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Dealing With Disabilities in Your Senior Years

Dealing with a disability at any age is difficult, but this especially true for elderly members of the population. Individuals who are 60 and older may find it exceptionally difficult to transfer from workplace to the other, learn new skills or even cope with working at all. Unfortunately, with age comes a variety of possibilities with regards to the development of a disability. It’s common for the elderly to develop a disability like chronic diseases, physical injuries, mental impairment and many others.

While the advent of a disability can be disheartening, and affect the ability to work and interact with others on a personal and social level, it’s important to remember that having a disability doesn’t signal the end of all happy experiences. There are many ways for coping with disabilities in your senior years, and how you do that directly affects the amount of optimism you have for recovery or living your life. Getting this aid will help you to overcome or cope with what’s holding you back and enable you to enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.

Coping

There are many affects which a disability has on you, and this includes your mental health. It’s easy to fall into the trap of depression and anxiety when faced with what seems to be an overwhelming obstacle in your elderly years. In many cases, individuals find themselves afflicted with chronic pain which they’re unable to overcome on their own, and this affects their quality of life. That, in turn, takes a toll on your self-perception and self-confidence, and it’s important to build that back up in order to cope with this tough time.

Dealing With Disabilities in Your Senior Years

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you realign negative thinking and become a more positive person, by training you to mentally cope with your disability. Help from a psychologist, doctor and physiotherapist is essential for a speedy recovery or a long-term solution for coping with pain or disability. Meditation is another great way to cope with negative thoughts or pain, and can help you establish a new thought process.

Help from Home

It takes many hands to make light work. That’s a mantra you should practice when coping with a disability. It’s not easy to bury pride and ask for help from loved ones or even medical practitioners, but it’s essential that you do. As you get older, your body deteriorates and the need for special care increases. Investing in a full-time nurse may be necessary if you have an injury or chronic illness which prevents you from performing day-to-day tasks with ease.

Having your family around can also be a source of great comfort and stability in both an emotional and physical way. Surround yourself with people that care about you and that you trust enough to lean on without the fear of being judged or treated as an invalid. Try to invest in a solid state of mind with the belief that you are not a burden and are doing the best you can. People who care about you won’t see you in a negative light.

Monetary Support

If you’re unable to work at all, it might be possible to claim for disability benefits. Depending on which state you’re in, you’ll be able to claim benefits for your disability based on a specific grid which measures your education, past work experience and the severity of your injury. Though it may sound complicated, there are plenty of facilities which can help you figure out this process. In Louisiana, for instance, you would be able to enlist the help of a Louisiana Disability Lawyer to guide you through the application process. If you’re deemed unable to perform work (sedentary or otherwise) and your claim is approved, you’ll be able to focus on coping rather than worrying about money.

Always get help from professionals, care from your family and enlist the help of a professional to ensure your monetary affairs are in order.

Caring For Your Elderly Loved Ones at Home

When looking after a relative who may need help after medical attention or as they become older in age, you can have the chance to help them live their life to the fullest and help them be as comfortable as possible. One solution is at-home care.  In some cases as relatives become older, they will need to use a catheter. A catheter is a medical device that is inserted in the body often for cardiovascular, gatronomical, and the most common, urological. Urinary catheters are used to help drain fluid from the bladder. By giving proper care to a relative who uses a catheter, you can help them be comfortable and avoid any illnesses caused by catheter neglection with urianry catheters.

Helping Your Relative to Use a Catheter

When helping your relative or another person to use a catheter, proper care is a must. This means keeping the instruments and the area clean and steralized. A proper clean area includes wearing gloves and keeping the catheter and the skin clean with soap and water each time the catheter and bag is changed. One type of catheter that is often used is a balloon catheter. A ballon catheter is simple and easy to use catheter that is inflated once inside the body cavity and deflated in order to remove.

After a catheter is placed inside a bladder, it is best that your relative avoids intense physical activity for a week or two. Throughout the day it is best to check the catheter and bag to make sure that the instruments are properly functioning. Be sure that the bag is below their waist, do not disconnect the bag from the catheter more than is necessary, look out for kinks or bending of the tube connecting to the bag, and be sure that your relative is drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

How to Avoid Illnesses Caused by Catheter Neglection

Again, by properly cleaning the instruments and the skin each time the catheter is removed and the bag is replaced, you can help decrease the risk of illness. However, a urinary tract infection (UTI) is very common when a person uses a catheter and there if you should notice any of the following, it is recommended to call a doctor:

  • Urine smells bad, the color is cloudy, there are stones, or if you notice blood in the urine.
  • Experience of pain in lower back, sides or in the bladder.
  • The urine bag fills very quickly and needs to be changed more often than it should be.
  • Pain is experienced around the catheter or there is any leaking of the catheter.

Helping Your Relative Live a Fulfilling Life

At times, your relative may feel  tied down by their catheter and believe that they cannot participate in the same activities that they once did before.  Catheters are meant to help patients live comfortably and therefore should not hinder doing daily activities that such as light exercising or even traveling.  One way a patient can continue to enjoy daily activities is by using a leg bag, which is a discreet way to way to wear the bag under pants or shorts and helps to allow daily movement.

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However, driving is not suggested as the tubes may become entangled with anything in the vehicle and thus hindering their driving ability. Because a bag must be kept above the patients waist, daily activities except for swimming can be done.  Daily walks can be helpful depending on how they are feeling during the day, but again intense exercise is not recommended one to two weeks after the catheter is inserted.

As a relative, you play an important role in your loved one’s life ensuring that they are as comfortable as they can be while living with a catheter. With proper care, daily light exercise, and good nutrition, they can continue to live a life to the fullest.