With aging, elderly people require a lot more attention and care. One of the most important areas of care is their psychological well being. It is not uncommon for senior citizens to be depressed, having mood disorders, feeling lonely or having other psychological problems. Additionally, they may be suffering from dementia. All these issues adversely affect their physical health. The whole process of mental and physical health deterioration ruins their healthy aging cycle, leaving them sad and unhappy. Things can me made much better for aging people by proper and attentive psychological care. Here is how we can go about it:
Understanding the Process of Aging
The process of aging is not easy. From complete independence, the person loses a lot of personal dependence and strength, and becomes reliant on others; sometimes even the most basic needs. The body does not work as fast as it used to, the senses depreciate, and the brain becomes weak. It is very difficult for the elderly to come to terms with all these changes, during which many are exposed to psychological issues. The ones taking care of aging people need to understand the process of aging. This will help them to look at their concerns and behavior from a much better and understandable perspective.
The challenges that aging brings forth require a lot of patience from the care taker’s side. While taking care of an elderly, be considerate of their needs and the changes that they are going through. They would be going through decline in their sensory abilities, so keep that in mind while communicating with them and attending to them. Speak a bit louder, but politely. Hand them things carefully. Help them with eating, drinking and dressing if they need assistance with that.
Do Not Imply Yourself
They have lived a life on their own, and having to be told what to do may not be taken so well in aging. Leave some authoritative space for the elderly to make choices and decisions. Let them feel that they are still in power, they can decide. This will help them retain dignity and self respect and take aging process positively. Do not try to impose your decisions on them; instead ask them in a manner that they automatically make the right call.
Make Them Feel Included
The main reason why people are prone to psychological problems like depression, mood disorders, hallucinations, etc., is because they don’t feel included in their social surroundings. They are often ignored in conversations even if they were present in the same room. This leads to a lot of self doubt and speculation. They feel lonely and unwanted. So make them feel a part of family. Include them in conversations and seek their opinion just like you normally would ask any other person. Don’t discredit their input.
Aging is a challenging course. But with help from caretakers, it can be made easy for the people who are going through the process. It only requires consideration and empathy.