Possibilities and limitations of own control - Elderly, chronically ill and people with physical disabilities
Possibilities and limitations of own control
Some of the elderly, chronically ill and people with physical limitations are perfectly capable of keeping control of their lives and care in their own hands. This becomes more difficult as age rises and there are more diseases or limitations. Those who have problems seeing and (fine) movements of the arms and hands, find it harder to get medication out of packages, brush their teeth and perform other oral care.
Older people who take many different medicines often do not know what they are for. The higher the age of the elder and the more medicines, the less the elder knows for what he uses each. But 15% of the elderly know of what it uses for what it is used for. The more medication is prescribed (types and intake times), the lower the correct use. Therapy compliance then decreases.
Older people often consider dental visits less necessary than when they were younger. If it becomes more difficult to make an appointment, or if transportation and costs are a problem, they will often refrain from visiting the dentist.
As health problems become more or more serious, it becomes more difficult for the elderly to monitor their own health and to interpret signals properly. Managing one's own life and care can also become more difficult, certainly when the social network becomes smaller. Incidentally, not all elderly people will experience it that way. And if they do experience that and want support, it cannot always be arranged immediately. In addition, government policy is aimed at living at home longer, independently or with help.
The Elderly of the Future report (Doekhie 2014) talks about four types of elderly. This classification is made on the basis of two criteria:
- How important do the elderly find their own direction?
- Do they think they have their own direction?
The questions and wishes of the four different types of elderly people will differ in practice. As with other target groups, this requires coordination and customization.
Of course, the elderly, the chronically ill and people with physical disabilities who stay in care institutions will have to contend with more serious health problems and will be less able to manage their health on average.