Helping the elderly and identifying their needs is one of the noblest gestures that we can show towards our elders. But it is not easy to identify their needs unless we get deeply involved with them. Often the main hindrance in identifying their needs lies in them being not ready to discuss it openly. The other reason could be that they don’t want to see you worried, they just assure you that they are well, when actually they are not.
Every elderly person needs the same respect as we expect for ourselves. Their privacy and social life should be protected, so that they don’t feel left out and their problems and sufferings can be addressed at the earliest.
To look after their needs you can look at their needs objectively. Some of the ways to determine their needs are:
Observe them: See the way they behave and the task they under take. Are they sound, look and feel normal? If it is so, then they may not require any major help. But, say, if you find them sleeping most of the time, then this might not be normal and they may require major help.
Ask them openly: If you find anything wrong but cannot make out the reason behind it, then you may openly ask them about the problem and inconvenience they are facing.
Notice their eating habits and pattern: If you find them not eating or eating at unusual hours, then take note of it. Also see how they conduct themselves at the table. Do they leave food or do the spills all around? Again take note of it and try to solve their problem.
See their daily routine: If you find them deviating from their daily routine, you must try to know the reason behind it to find out the problem they are facing. If you find any change in their behavior, take note of it.
Are they taking medicines on time: Again, see if they are regular with their medicines? Ensure that they take their medicines regularly on time.
By looking at their needs and requirements you can make out if they can be met by you itself, otherwise you can take the help of several Projects made for senior citizens. These are Elderly care projects that are run specifically for them to protect their rights and needs.
There are many agencies to look after them, one being HelpAge that does the social work, of taking care of elderly by conducting various Projects for senior citizens and by also sensitizing students on ageing issues in elderly by providing education of poor children in India.
These agencies work with elderly to find the issues related to them. It’s important to realize the need of the elderly to give them their due and make them feel loved.
Determining the Need of the Elderly People