SENIORS: ADJUSTING TO DECLINE

Oct 5th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Difficult Declines in Health

There are articles and issues that I had as soon not broach.  However. a healthy approach to life and living doesn’t permit that.  Denial is a form of coping.  It is not a very good way to go about dealing with the multitude of adjustments and adversities that come our way, but it is a way.

Choosing to be courageous, realistic and prepared to deal with those reversals, for they frequently are that, that come our way, is the more appropriate of available options.

Decline in health matters is one of those adjustments that emerge as we, or others in our close circle, age.  The signs are sometimes obvious and glaring.  Often they are subtle and not so evident.  The discovery of indicators of decline can, by itself, be cause for an emotional and mental set back.  Suddenly becoming aware of reduced capacities, however and wherever they show up is a wake up callIt serves to remind us that significant change is occurring, which requires adaptation and modification.

If the decline is evident in your own person, then you, in concert with others, will need to begin dealing with the necessary implications of the changes precipitated by the decline.  If, for example, mobility becomes an issue, as it often does, then safety measures need to be put in place pronto.  Appropriate assistance needs to be provided, e.g. a cane, a walker, a  wheelchair or scooter or other means for getting around will need to be considered.  Accessibility issues will need to be addressed.  And so on.  Simple or more complex measures will need to be taken, depending on the nature of the situation.

Helping Loved Ones Deal With Decline

Evidence of decline in others is also a matter for deliberate and quick action.  The individual involved may not be so aware of their need for modifications in behaviors and lifestyle.  They may resist, not admitting to their need.  They may see the circumstances as just another ploy for taking away their independence.

Whatever the conditions facing the individual, and those who care for them, they must be met with firmness, tender care, and enormous compassion and sensitivity.  Letting the person in decline know that their care is predicated on keeping them safe, comfortable and as uncompromised as possible is the goal.  When they participate in the solutions pertaining to their situation and needs, they will likely be much more cooperative.

Staying attuned to the patient’s behaviors, complaints, observations and feedback from others will assist in being alert to caring for those issues of decline before it may be beyond addressing.



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