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Needs of the Elderly That Should Not Be Overlooked

Needs of the Elderly
Old age is said to be a second childhood. Physically they may look old adults, but if you live with one you'll realize that they tend to behave like infants. And just like babies, the elderly have special requirements too.
Parashar Joshi
Last Updated: Feb 3, 2018
Proud son enjoying a coffee with his mature dad
There are a number of aspects that are involved in taking care of elderly or aged people. Having a good amount of awareness about various needs and requirements of the elders, is extremely important for those people who have the responsibility of taking care of their aged family members like, their parents or relatives. In the following paragraphs, we will have a generic look at the type of assistance and help that elderly people commonly require, in addition to a few elderly special needs.
Financial Needs
Financial Needs of the Elderly
If elderly individuals happen to be living on their own, i.e., without anyone's support, it is but natural that they will have a certain amount of financial needs. They will need to fend for themselves for everything such as food, groceries, medicines, etc. Pensioners would have the benefit of a steady source of monthly income (whatever be the amount trickling in). However, those senior citizens who do not have any pension facilities or any other sources of income, would have to live entirely on the basis of their savings or through special senior citizen government finance schemes.
Housing Needs
Housing Needs of the Elderly
Elderly people need familiar surroundings and people around them and hence prefer staying at home in old age. Being a familiar living place, the home can be modified according to their changing needs. Another advantage would be of having a safe and helpful neighborhood in case of any emergency. Transportation is easy and quick when older people are residing in a familiar area. However, if due to some reasons, they do not have a house of their own, there are government housing schemes designed specifically for older people. Also, there are certain private nursing homes that work for old people and take care of their health and other basic necessities.
Health Care
Health Care Needs of the Elderly
Health is the most important requirement when it comes to elderly needs. With advancing age, the body tends to slow down and becomes less efficient. Elderly people are prone to a few age-related health issues. This is a normal aspect of life and one cannot help it. However, through proper care and nursing facilities, one can definitely help in keeping most of these health issues in check and preventing them from causing any serious harm. Regular medical checkup in this case is a useful way to monitor the health of the elderly. It can help in anticipating potential future health-related issues. At the same time, it may help in identifying serious health problems at the initial stage during which treatment is possible.
Dietary Needs
Dietary Needs of the Elderly
As people age, their digestive system gradually starts weakening. Aged and elderly people especially, face this problem wherein they start finding certain foods indigestible or difficult to digest. What one must realize is that their diet can no longer be the same as it was say, twenty years ago. Their diet should be modified accordingly such that it remains a nutritious, balanced diet and yet, contains foodstuffs that their digestive system is able to accept, without causing them any discomfort or problems. Often, the diets of elderly people need to be altered depending on their medicinal prescriptions.
Nursing for the Elderly
If you have an elderly family member whose mobility has become limited due to aging, he or she would require a certain amount of assistance in his or her daily routine. If it is not possible for someone in the family to be around the aged person the whole day long, you could consider having a full-time nurse to assist the elderly person. This could be beneficial, especially if the person requires assistance in basic activities like walking, eating, bathing, dressing, etc.
Social and Other Needs
Social and Other Needs of the Elderly
One thing that you should keep in mind is, to shower all the love and care on your elderly relative or family member. Just because they have become old and slow, does not mean that you should ignore them or let them be confined to themselves. Remember, a few years down the line, you yourself will be in their position. Spend time with them, chat with them and make them feel wanted, cared for and loved. Pay special attention to their room. You could consider installing a few senior citizen friendly appliances which they would be comfortable using. Also, you should consider installing certain medical alarms that are specially made keeping in mind elderly citizens.
These were some basic elderly needs that you should bear in mind. Try your best to fulfill all of them so that they can spend the golden days of life happily and comfortably.
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