If you have a senior parent or loved one who is receiving professional elder care at home, you may be assisting them with sensory impairments such as problems with their vision, hearing, postural balance, or with the loss of feeling in their feet. All of these issues are extremely common and increase with age, and in seniors over the age of 80, the number of people with vision and hearing impairment doubles in comparison with people between the ages of 70 and 79.
Visual Impairment: 1 out of every 6 Americans over the age of 70 has some sort of visual impairment according to the CDC, the Center of Disease Control. Visual impairment is defined as not being able to read letters or numbers of the line 20/50 or below on the visual acuity chart in their better-seeing-eye. There are a number of age-related issues, some serious, that can lead to vision problems in the elderly, so regular eye exams are important and will determine if your senior requires intervention that might require more than just the use of proper eyeglasses.
Hearing Impairment: With 1 in 4 Americans over 70 years of age experiencing hearing impairment to some degree, your senior at home receiving elder care may be showing signs of hearing loss at home. Hearing aids may help a number of elderly people experiencing hearing problems, but data shows that 72% of people that could benefit from them don’t use them.
New technologies have enhanced the assessment of hearing loss and the wear ability of hearing aids so talk to your senior’s doctor about any concerns with hearing.
Balance. Troubles with balance can be caused by a number of things, including inner ear issues, loss of feeling in the feet or legs, high or low blood pressure, and some medications. It is also one of the reasons that elderly people experience falls. In Americans over age 70, loss of feeling in the feet affects 1 in 4 people. It is also shown that 3 out of every 4 of the same age group have abnormal postural balance testing. Talk to your senior’s doctor to rule out any major health concerns, and if their balance issues aren’t from something treatable, the use of assistance items such as canes, walkers, or scooters may be an option to help your senior get around safely.
Oral– Elderly people can have poor dental health, which can be impacted by things like the loss of medical health benefits or immobility, etc. Untreated tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and oral cancer all are issues to look out for in seniors with regards to their oral health.
In elder care, your senior’s caregivers can remind or assist them daily with proper brushing and flossing techniques but talk to their dentist or doctor if they experience any sudden changes in taste or smell. Making regular dental appointments will go a long way in maintaining good oral health for your loved one.
While some degree of sensory loss may be irreversible, data indicates that significant numbers of people may be helped by interventions such as the use of better glasses or hearing aids. Talk to your loved one’s doctors to see what you can do to help your senior with sensory issues so that they can make the most of life while receiving elder care in their home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Havertown, PA please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.
Doc, as he is called by everyone - staff, patients and clients - first experienced home health care and hospice care while as a colleg student at King's College as he cared for his mother every day while she first battled COPD and then lung cancer. It was during this time that he came to understand that caring for a patient was more than just clinical expertise.
"Admittedly, my strongest attribute is my communication skills and the simple fact that I love to help people. Even the smallest thing you can do for someone really can mean so much to them long term. In fact, it could change them forever. That's what providing quality personal home health care should be all about."
In his spare time, he cooks for homeless shelters and children's music and arts events. He also is highly involved in his local youth sports soccer academy as a coach and Board member.