Caring for Seniors with Special Needs
Seniors with disabilities make up about 72 percent of the population of people over the age of 80 in the U.S. Some of these disabilities may be lifelong issues, such as intellectual or physical disabilities they’ve had from birth. Others may be the result of illness or injury, while others are related to advanced age. Home care and assisted living care providers need to be aware of seniors’ disabilities and how to accommodate them:
- Discuss their senior’s condition with the senior’s physician to determine how best to meet his or her needs.
- Have the same discussion with the senior’s family to learn how they’ve cared for the senior over the years. Find out what works and what doesn’t, and what the senior is accustomed to.
- Develop an individualized care plan for that senior that addresses his or her individual rehabilitation or maintenance needs.
- Work to include the senior in activities and social events as much as possible. Adults with disabilities often feel excluded, and this feeling often compounds as they age and the limitations of growing old cause further isolation.
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