Contemporary Issues in Aging
This assignment will help you understand the limitations that the elderly face. Identity an elderly person in your community or locality. Fix up an appointment with the elderly person and talk to him or her about the limitations that he or she faces in his or her everyday life. The discussion could be on physical impairments, finances, resources, or support.
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Based on your discussion with the elderly gentleman or lady, create a 4 page report in a Microsoft Word document that includes the following:
- What are the major limitations that the elderly person is facing in his or her everyday life? Explain.
- What are the factors that contribute to the elderly facing the above-mentioned limitations?
- What would you recommend or what suggestions would you offer to overcome the above-mentioned limitations?
- In your opinion, what type of living arrangement is best suited for the elderly? Why?
- What are the factors that affect an elderly’s ability to remain in an ideal living arrangement?
- Apply what you have learned about living conditions and housing options to the case of the individual that you interviewed. Present a proposal for a living arrangement that suits his or her impairments.
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Limitations the Elderly Face – A Visit To Joe
The report is based on a visit to Joe (not real name), a 74 years old widower living alone in his apartment. Joe lost his wife five years ago, after losing their unmarried adult son the same year. The situation changed his life a great deal. Joe is facing several life limitations in his daily life. According to him, living alone has been a great challenge. He does not have all means of the day as he used to when his life was alone. He has also withdrawn from society, and only spends his days alone sometimes reading newspapers or just reviewing his family photos. In most cases, his daily activities leave him lonelier than he was. He finds it hard to walk out of the house, socialize or run errands. He prefers a lonely life and he runs most of his errands via the internet. Joe looks malnourished and depressed. Joe confessed to having been in the hospital twice due to hypertension, though he hardly take the medicine as required. He claimed to always forget the time to take his medication and normally remember them due to some symptoms. He registered to receive telehealth care services but he always feels lazy to fulfill its demand and he mostly gets reminded of his need to take medication when a nurse does a stop at his house. Joe also confessed to living with lights on all night since his wife’s death. He also confessed that he like it that way as his vision is becoming poorer such that he cannot work in the dark without falling. He showed me a scare inflicted a month ago while walking in a poorly lit corridor. To him, life has changed a lot. He cannot do many things he used to do long ago, including driving and socializing freely without finding something to make him uncomfortable.
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Joe’s life limitations are mostly based on his griefs and inability to accept his new normal. He was not used to cooking for himself and now he has to do it. This makes him skip most of the meals of the day as he feels lazy or disinterested in eating. He mostly cooks only when he feels very hungry, mostly a single meal a day. In most cases, he orders a simple meal from restaurants offering online services. He has been taking unhealthy meals for a while. Joe has never healed from his wife’s death and he seems to have lost interest in many things including taking care of himself (Hung et al., 2021). He demonstrates a high level of self-negligence, especially in how he feeds and how he observe medical instruction. He does a few house chores, but only those that are very important. He also lives with the fear of the unknown. According to him, his wife died of a short illness, though he spent a while in the intensive care unit, a situation that drained his retirement finances a great deal. Therefore, Joe is also experiencing financial instability and this could have been one reason he has cut on social life. He has withdrawn from people and situations that can make him spend more. Joe said very little about his family. It seems that only his wife and son mattered in his life. His loneliness after their death has made him withdraw from society. The age is also making him weaker, as one could see physical weakness including poor eyesight and shaky legs. His past pictures demonstrated a very strong man who was well built, compared to who he is now. His poor diet at his age also exposes him to other health issues in the future.
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The best intervention to help Joe would focus on addressing loneliness and grief. Grief has made Joe interested in life. To live again, one should address this problem and teach him to live without his life. Joe needs a psychologist’s help to overcome grief and find life interesting and worth living (Devkota et al., 2014). This will help address so many things including how he lives and feeds, how he adheres to the medical instruction, and his social life. Joe may also need a pet, particularly a dog to help him fight loneliness. A pet is therapeutic in many ways as he can build a new companionship, play with, talk to, and sometimes it will force him to take care of it and while doing so, he may end up taking care of himself. He also needs assistance in the house. Joe is elderly and he may need someone to care for him. Joe will need a caretaker to aid in making meals, cleaning and following up on his medical appointments, and taking medication. The caretaker may also act as another source of companionship. This will depend on Joe’s ability to cater for expenses or whether there is a family member who can take care of the cost. Joe should also be encouraged to join a social group with similar challenges. A group of elderly men and women morning the loss of their spouse. This will help him expand his social circle and get people who understand him. This will eventually ensure a change in him and make his life better (Lou et al., 2014).
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In my opinion, Joe would better be placed in an elderly home where he can get to interact with other elderly people and have people to care for him. In this environment, Joe can get all meals, people to talk to and someone to follow on his health. An alternative would be having a home caretaker. Joe is highly attached to his memory in the house and maybe he would not be comfortable with moving. Having a caretaker will help in improving his living condition in his apartment (Hung et al., 2021).
The factors that impact Joe’s ability to remain in an ideal living arrangement are loneliness, grief, and finances. The grief has changed Joe’s life a great deal and has also caused the current loneliness Joe is experiencing. The loss of a loved one and being left alone makes him lose the will to live. This makes him abandon all possibilities of living a better life. This has taken a toll on his general health and body strength, making him weaker than he should be. His current living condition is unfit for him as he needs more care to be able to overcome these challenges. There is also the shortage of finances after spending a fortune on his wife’s treatment. It is not sure of how much he has and whether he has insurance that can cater for the cost of being placed in an elderly home or afford a caretaker. Generally, Joe’s living arrangement can be improved by introducing something exciting in life which will eliminate loneliness and introduce life adventures that will be worth living for.
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