I was reading an interview with Ms. Jennifer Block, 49, a Buddhist chaplain who is is helping develop a new, Zen-inspired senior living community in Florida. She says, “Caregiving can be really gratifying. It’s an expression of our values and identity: the way we want the world to be. So, I try to teach people how this role benefits them. Such as learning what it’s like to be old. Or having a close, intimate relationship with an older parent for the first time in decades. It isn’t necessarily pleasant or easy.” Those who are facing such situations may read the article here.
Caregiving can also bring a lot of stress. Caregivers need to understand this and plan for it. They need to understand that they may need to structure their time, and sometimes lives around the caregiving tasks. I sometimes feel that it is like the time and energy which necessarily needs to be put aside for children, where their activities need the involvement and time of a parent. However there are many salient differences which I will devote an entire article to later.
The point is that caregiving should not be taken lightly by those who are primary caregiver, they need to plan and manage the lives of their charges and their own! The latter sometimes soes not happen and the resultant stress affects the tasks. Others in the family should also understand the enormity of the issue and provide support, not just helping out where possible, but providing emotional support too. Help in care taking, help that would make the caregiver’s day easier, or just acknowledgement that a great job is being done!
The study of the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging is called gerontology. Doctors who treat older people are called geriatricians. However both these are not sufficient to provide support to the growing number of older people in our society. If you think that working with older people is for you, check out this list of careers. There’s something here for all levels of education and for people with varied interests.
The obvious careers that come to mind are those where medicine & nursing are specialized for older people. People providing everyday care for elders and advising them about their medications. But there are many more requirements in other fields where one can specialize in providing services to the elderly.
For a detailed list of careers check out the list here.
When elderly people fall the outcomes can be very serious, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Falls may lead to being confined to the bed during the period it takes to recover, which leads to further weakening of muscles and decrease in capability to recover. Seniors who are able to manage their lives independently are often pushed into long term dependence after a fall. Some may even be bedridden for the rest of their lives.
Prevention of falls should be a priority, most falls CAN be prevented. At least one-third of all falls in the elderly involve environmental hazards in the home. Please take note of this and act now...
A checklist list that you can use to asses your home for risk is given here.
Fall prevention advice can also be obtained from the following websites.
Prevention of Falls in the Elderly | Health | Patient.co.uk
Daksha Bhat is interested in the management of ageing. As our society ages we need to create structures that will support the needs of the ageing population. We need to talk about the issues, understand them, and create the social environment that will lead to better services for the elderly. This website is a small attempt to be part of a bigger solution.