A recent New York Times article, "Aging and the Art of Losing" is quite poignant. Dr. Ariel Green, a geriatrician, details all the loss the elderly population sustains ranging from the loss of weight to the loss of loved ones to the loss of bodily functions to the loss of memory and cognitive ability to the loss of independence and even self. He laments that while he entered the field to help people, he feels helpless and sad for all they must bear.
Caregivers, whether they are paid or family members, need to keep this all in mind when caring for the older patient. This is often challenging for caregivers to understand because of the generation gap. They must remember that old age is a time of a series of losses and the senior citizen must adjust to each one. These losses include: loss of health; loss of loved ones; loss of status through retirement; loss of sexuality, and, in most cases, tighter budget constraints. Most important of all, they are experiencing a substantial loss of independence. The elderly have the onerous task of adjusting to dramatic lifestyle changes under compromising circumstances. Considering all this, they often accomplish it with the utmost grace.
At David York Agency, we are especially sensitive to these issues and that caring filters all through our organization and down to all our home health aides. You can contact us anytime to discuss transition issues associated with the elderly or you can visit us at our website www.davidyorkagency.com.