Our population is at a new stage; . It is such a mixed blessing for although medical science, diet, and technology can provide the resources for a longer life, not all aspects of being older are pleasant; It is a fear and inconvenience. On the other hand, it is the revealed wisdom and confidence of people because I believe that growing older is growing wiser; we become wiser only through living experiences that we have been through.
The day that I started my internship in a nursing home for a week when I was in nursing program, I felt meeting that I could not express because I had seen some elderly residents who did not have a visit from their loved ones for a long period of time. In my Asian culture, we value our elderly the most, and we love to listen to the experiences that they share. We have to keep in mind that it is nearly impossible for a single caregiver to provide all the needs for an aging parent. Am I adequately able to give care for my elderly parent on a daily basis?
Do I need help providing supervisory care for my parent? Is my parent showing signs of confusion or dementia? These are basic questions that we all ask ourselves to determine when it comes to caring for our elderly parents. Dementia is a loss of intellectual ability that effects memory, learning, attention, thought and language skills. People with dementia may forget family members or not know that what day it is. Sometimes they become very angry or sad, hear voices, or see things that are not there. For example, there is one resident with dementia who committed to walk everyday.
He walks from his Alchemies (most common type of dementia) Unit to the other unit (where I work at) three times a day. Every time he sees me, he says, ” There you are! Have you made your eight dollars yet? ” When I respond and start a conversation, he will say that he used to live at country side; he has a dog named Missy and she is 11 years old now. He has a fixated way of communication to others especially with the staff members. Also, there is another resident who checks the main dining room repeatedly.
He has a short term memory ass, but what interesting is that it mainly affects his meal time. He comes back to look at main dining room to check if the meal being served right after he returned to his room after meals. As care givers of nursing home staff members, we have experienced some elderly patients become confused or irritable after the last meal of the day and it lasts until bedtime because during the evening hours, the constant daily mental processes for normal living can become overwhelming for the elderly. It is called sundowners syndrome.
One good example of a sundowner is a 60 year old lady who was Just admitted in my rehab unit for rehabilitation. She was a small and frail person who needed to rest and rehabilitation. At first, she was medicated for agitation. Right before the medication kicked in her system, she started to run towards the emergency exit door of the unit to escape. When I caught her at the door way and stopped her from elopement, she became the strongest person in elderly people that I have known and her behavior was completely changed and became ere combative.
I was attacked because I was holding the door to keep it shut to In Conclusion, modern technology, medical science, and diet have provided longer life spans compare to the previous generations. It is inconvenient to live a long life in all aspects. For although modern technology world would provide physical comforts to prolong life, elderly parents want to be surrounded with family members who give them love and support. We Just have to keep in mind that one day we will be in the same position where the elderly are now.