Changes in the Elderly and the Importance of the Empathetic Caregiver‎

The changes in the elderly are part of a stage that the elderly and their environment must learn to face actively, with encouragement and enthusiasm. Understanding and empathy play a fundamental role at this stage.‎

‎The third age: changes from the inside-out‎

‎ It is a natural phenomenon to the very nature of the human being and involves a remarkable transformation from the physical, psychological and emotional point of view.‎

‎Around the age of 65 begins a new stage of life that is defined by changes in the third age. These transformations do not manifest themselves in the same way and intensity in all people. However, certain common traits make us think of a transformation process quite similar to all individuals.

‎Physical and biological changes‎

‎From the biological point of view, getting older implies the slowing down of all processes related to cell regeneration and development. The cells are genetically programmed to disappear selectively but stop reproducing as rapidly as required to maintain the machinery running.‎

‎Cell death and/or atrophy produce an imbalance in the structure of the nervous system. This is reflected in bone and muscle wasting as well as other changes at the cardiovascular, respiratory, or sensory level. The result is the progressive weakening of the organism, vulnerability to pathogens, more prone to disease, and having a slower recovery response.

‎Psychological changes‎

‎Intellectual abilities deteriorate as the body generally becomes slower as a result of old age. Furthermore, the ability to process information, solve problems, relate ideas, and communicate them tends to decrease with age due to neuronal wear.‎

‎This deterioration is not the same in all older adults. However, the risk of memory loss, spontaneity in the thought process, and the ability to express itself increase in advanced ages.‎

Emotional changes‎

‎Additionally, besides the loss of motor and intellectual abilities, changes can also occur at the emotional level. These are the natural consequences of a transformation that is sometimes associated with the loss of individuality, mobility limitations, and dependence on other people.‎

‎On the other hand, the ability to adapt to adjustments decreases with old age. Assimilating Changes in the elderly is more challenging than in the earlier stages. This is why it is common for older people to feel more insecure, fearful, or vulnerable.‎

Social needs are upheld: affection, participation, and usefulness‎

‎Older people still have to interact with their environment, feel active, and make their choices. While most of their capacities are weakened, it is the duty of the caregiver for elderly people and their loved ones to offer them a chance and make them feel appreciated.

‎Promotion of autonomy, empathy, and affection are all essential aspects to inspire the elderly with a positive attitude, health, and enthusiasm. The process of transformation is much better when it is established from the perception of incorporation and participation, and not by isolation and solitude.‎

‎Elderly care tips for assimilating aging: handling transformations in elderly people with empathy‎

‎It is not always easy; as a person, you will also be learning how to grow old. And it is not only a task that is exclusive to the elderly but also their whole surrounding. This surrounding has to be prepared to deal with changes in elderly people in the right manner.‎

‎‎The goal isn't to substitute their capabilities but to promote their individuality by considering that where there's a problem, there's a solution.‎

Here are some helpful tips when caring for the elderly at home:

Create routines. The elderly coordinate themselves better when they have defined schedules‎.

‎Monitor their health. Caregiver duties and responsibilities include: making sure the elderly receive a healthy diet, necessary medication, proper hygiene, etc.

Encourage their participation and communication. The idea is to appreciate and acknowledge elderly people and make them feel like part of society.

‎The importance of empathy as a caregiver: put yourself in their place‎

‎The success of elderly assistance is not only in the experience, the identification of their needs, or the provision of the appropriate help. There is a much more personal aspect that will positively influence coping with changes in old age: caregiver empathy.‎

‎Are you in search of home care services for the elderly? At Cuidum we especially value caregiver skills and abilities when it comes to putting themselves in the shoes of the elderly people and providing them with much more than basic home care. Caregiver empathy involves making an effort to understand the elderly person and make the most appropriate decision at all times. Therefore, there is a guarantee that the quality of the service provided is world-class and consequently, their happiness.

Dehydration in older people and how to avoid it?