In India, there are nearly 120 million elderly people with various physical, psychosocial, economic, and spiritual problems. While the functionally and cognitively fit elderly can access usual health-care facilities available, these people need an active aging program to keep them independent. This is where geriatric care comes into play.
What is Geriatric?
Geriatrics or geriatric medicine is a speciality that is based on improving health care for elderly people. It supports healthy improvement in older adults by preventing and treating disease and disability that often comes with ageing. Geriatric nursing involves catering help to older adults at their home, hospital or special institutions like the nursing home, psychiatric institution etc.
Aim of providing geriatric care is the following -
- Maintenance of healthy function
- Detecting severe disease at an early stage
- Prevention of deterioration of an existing health problem
What is involved in Geriatric Care?
It's common to get confused with what geriatric care proposes to help with older adults. Geriatric care is a specialised care type that's focused only on older adults. Here's what it comprised of -
- Consider patients preferences and their needs
- Be kind, patient, and sympathetic towards them. Communicate with each other on a friendly level while showing respect to their feelings.
- Support their decision-making skill and encourage them for independence in making choices for themselves.
- Help adults to achieve emotional stability. On overcoming emotional blockage and expressing themselves to their loved ones.
- Stimulate mental acuity and sensory input and physical activity to uplift their mood, self-esteem, and confidence.
- Make the elders feel homely at their home. Help them stay lively and happily involved with the family members.
- Offer diversion/ occupational therapy
- Maintain privacy. Make them feel safe and secure to openly talk about their physical and emotional needs.
- Handle them gently.
- Offer utmost comfort with the facilities you provide such as a comfortable bed, clean bed sheet, dry bed that's smooth and unwrinkled. Keep their surroundings neat, clean and fresh.
- Teach and encourage them to maintain body hygiene thus regulate body temperature.
- Assist them for taking care of their vision, auditory and dental aid.
- Prevent them from any risk of injuries, falls and accidents. Provide a much safer surrounding.
- Ensure a healthy, and nutritional meal.
- Facilitate elimination. Support them in maintaining external genitalia hygiene.
- Support them in participating in active range of motion exercise for maintaining body alignment and posture. Ensure 100% mobility.
- Help them achieve a healthy sleeping pattern.
- Caution elders from any type of drug use.
- Get them a routine physical checkup to avoid any problem.
- Closely observe any psychophysical changes in their body and behaviour.
With increasing age, the number of people living well past 80 grows in turn growing the need for those with an aging expertise. Gerontology nurses are nurses who specialize in gerontology and work in many different settings including private practices, personal homes, and nursing homes. These nurses specialise in geriatric care and geriatric medicine both to provide the older adults with specialized care and geriatric nursing and a high quality of life.
Functionally and cognitively fit elderly are physically and mentally fit to be independent and may be fit enough to even work and earn. Main concern for these elderly is the need for more health promotional activities. These include geriatric medicine, nutrition, physical activity, social contact, psychological support, and activities for the brain.
For elderly with mild functional limitations or mild cognitive impairment, assistance for living is needed. They usually fall in the age group of 70–80 years. Geriatric care in many forms like support with Meals on Wheels, special transport, need for assistance for hospital visits or support for physical rehabilitation is required for these people.
Since their healthcare needs are enormous they need special geriatric clinics where they are comprehensively assessed and rehabilitated. Other helpful aids to their betterment are physiotherapy, psychological support, and constant medical help. In case of decline in functional or cognitive status, they may need hospitalization and full time geriatric nursing.
Elderly with severe functional limitations or cognitive limitations are absolute candidates for receiving home geriatric care or hospice care. Home members need to be trained in caregiving and also it is almost essential to hire training home care providers for geriatric nursing. A need for home health care programs for these elderly with doctors, geriatric medicine specialists, nurses, physiotherapists, laboratory services, and pharmacy services at home for these elderly.
Emoha Elder Care provides comprehensive health care services at home for the elderly. With nurses specialized in geriatric nursing and geriatric medicine, Emoha helps elderly by assuring them that they are living independently with assistance. There is a need for palliative care setup along with geriatric nursing for such elderly which care angels (nurses) of Emoha are well trained for. The goal of care is to keep them comfortable in their own surroundings or keep them comfortable in hospices allowing them to receive the best possible care.