Working in elderly care can be incredibly rewarding, but it is also quite difficult. These tips will help you navigate a way through the most difficult situations. Caring for older people with specific or general chronic diseases can be one of the toughest roles that there is, and you should be prepared for this.
Know your common elderly diseases
If you are a caregiver in elderly care, it is absolutely essential that you have a thorough understanding of the most common elderly diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart diseases, and depression, as well as living challenges. Age-related issues such as arthritis, asthma, and blindness, as well as chronic illnesses such as cancer or kidney disease, are those in the top ten common illnesses and must be known and understood if you aim to work with older people.
A disease like Parkinson’s disease, although not noted in the top ten common diseases, will also be important if you work with older adults. It is one of those diseases that a large number of older people are concerned about, and as such, you must be able to discuss it with them and allay their fears, or signpost them to the relevant support.
Use the resources at your disposal
When looking after older patients in care with chronic or age-related diseases, it will be essential to find out about the things you don’t know. Be prepared to seek advice as well as be able to use the various resources at your disposal to improve their care. You don’t have to do everything on your own and should never feel like you have to. Speak with others in the facility and look to support each other.
Include a social element
For many older adults in care who have a chronic illness or a common elderly disease, their lives become dominated by the illness or condition. As a caregiver, it will be important to recognize this, and yes, the patient’s physical and biological health is paramount, but so too is their mental health. Having a social element included in elderly care will go a long way to providing balanced and holistic care.
Don’t be afraid to refer those in your care for further assessments
As mentioned above, where health is concerned, you can never ask too many questions. Just don’t ask them all to the older person in your care. If you have concerns as to a worsening condition or think that there should be something done, then you need to follow the referral and reposting system as accurately as possible. Don’t hesitate; by speaking to others or arranging another professional to assess your patient, you will allay your own concerns and be a much better caregiver for it.
The tips discussed here are incredibly easy to understand and implement and will go a long way to making the care of those with chronic illnesses and elderly diseases much more enjoyable and professional.