Elderly people have a unique set of needs, both physical and psychological. If you are caring for an aging loved one, it is important to understand these common needs, so you can make sure your loved one is both physically and emotionally cared for.
What really defines an elderly person? An elderly person is defined as anyone 65+ years of age. However, there are many different aspects of aging that include biological, psychological, and social factors. Individuals transition through these stages in a variety of ways, but we often see a common trend with the five primary stages of aging.
Elderly people need different levels of care for each of these five stages. Depending on the stage they are in, they will have different social needs and physical needs. They will also require different levels of help to complete daily tasks.
Humans are, by nature, social animals. No matter our age, we all have social needs – whether it’s the need to be loved, to be accepted by our peers, or to belong to a community. Satisfying these social needs can improve an elderly person’s quality of life and help protect against illnesses and depression.
Below are a few basic psychological needs of the elderly. This list contains what elderly individuals need the most to ensure they are emotionally healthy.
Elderly individuals have a basic need to remain connected to family members, friends and like minded seniors. This is psychologically beneficial because connections can lower rates of depression and loneliness.
Older adults tend to be in a better place emotionally if they are able to remain active in familiar communities in ways that are meaningful to them. Getting out in the community can be as simple as walks in a park or attending a religious service.
An aging brain needs to remain stimulated. Regular mental stimulation reduces the risk of the type of cognitive decline that can affect behavior and increase susceptibility to depression and other mental health problems.
Seniors need to feel emotionally safe and secure as they get older, which sometimes involves addressing practical needs related to aging. They may need things such as home modifications or a medical alert system. This brings us to the physical needs of older adults.
Older adults can have many physical needs arise as they age. Geriatric nurses are often the ones who meet these needs, and they work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and retirement communities. They also provide care in patients’ homes. Geriatric nurses may offer patients preventive care as well as help them with conditions such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. Patients may be bedridden or mentally impaired. They may suffer from debilitating pain and need help managing that.
Here are a few of the most common physical services needed by older adults.
While families do their best to care for aging loved ones, sometimes the needs of an aging family member can evolve past what the family can realistically handle. When this happens, the elderly person may not get the care they need physically and emotionally.
At Senior Home Companions, we match families with the perfect caregivers for their loved ones. This takes the stress off the families and makes sure the elderly person’s needs are met. Contact us today if you have questions about this process or if you are wondering if an elderly loved one needs outside care. We understand how tough these decisions are, but our compassionate staff is here to help through every step of the process.