When They Need More: Senior Care for The Elderly Disabled

Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other bodily and mental declines in old age can necessitate the need for newer, more specialized forms of care. Similarly, long-lasting conditions like Down Syndrome and autism need continuous, and possibly, intensified attention. We at A Better Choice Senior Care ensure that each and every in-home caregiver we deploy in Northridge, CA is properly informed on how to care for elders with special needs. To do this, first and foremost, it is important to determine when an individual is disabled and requires special care.

There are several types of disabilities we know of which require different types of assistance. Physical disabilities affect a person through mobility. A veteran who had lost a leg to the war has an example of a physical disability. Sensory disabilities affect the senses, such as sight and hearing. Intellectual disabilities affect communication and learning, such as Alzheimer’s disease (slow loss of memory and cognitive abilities). Lastly, mental illnesses affect behaviors, thinking, and emotional state. Conditions that fall under mental illness may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety. Each of these disabilities causes unique difficulties in everyday activities, whether they may be getting out of bed or doing the dishes. Experts identify some core activities that make daily, independent living possible.

There are activities called Activities of Daily Living, commonly called ADLs. The five core ADLs are bathing, dressing, using the toilet, transferring from bed to chair, and feeding oneself. However, elders with disabilities may find it difficult to do even one of the ADLs. Experts note that these core activities make daily, independent living possible.

And there are other tasks called IADL activities, or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. These may include making meals, doing shopping, cleaning the house, and managing finances. These may require more thought than ADLs and can be done from time to time. Though IADLs are not as essential as ADLs, they still make life easier and more convenient.

Another concept to take note of is cognitive functioning. This is also used to measure mental ability. Cognitive abilities, such as thinking, remembering, and understanding, are vital in doing many ADLs and IADLs. If an elderly individual has problems with basic understanding and comprehension, they may require an in-home caregiver in Northridge, CA to assist in these vital tasks.

A Better Choice Senior Care’s staff takes it upon themselves to personally check on each of their clients and determine what kind of care suits them best, based on which tasks they need help with. Aside from assisting with basic tasks, our caregivers also recognize other steps required to communicate well with elders with special needs.

Listening openly. It is important to be patient with someone who is struggling with expressing themselves. A person with dementia might not be able to respond right away to a question, while a person with hearing problems might need a lower tone to hear what is being asked of them. For a caregiver to effectively understand someone with special needs, they may rely on nonverbal cues or body language. If possible, a caregiver may suggest words to help out a client with their train of thought.

Staying kind and reassuring. Many clients may feel alone and afraid in the face of their problems. For example, Alzheimer’s disease causes upsetting changes in one’s thought process and memory. The client may feel overwhelmed and not know what to do. Additionally, Alzheimer’s cause personality changes that may cause elders to become more paranoid or aggressive, especially at night. Fortunately, our caregivers at A Better Choice Senior Care know the value of kindness and affection; we constantly strive to treat our clients respectfully and tactfully.

Delivering clear and concise messages. Individuals who have learning disabilities may find it difficult to understand and parse complex sentences. Asking clear and concise questions and not offering too many choices may help. For example, in asking someone what they want to eat for breakfast, one can ask “Would you like some pancakes or some eggs?” Better yet, a caregiver can use visual cues to show the choices available.

Caring for the disabled can be a daunting task and requires much forethought and planning. Keeping the house safe and mobility-friendly, as well as keeping lines of communication open may use up a lot of mental and emotional labor. A good idea would be to hire an in-home caregiver to ease the burden. For more information on elderly care for the disabled, call A Better Choice Senior Care at (818) 268-2734. You can also email us at adavac@yahoo.com. We provide Southern California with personalized senior care services that fit all sorts of people and lifestyles. Quality senior care is only a phone call away.