Elderly Care


"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day;"- Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), Welsh poet"Do Not Go Gentle in That Good Night" (1.1-2), (1953)MANILA, Philippines - The poem continues with - and this seems to be the line most recognized - "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." My humanities professor in college explains this as the upshot of the Western ideal of the island individual till the very end (as opposed to the Eastern metaphor of seeing one's death as a raindrop returning to the ocean). And I suppose people don't very much care if they live only up to 80. That is, until they're 79. Nevertheless, Filipinos are getting older and older. There comes a point that they're no longer as independent. We look around us and we see our aging loved ones struggling to keep alive.There are always better ways of taking care of them. That starts with knowing the common problems of the elderly.5 Common Problems. According to the The Caregiver's Essential Handbook, these are priority issues for the aging: Depression, memory loss and dementia, vision loss, hearing loss, and incontinence. It's somewhat unreasonable to blame aging per se as the reason that the elderly have problems. It's like saying teenagers are troublesome because they're teenagers. Spot Depression. According to the manual, the symptoms of depression are:* Lack of interest in activities that were enjoyable before.* Withdrawal from social contact.* Lack of energy.* Strong feelings of guilt or self-criticism.* Feelings of hopelessness.* Eating too much or eating too little.* Sleeping too much or too little with disruption of usual sleep pattern.* Difficulty concentrating.In older people, it's probably more difficult to differentiate sadness from depression. Sadness is normal, depression is not - even with the elderly. Sadness is fleeting (from a few days to even two weeks) and some cause is identifiable - a skirmish with the spouse, disappointment with children, loss of property, and so on. Depression develops insidiously over several weeks into what a good friend calls "staring into the Abyss." Depression symptoms can also be physicalized by Lolo or Lola into headaches, aches and pains, and digestive complaints. What can be done. …

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