How to ensure a happy and safe old age
There are many ways to make the olden age beautiful. Make sure you know these ways if there are old people in your homes.
Is there anyone in your house who suffers from the problems related to old age, deformities caused due to accidents, handicapped from birth onwards? Then don’t worry. There are a number of ways to make their lives happy and lively. Some small construction activities can provide happiness and freedom in the lives of people suffering from physical problems.
Many problems faced by old people can be avoided by the arrangements in the house. Old people can stay safe and without depending others if some changes are made about in the structure, facilities and arrangement of rooms. Barrier free architecture is the architectural form that is entirely different from the constructional structures that create a lot of inconvenience and is especially designed for those suffering from any kind of physical problems.
What are the factors that are a threat to the safety of old people?
Precaution against falling
Falling is one of the main problems faced by old people. Some times such falls make their lives very miserable. They become more disabled if such falls make them lie in the bed.
30% of the people above the age of 60 have to face a lot of problems following such falls. As age increases the possibility of falling also increases. The possibility of falling changes to 50% by the time they become the age of 80. One out of four people, who fall, have to face critical problems. About 5% people have fractures. The sixth important reason for the death of old people is fall. About 40% of the old people admitted in hospitals have problems related to fall.
Reasons of fall
Falling may happen in old people due to various reasons. Falling may occur due to short sight, loss of strength of muscles, loss of stability of body and deviation in the sensitivity of nerves. The usual medicines had by old people like tranquilizers; medicines for melancholia, epilepsy and heart diseases may become the reason for lose of balance of the body and thus causing falls.
The decrease in blood pressure caused after having food or when stood up quickly, may become the reason of falling by losing the stability of body. Less sleep, sap in legs, inability to control urine etc prepare the situations for falling.
Usually falls happen in homes. Slippery floors, unnecessary steps, loose carpets, fibre mats, things lying here and there, slippers etc increases the chances of falling.
No enough lights in rooms are another important reason for falls. The people with less eye sight require double the amount of light than the ordinary people.
If bedridden for a long time…
It may cause problems like wounds, dehydration, deviation of elements (sodium, potassium), clotting of blood in the veins of legs, erosion of bones, decrease in the body temperature etc.
Problems following a fall
Bone fractures: Normally wrist. Fractures usually happen in waist bones, vertebra, and thigh bones. Osteoporosis increases the possibility of fractures. It is much more in women than in men. The breaking of bones in the waist may become the reason for even death in women. The fear of falling after a fall causes laziness in walking. They gradually lose their freedom and confidence.
What to do?
Try to avoid situations that may lead to a fall. For example after having a medicine, take rest for 10 minutes before going here and there. If any kind of discomfort is felt, sit down immediately. Take care that it doesn’t affect the equilibrium of the body. Do small exercises to increase the strength of the muscles of the legs. Walking is the best one. The advice of a doctor is good in this case. Using a walking stick or a long umbrella would be good to ensure the balance of the body and to avoid falling. The deficiency of calcium will affect he health of bones. Intake food that contains more calcium.
The steps that lead to a house will usually be very high when constructed. Most of the old people avoid going out of homes mainly due to the difficulty in climbing such high steps. It will cause some mental problems in them.
Construct ramps parallel to the steps that lead to the house. Their journeys will be comfortable even if they are walking or are in a wheel chair. Construct wooden ramps either temporarily or permanently. If it’s not possible to construct ramps in front of the house construct them near doors where vehicle facilities are possible.
Most of the people who face physical problems wish the presence of others. So place a chair near their cot. Though bedridden some people wish privacy at sometimes. They may get irritated at some sounds, environment etc. It may not be so difficult to avoid such situations. Just close a single window or door.
How to make travels easy?
A comfortable journey from one place to another is the main happiness of ones life. If they are able to travel by themselves on a wheel chair, it would be convenient if there are no obstacles to the main rooms in the house.
- It would be very good to attach handrails on the walls to the main rooms for those who are able to walk slowly. Fit such handrails at suitable heights, which will lessen their difficulty of walking. Steel rails would be easy to clean also.
- Use rough floor to avoid falling. It would be very good to use such floors in bathrooms and bedrooms for those who have physical hardships. Tiles with rustic finishing, anti skip tiles, rough tiles etc are now easily available.
- Sliding doors are now used as a part of the barrier free architecture. It would be easy for those on wheel chairs and who walk with the help of rails to open such doors.
- Handrails must be made necessary in bathrooms. The distance from the bed to bathroom must be less. Heater that could be used easily should be fitted in the bathroom.
- Calling bell, telephone, radio, television etc should be placed in positions so that they could be used easily. Fit remote systems to electronic devices possible.
Solutions to some common problems in old people
Those suffering from joint should avoid sitting for a long time. Stretch the hands and legs after each half an hour. Twine the joints with a bandage to lessen the pain.
Mental exercises are good solutions for those who have memory lose. Playing chess, reading, writing diary etc are good. Nutritious food, avoiding alcoholic drinks, regular exercise, good sleep etc are also good.
For those who don’t get good sleep, it’s better to avoid sleeping during day time and get involved in small physical activities. Sitting under the sun for some time during day time and having milk before going to bed provides good sleep. A biological clock is formed in the body if there is a fixed time to go to bed and wake up daily.
For those suffering from urinary problems should pass urine only when they feel so. Don’t control urine. Keep the toilet and premises clean. Drink plenty of water.
Don’t allow a bedridden person to lie as such for more than two hours. Help them to turn to different sides or sit on the bed. Clean their skin using cleanser daily. Include a lot of protein in their food. Use soft pillows and water beds.
The main problem faced during old age is loneliness. It would be very terrible if dear ones are not near them or if they are ignored. Try to find time to spend with grand children. Practice yoga and meditation. Get immediate treatment for any kind of problems. See life in a positive manner and enjoy its clarity.