When we talk about the elderly, there is always a genuine concern over their overall health, and when it comes to elderly patients, self-neglect can be a huge problem. What many studies and researches have shown is that there are a lot of unreported cases of self-neglect among the elderly, which is an increasing problem. In addition to this, many experts believe that self-neglect in older people is most likely to happen:
- When they isolate themselves or when they are living alone
- When there is a problem with a depression
- When some chronic disorders are in place
- When there is the abuse of substances
- When they are diagnosed with Alzheimer disease or some other form of judgment or memory loss
These are just some examples of when self-neglect can occur, and the care managers’ reports do not look very promising when it comes to this topic, and 94% of them believe and think that self-neglect is a severe and fast-growing issue today. That is why we gathered ten most commonly neglected problems in elderly patients.
What this basically means is taking multiple prescribed medications, and it can, and it is a problem with the elderly having to take several medications every day. There is also a greater risk for experiencing some side-effects from having all those medications, and a problem with drug interactions is also very severe. When we look up the CDC reports, there are over 200 thousand seniors who visit hospitals and emergency rooms due to their medication. It is a gross problem, especially when there is no need to take all those drugs, but it is easier for doctors to prescribe them.
Another problem with so many medications is about taking them correctly. Many older people don’t take their drugs on time, which can lead to worsening their chronic condition or even worse.
The price of those drugs is also something worth mentioning as they do not come cheap, but luckily, there are many verified websites where you can find and buy prescription drugs for a fair price. For more info on that – check this website.
2. Poor personal hygiene
This one is quite common with seniors, especially when they live alone, and it is one problem we can all notice. Not taking care of themselves, keeping their clothes or houses clean unfortunately happens very often. By many reports, this happens due to their loneliness and the feeling that they are left behind.
Today, we have many reports, studies, and even surveys to helps us better understand something, and due to that fact, we know that more than 52% of people 65+ years are experiencing pain on a daily basis. As we get old, bothersome pain can occur in multiple parts of our body, and there are several reasons for that. Some of them are:
- less physical activity
- less social activity
- not taking good care of our health
Another important thing is that this problem should be dealt with by psychotherapy, physical therapy, exercises, or other non-drug approaches whenever that is possible.
4. Lack of will
Some of the signs that something is off can also be not paying bills, when there are utility shut-offs, or bounced checks, etc. That lack of a will can be quite hard for their family members, and sometimes some kind of intervention is needed. Contacting care doctors or social workers is recommended as it is a good starting point for dealing with this problem.
5. Malnutrition and dehydration
Another problem that can worsen seniors’ overall health is dehydration and (or) malnutrition. Severe weight loss can also be a sign of not enough adequate food in the house, and all that can lead to their chronic illness to be even more serious.
Whether the fall caused a minor or more substantial injury is life-determining for seniors. That fear of falling is high and quite common, and it can lead to decreasing their activities, and it can represent an even greater risk for falls in the future. Broken hips are very serious, and experts call them “a life-changing” injury. Two main factors cause these injuries – the lack of strength and balance. Again, there are exercises to get better and overcome these injuries.
Isolation and loneliness can be very, very dangerous to everyone’s health, especially for the elders. Feeling lonely is closely tied to further losing physical abilities, and eventually, death. Yes, this doesn’t happen overnight, but by most studies, the persons who were feeling the lack of social connection or social contacts, their condition worsen in the next couple (5-7) years.
A more critical situation is with the people who live alone, especially when they are not in shape to go out. That is why being near to family members or family caregivers is very important. Seniors who have untreated hearing loss, may lose their independence and become isolated from friends and loved ones. According to Blue Angels Hearing, the graph of older people who are suffering from hearing loss has increased over the years. Today, we are all quite aware of just how important it is to be in contact with others, and even though we should be closer than ever with modern technology, it is actually quite the opposite. Feeling lonely or isolated also represents a risk for depression.
8. Urinary Incontinence
Bladder problems are nothing new, and dealing with that is what can be a problem. It happens to both women and men, and it can be uncomfortable, which again can lead to reducing their activities and social contacts. Several treatments are available for this condition, and doctor’s expertise and choosing the right one is crucial for dealing with the bladder issues.
9. Memory problems
There is a general fear when it comes to memory loss, which is common, and people are trying to avoid being evaluated, all because of the fear of possible dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. There is no need for that, because thanks to modern medicine, there are several treatments that have excellent results for people dealing with dementia. Improving brain function with specific activities to improve overall brain health is the first and essential step to treat such memory loss.
Many reasons can affect and lead to depression, but lack of social activities and contacts is sure one of the general causes. One of the first signs, by most specialists, is the lack of joy when doing things that used to bring pleasure, which is otherwise known as anhedonia. Non-drug treatment is not that often for dealing with depression with seniors, and psychotherapy, along with proper medication, has the best results.
No one can guarantee that self-neglected problems with seniors can be easily dealt with, as it all depends on the person. But a good thing to know is that there are treatments, medications, and solutions for making their lives better. The first and most important thing to start dealing with the problem is realizing there is one.