Maintaining the health, wellness, and safety of our residents is our number one priority. Due to the COVID-19 situation, effective immediately we are restricting visitors to our community. This is in cooperation with federal mandates regarding this situation. Letters regarding specific details are being sent to the responsible parties for our residents to provide them with more detailed information. In addition to restricting visits, our staff will be screened prior to the starting of their shifts and have been trained on the symptoms of COVID-19 as well as infection prevention techniques. This is a fluid situation and we will keep you informed as the situation changes. We appreciate your cooperation and patience. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Welcome back to our Gateway Gardens assisted living community and our Gateway Gardens memory care community’s blog. Most of you know that we manage this blog on behalf of our cherished residents, their families, and of course for all of you homecare heroes taking care of your assisted living and/or memory care loved ones. Today, we’ll discuss a real concern that many of you might not be familiar with: Elder Self-Neglect.
Elder self-neglect is a huge concern for many seniors and their loved ones. Our memory care professionals here in Gateway Gardens have some helpful information regarding this topic, as well as some signs you should be aware of.
According to the National Institute of Health, elder self-neglect is best defined as “refusal or failure to provide oneself with care and protection in areas of food, water, clothing, hygiene, medication, living environments, and safety precautions.” This is typically seen as a person getting older and they struggle to complete the necessary, everyday tasks they need to stay healthy and functional. This can look like poor personal hygiene, missing medications, and doctor’s appointments, skipping meals, and even staying isolated in one place.
This is a growing problem, especially after the global pandemic, and individuals who suffer from underlying health conditions are at even higher risk. For example, if they have Alzheimer’s or dementia, or other chronic conditions, such as diabetes, this elevates the cause for concern. Elder self-neglect only serves to exacerbate mental and physical health issues as well.
According to census data, around 25% of adults aged 65 or older live alone. That comes out to around 14.3 million Americans. Each year, this number only increases as well. According to more data, older adults spend at least half of their waking hours alone, if not more.
Unfortunately, this provides plenty of time for health and well-being to deteriorate, even going unnoticed and flying under the radar. This time spent alone can lead to a downward spiral, especially for those with dementia or other memory loss related issues.
Whether you are the primary caregiver, or you simply have a senior in your life you love and are concerned about, we have some signs that you should keep an eye out for. Elder self-neglect may not be as easy to spot as you would initially think. Oftentimes, your senior may even try to brush it off or say that everything is fine, even when it’s not.
Here are some of the signs you be aware of and questions you should ask yourself:
While all of these are not exclusively signs of elder self-neglect, and your senior loved one doesn’t have to check every box, they are still a good baseline as to what to be aware of.
If you determine that your senior loved one may be experiencing elder self-neglect, it may be time to reach out for help. As a primary caregiver, it is normal to want to do everything alone and shoulder the responsibility yourself. However, it’s important to know that you don’t have to, and we are here to help. Contact us here at Gateway Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care in Winder, GA!
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