Intro: Long Term Illness Care
You may be someone like myself who hasn’t been to a hospital in 26 years and not seen a doctor for 20 years.
On the other hand you may be a visitor more regularly than you wish. Even I acknowledge however that life catches up with us.
In old age a variety of things happen to our body and its functions which not only make us more susceptible to accidents but diseases too.
Not only ourselves but people we are married to and life long partners, if their situation changes, ours will too, naturally.
Long term illness is a real possibility and the older we get the higher the chances one of both will succumb to such a fate, but it’s one that we shouldn’t let determine our future or the way we live, merely something we need to adapt to and face head on.
There are types of illnesses that will leave is worse off physically than others.
Diabetes, Cancers, Dementia, Osteoporosis – bone deterioration, Alzheimer, heart disease and many more. Ailments that themselves may not see us off but doing things and living life normally might.
In the following sections, about Types of long term illness and Long term dementia care we will look at possible long term care options and how you might be able to finance such as ailments, get long term care funding, where to find it and where better to see any disease out.
While it would be impossible to research every illness you may face, you can still prepare for such an instance.
Types of Long Term Illness
A long term illness can strike at any time.
You do not need to be elderly or in your senior years to be afflicted by most of any of the following diseases. Each situation and your age allows you to apply for different levels of funding and care.
The time in your life where you contact such a long term illness also dictates how you will spend the remainder of your life.
When you were younger you probably learned you had Asthma, in reality yes you had the symptoms of Asthma but in all probably allergy induced, in which case it is handled much different even if the end result of an episode is much the same.
Being diagnosed with Asthma late on may well need specialist breathing equipment on a more permanent basis and not just seasonal. Need a respirator 24/7 and the use of a oxygen tank wherever you go.
Alternatively you may fit a room or your home with a certain type of clean air conditioning system to keep harmful bacteria at bay. It can be restrictive physically and determine your level of activity outside of your home.
Arthritis / Osteoporosis:
While two entirely separate conditions they both deal with the movement of joints, aches and pains and with the latter, any fall or knock can be many times worse due to weakened bone structure, turning a small fall that should end in a bruise into a broken bone or two.
Both will affect how you move around, so called mobility aids may need to be put in place, such as stair lifts, wheelchairs and handles in bathrooms and kitchens. A scooter to get outside and do your own tasks or a helper, at the very least an alarm button should you be stuck away from the phone.
Tumours affect different parts of our bodies and break down functions or stop them entirely. While there are certain treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy they are not always successful.
You can have cancer and be mobile, it depends which you contract. Current statistics show one in three can expect to host such a disease in their lifetime. you can experience tiredness, shortness of breathe and any number of symptoms that require physical assistance, from getting around to simply eating.
If you could remember why, you’d probably laugh at your own condition. An ailment you can understand but one you can’t see and one that starts to eat away at memories and your mind, for some can be a worse fate.
It’s a degenerative disease which can usually be spotted early on but its rate of increase is as individual as each person. You may forget how to do things, forget where you are or who you are.
It can result in mood swings and endangerment to yourself and others. You may need a full time assistance, tracking devices embedded and appliances around the home fitted with timers and alarms. For instance gas cooker, water taps or front door.
The food we eat is not good for us yet the government still allows it to be sold under the guise of choice. It is our own fault and the choices we have made are incorrect and have seen 30% of children become obese.
Sugars, hidden fats and inactivity have seen the most people at any time contract a form of diabetes. This is more a mindful disease than restrictive.
You’ll have to be conscious of your diet and activities in relation to sugar levels and be sure to have insulin at the ready and not forget to take it. Long term if unchecked it can see bodily functions collapse and limbs removed.
There are many different types of heart disease. An intricate set of valves and pumps essential for blood circulation and regulation across many organs.
Blocked blood vessels can lead to many conditions, such as chest pain, stroke, arrhythmia and lessen your daily activities. Perhaps with operations; from robotic heart sleeve to heart valve replacement to irregular and distance monitoring.
Long Term Dementia Care
Dementia is not the disease that everyone thinks it is and there are some quite novel ways to ensure it effects on a person are considerably lessened while at the same time realising there is little that can be done about it.
Yet while the world looks on at dietary habits making more and more people obese, something we can all change, it’s worth noting that the effects of dementia can be kept at bay for longer by keep your mind active earlier on.
Long term dementia care is worrisome not merely for the person afflicted but family and friends too. the latter being the people who will notice the signs of dementia far sooner than the person affected.
Getting the care we need at the earliest opportunity is important, as memory loss and the confusion that follows is the danger that sets off a hole new area of problems that could endanger the person with dementia as well as those that are around them.
The NHS, local doctor, support groups, local council and hospital trusts can all help with advice and support on how to deal with dementia in its many forms.
Helping you to understand the condition, where to get help, support, advice and funding tor changes to a home and lifestyle. Here’s just a few ideas:
It’s one thing to forget where you put the keys, it’s entirely another to forget how to tie your shoe laces or forget a vital part of locking the house up at night – such as closing the front door.
Imagine the busiest day of your life and you having forgotten something very important, now multiply that occurring three or five times a day for the rest of your life.
We all lose our minds and forget from time to time but dementia or Alzheimers can lead to a person not recognising the person they love from one minute to the next.
It’s not only a worrying experience for the person not being recognised but imagine how scared the person with dementia gets when jumping around to different places and times in their own mind, not realising where they are or who they are with or mistaking someone for someone else.
There is both practical advice and physical assistance available for people with this condition. The whole world doesn’t end with the loss of part or degradation of large parts of memory.
Simply changes such as slip on shoes, digital clock and calendar, alarms for front doors, an always on voice assistant can all help a person feel more at ease rather than being horribly reminded that they can’t do things as they used to.
Is it possible to have been retired for ten years but get up one morning, dress in a suit and turn up for work?
When visiting family have you put you said Goodnight, take your clothes off and gone to bed in their house or walked out of your own home to the shops in your dressing gown?
Forgetting things is a part of Alzheimers disease, forgetting where you are leading to yet more confusion is another.
People can get confused about where they are, who they are, what time of day it is, which year it is, where they live, who is still alive and become scared and confused often creating a more dangerous situation around them where previously they were the safest they could be, only they forgot.
This could lead to needing full time care and carer at home or being moved to a home where you can be less of a danger to yourself.
Some people may find labelling useful, such as on and off or hot and cold or a Postit note suggesting which food is where and which object is in a cupboard.
Automation around the home may be necessary, such as lights coming on at a certain time, doors and windows being locked automatically, appliances having timers. Carers can also assist or be on call should disorientation set in.
Driving a car that isn’t yours?
Going shopping with a library card, turning up at old home you sold ten years ago, trying to get in?
These are serious incidents with serious consequences. With dementia they could happen to anyone. How the person afflicted, the people, family and friends around them deal with these scenarios before they happen is important.
Invariably 24/7 care is an answer but more and more are turning to tech to enable people to have as independent a life as possible.
Crazy as it may sound but GPS tracking in the form of necklace or wristband can both alert a carer when the person goes out of an area or leaves their home.