Old age diseases for which a professional caregiver would be useful
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Old age diseases for which a professional caregiver would be useful

Old age diseases for which a professional caregiver would be useful

In this blog post, we review the major diseases and health conditions that most affect our seniors and for which a professional caregiver can make a difference even if a family caregiver is available.

Unfortunately, the increasing longevity amongst the elderly is also accompanied by a proliferation of pathologies as part of normal aging, some of which affect cognitive faculties.

Older age-related health problems significantly impede the independence of seniors in their everyday life. They are also sources of frequent household accidents.

In order for seniors to be able to live in a safe and secure environment, it is best to consider entering a retirement home or to call in a professional caregiver to ensure home support.

Care in a retirement home is recommended in the case of certain diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or following a stroke.

In residences for the elderly, residents are freed from the constraints of daily life such as housekeeping and meal preparation, and they enjoy constant medical supervision which diminishes the risk factor of accidents.

On the other hand, many seniors prefer home care, despite their state of health. A professional caregiver, alone or with a family caregiver, can provide adequate levels of care, support and supervision for the most common senior illnesses.

Although they are quite common among older adults, we do not include high blood pressure, heart disease, hearing loss, sight loss, etc., as illnesses for which a professional caregiver could make such a difference.

Here are the old age diseases for which a professional caregiver would be of great help to you

Cancer

There are many types of cancer but suffice to say that two in five Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime as it is the leading cause of death (30%) in Canada in many age groups.

Cancer is a group of diseases for which there is abnormal growth of cells in our body. When the cells proliferate anarchically or do not die, they eventually form masses called "tumours".

Alzheimer’s Disease

It is a degenerative brain disease that results in progressive deterioration of memory and cognitive abilities. Alzheimer's is often mixed up with dementia where the reduction of cognitive functions (including memory) results in significant difficulties in daily functioning.

There is still no cure or vaccine for Alzheimer's disease, but appropriate treatments with intellectual stimulation can slow down its progression.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease. This pathology affects the health of the elderly more and more as it progresses.

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease of the nervous system that mainly affects the movements of the person with the disease. It’s usually diagnosed between 50 to 70 years old. It is characterized by rigid, jerky and uncontrollable gestures.

Currently available treatments allow the reduction of symptoms and the slowdown of its progression. Well followed, a person can live for several years with Parkinson's.

Strokes

A stroke is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain or by the obstruction (blood clot) of a cerebral artery. The symptoms may be loss of motor skills and sensitivity in a part of the body, difficulties to express themselves clearly, paralysis of the facial muscles, intense migraines or difficulties to move. Early treatment will reduce the consequences.

The following statistics should be considered:

  • Three-quarters of the victims are older than 65 years old
  • A quarter of victims die shortly after the attack
  • Three-quarters of survivors are disabled by the aftermath of the accident

Arthritis

Arthritis is a degeneration of the joints cartilage. It is the most common joint disease in the elderly. The first symptoms usually appear between 40 to 50 years of age.

The disease is characterized by joint deformities mostly of the hands and knees. Management will relieve the symptoms and improve the function of the joints.

Osteoporosis

Also causing pain and movement difficulties, osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones and reduces their resistance. As a result, people are at risk of fractures.

We cannot recommend enough a good lifestyle, mostly physical activity, and a sufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D, which should reduce the risks.

Malnutrition

Malnutrition is recognized by the World Health Organization as a disease in itself that needs to be treated; relatively common among the elderly, malnutrition generates or accompanies the risk of loss of autonomy.

Incontinence disorders

Incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine and fecal matter, affects 40% of men and 28% of women over 70 years. Incontinence is still a taboo subject today; nevertheless, solutions exist to prevent it or at least to limit the inconvenience.

Conclusion; A professional caregiver could be useful

It may be disturbing to see the capabilities of a loved one decline, but with the help of a knowledgeable professional caregiver, it can help you accept change and adapt to it.

To ensure the quality of life of a senior with an illness, it is important to deploy adequate resources that create a safe and supportive home environment.

Family caregivers and relatives are responsible for finding information on available home care and support services. They will have to make a decision regarding help because a senior's illness can have a significant impact on caregivers, families and their loved ones.

Home care and support include supervision and personal care (bathing aid, hygiene, meals at home, etc.) but also some nursing and other specialized care.

Do not hesitate to use a professional caregiver which can make a difference for older adults suffering from many types of chronic conditions or chronic diseases; especially if your loved one needs specialized care or regular treatment in a hospital or a medical facility.

For more information, please consult the Home Instead blog or contact us at (514) 800-8424.

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