The list of chronic diseases that seniors struggle with is really long. Hypertension, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis – these are just a few examples of diseases typical of old age. Caring for the chronically ill is not easy – there are many issues that should be kept in mind in order to take care of the health and well-being of the elderly.
From the text you will learn:
- what is a chronic disease and what effects can it cause,
- what should be remembered when caring for chronically ill people,
- when to consider using specialized care centers.
According to the definition of the American Commission of Chronic Illness, a chronic disease is a disease caused by irreversible pathological changes, which is permanent and leaves behind a disability, requires specialist rehabilitation, long-term supervision, observation and care. Chronic diseases cause many inconveniences for the patient: they require long-term medication, frequent contacts with doctors, hospital stays or leading a strictly defined lifestyle. Chronic disease may also have a negative impact on the mental condition of a senior, especially when the prognosis is very bad and the therapeutic possibilities are limited.
Although there is no official list of chronic diseases , they actually include various diseases of the elderly , both those that can be controlled and, despite various inconveniences, live with them for many years (hypertension, diabetes, asthma), and those that in many cases, they end in death (coronary heart disease, cancer).
Chronic diseases – what should you remember when caring for a senior?
Chronic diseases – especially the most serious and very advanced stages – are many times a huge challenge also for the family of a sick senior. Very often it is the relatives who are responsible for taking care of the ailing parent or grandfather. It is certainly not a simple matter – each chronic disease has its own specificity and requires strictly defined management.
However, there are some general rules of conduct in the care of chronically ill seniors. They include:
- regular visits to doctors – both GPs, internists and specific specialists, depending on the disease,
- performing all control, imaging or laboratory tests recommended by doctors,
- controlling whether the senior takes all prescribed medications at the appropriate times and doses,
- applying the principles of anti-bedsore prophylaxis in bedridden people,
- adherence to nutritional rules adapted to the specificity of a given disease (e.g. diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis),
- attempts to support the mental health of a chronically ill senior and maximally improve the quality of his life.
When is specialist help needed?
It happens that despite the most sincere will and best efforts, the family is not able to provide a person suffering from a chronic disease with adequate care. There is nothing to delude yourself – it requires a lot of time, specialist knowledge, sometimes a lot of physical strength and mental resistance. In such situations, professional care centers, such as Willa Łucja, can help chronically ill seniors with rehabilitation, day stay or permanent residence . Thanks to this, the sick person gains specialist help and their family is sure that they have provided their loved ones with excellent professional care.