Guide Care of the Aged

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JavaScript is disabled for your browser. Some features of this site may not work without it. Map of Submissions Login Register. Display statistics. Authors Government of Ireland. Issue Date If you are just starting out on your aged care journey, this is your first step. You can see what services are available to help you stay in your own home, or what to expect in an aged care home.

Find out what to consider and get information about service providers near you. Advocacy services ensure that the rights of anyone receiving or seeking aged care services are supported.

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They also make it easier to make decisions about care. Information and support is available to help people of all backgrounds, languages and situations to access the help they need. Learn about different types of care If you are just starting out on your aged care journey, this is your first step.

Even a simple blow to the skin can tear or bruise it. Older adults are advised to be extra careful in their everyday tasks, especially when dealing with heavy objects. The skin has several layers, each with various functions. Dryness and itchiness are very common, resulting in a greater susceptibility to different skin disorders. The subcutaneous fat layers will become thinner over time.

Planning for future aged care needs

This increases the risk of skin injury because of less insulation and padding that subcutaneous fat provides. Skin injury is common among older adults, along with thinning hair and nails. Other than skin tears, bruising and bleeding, hair loss is apparent, and nails tend to become brittle. It is very common to see older adults who are bald and have broken nails. Consequently, rubbing or pulling the skin, hair and nails can cause minor injuries to older adults. Since aging skin repairs slowly, pressure sores are common among the disabled or those with a sedentary lifestyle.

Because these changes can affect the sense of touch, vibration, pressure, heat, and cold, it is no wonder that the elderly experience various skin problems throughout their later years. As an individual ages, several body functions start to decline. Cellular reproduction, blood microcirculation, metabolic rate and tissue repair all tend to slow down. These essential life processes can affect different parts of the body including the oral mucus membranes.

'Caring for the Elderly' - an Overview of Aged Care Support and Services in Australia

As for the oral soft tissue, the epithelium, mucosa, and submucosa thin. Taste bud function declines as does the size and number of sebaceous glands on the cheeks. Furthermore, foliate papillae and lingual varices increase. These are the main reasons why nutritional deficiencies among the elderly are so common. According to recent studies, a decrease in salivary flow is not purely the result of aging.

However, certain medications can affect salivary output, leading to digestive upsets, poor retention of dentures and the diminished ability to chew.

How older people are marginalised in society

The dryness of the mucosa makes it more susceptible to frictional irritation from dentures. Most elderly have a toothless mucosa that is frequently thin and blanches quickly. This is a reflection of a systemic disease, a nutritional disturbance or a side effect of a maintenance medication. Moreover, the tooth enamel of an elderly person becomes less permeable over time.

Although older adults, teeth become brittle, and the rate of the secondary dentine formation still continues at a slower rate. Tooth wear is a normal age-related phenomenon, often caused by parafunction, erosion or abrasion, mostly gastric, dietary or environmental factors. A decline in cell-mediated response and the number of circulating lymphocytes leads to an increased risk of autoimmune diseases and a decrease in the defense against infection. Any steroid treatment for an autoimmune disease can complicate a dental treatment. Aging also involves a degenerative arterial disease which is visible in the vessels of the oral mucosa, making wounds heal slowly.

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A decrease of muscle tone even affects chewing strokes and results in a longer chewing time. As an individual ages, several mucosal diseases take place. This includes oral cancer, pemphigus, candida or a yeast infection, lichen planus, herpes zoster and benign mucous membrane pemphigoid. Nutrition is often a huge factor in the occurrence of these diseases. Since some older adults have decreased access to nutritious foods, nutritional deficiency can significantly affect the oral mucosa.

Digestive and urinary disorders are the usual health problems faced by older adults. Despite the fact that elderly individuals have more time to relax and enjoy their lives, problems with digestion tend to occur all of a sudden. One of the most common problems with aging individuals is constipation.

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