary tract, the muscles or the nerves that control these muscles. These changes may contribute to specific neurological disorders or some trauma (e.g. multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, etc.), pregnancy and childbirth, hormonal changes that occur during menopause or obesity.
Chronic incontinence can be divided into the following subcategories:
- Incontinence effort
- Urinary incontinence
- Functional incontinence
- Overflow incontinence
- Mixed incontinence
Incontinence treatment may include medication or even surgery depending on the situation.
Having seen, then, some of the physical problems the elderly have to deal with, we can easily justify the negative psychology, depression, and irritation they may externalize. The weakness of self providing, fear of the future and the state of health, but also social and psychological factors – bereavement, lack of interest, loneliness, and even financial difficulties – result in introversion and withdrawal.
What is worth remembering is that the progress of medical science is rapid and to our advantage. Health problems, less or more serious acquire ways to be treated thanks to medical advances. The elderly nowadays can be kept active and greatly improve their quality of life with the help of science, and it is certainly optimistic for all of us the fact that life expectancy has increased about 30 years from the mid-20th century. Apart, however, from what has been said, perhaps most important of all to improve the psychology and living standards of the elderly, is support from both social care, and the family environment.
It is necessary to be recognized as active citizens, desirable in the community, and of course to ensure their right to a decent routine, enjoying life.
…this article is provided by www.tiptonhomecare.co.uk