Barely 24 hours ago, we published the first part of the 10 challenges elderly people face and wish you understood.
While we seriously encourage you to read that entry if you wish to fully benefit from the present one, here is the summary (assuming you’ve made up your mind not to leave the current page) 🙂
- The reality of being old.
- Fear of poverty.
- Failure to understand modern technology.
- Fear of death.
- Fear of senility/dementia and its acute reality.
These points were treated in detail and most importantly, a section of advice directed at both loved ones and caregivers presented valid points as to how such issues could be resolved or at worse, made to feel better – in the world of their bearers, Senior citizens.
In this concluding part, the same pattern/format will be followed/respected.
Also, kindly note/understand that as in the fore part, all the points shared here have equal importance – they are thus not presented in any hierarchical order.
Or, any other for that matter.
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10 Challenges Seniors Face & Wish You Understood
Here is the concluding part of the initial article.
We sincerely hope you love it and as well, learn something new – and inspiring therein.
6. Sexual Challenges
Many persons (especially caregivers and loved ones of elderly people) have the mistaken notion that sexual urges are not felt by Seniors and that the elderly have no need for expression, sexually.
This is not true.
The correct position is that sexual urges are present almost all through life and with good health, regular exercise and a willing partner, both Senior men and women can remain completely active sexually for the rest of their lives.
However, the challenge comes in when older persons who still desire sexual intimacy are unable because of illness, other challenges of old age such as undesirability to a potential spouse etc.
When this happens, a Senior/elderly person, despite many years of sexual activity, is certainly not happy.
For others who are not in the age group, this is certainly difficult to understand.
However, the truth remains that while the worst nature (via the instrumentality of old age) can do to either an aged man or woman is reduced sexual desire, some older persons have desires that never fluctuate, all through their lives.
The only variable that steadily declines is their ability to work on that desire.
You can only imagine how frustrating this can be.
How To Help Seniors (Effectively) Manage Sexual Frustrations
The most constant and surest way to tell a sexually frustrated Senior is the inherent jealousy with which he/she looks upon the sexual expressions of younger persons.
For others, it is to be found in their persistent criticism of the morals of the day – when in actual sense, they are actually lamenting on what they’re missing 🙂
Further, while we (human beings) pride ourselves as highly intelligent, some things are still well beyond our reach – or direct control, in terms of concealment.
Accordingly thus, the looks on the face of an older woman when a well-dressed, athletic, intelligent, and responsible young man comes around should be conclusive – or at least point to something tangible and sexual.
Conversely, the stare/glare of an elderly gentleman when a younger, well-formed, pretty girl is within reach also indicates a desire for intimacy that has not been (clearly) expressed for a while.
To help the elderly and Seniors who actively desire sexual expression but are challenged by age, here is what friends, loved ones and caregivers can do.
- Make the elderly person comfortable and open up the topic.
- Make he/she understand that you’re comfortable with their desires and that their desires are natural and in order.
- Work with him/her to meet potential mates – who are willing and ready for a long-term commitment, possibly leading to marriage.
- Finally, ensure that the eventual match has sexual/physical energy that is matched with that of the elderly person or Senior. This is the only way the sexual tension will be cooled and the satisfaction derived therefrom.
Since the issue of sexual intercourse and sexual expression is still largely considered taboo especially by the elderly (in many cultures), be very careful and methodological about this issue.
If you’re not careful, it may present a result very different from the unintended.
As a way of finally concluding this point, we need to add again that you need to be very careful and smart about this topic.
Some older adults have willingly ‘given’ off sexual activity because of the loss of a spouse, partner, or some sort of enlightenment, either personal or spiritual.
For all such Seniors and the aged, this section does not expressly apply.
7. Poor/Weak Teeth
Poor/weak teeth is today, almost synonymous with age.
While there are various causes of this, the average elderly person – a man or woman is not comfortable with the fact that his/her teeth are giving way gradually.
In a sense, it is a potent – and harsh reminder of what ultimately lies ahead…death.An elderly person who has this challenge also has challenges with self-esteem by default.
Or, who is anxious to show a mouth with bad teeth or worse, a mouth with very few teeth remaining and several other bad ones?
This is often not funny and the anguish and mental stress aged people go through on account of this is actually better imagined than detailed on a piece of paper or reduced to writing.
How To Help Elderly People Handle The Challenge Of Poor Teeth Better
The challenge of poor teeth in the elderly is manifested by an artificial hatred for smiling or laughter.
Thus, a Senior citizen who was in the habit of smiling gradually withdraws to him/herself and instead, prefers to simply grin, even at the funniest of circumstances or jokes.
Further, this reality is made manifest in elderly persons whose love for anything ‘soft’ is taken to the next level while actively detesting ‘hard’ food as completely unhealthy.
If you’re dealing with a Senior that has these challenges, you have the following options:
- Immediately seek dental care and see if the challenge can be reversed or tackled on a professional level.
- Avoid presenting the elderly person in question with food options that are either too cold, too hot or too cold.
- As the last measure (when all else fails), you should consider going for implants which while very expensive, are well worth every dime and usually do an awesome job restoring the pride, dignity, and self-esteem of the Senior in question.
Let’s take a look at the next challenge.
8. Arthritis & Its Harsh Reality
After a certain point, if one is not very lucky, the legs, hands, and joints generally simply refuse to co-operate!
This condition is called arthritis and is characterized by pains in the affected areas and is usually a challenge that takes some time to clear – if ever it clears.
Most Seniors and elderly people are not challenged by this medical reality, however.
Still, the small percentage of the elderly that this condition affects leaves them in utter misery – ensuring that they become the worse for it.
As a matter of fact, no elderly person is ever comfortable with this reality and it severely impairs mobility and makes one largely dependent on others for basic activities one could otherwise carry out effectively, unaided.
How To Help Aged Persons Handle The Challenge Of Arthritis
Arthritis is a medical condition that is not easy to hide.
Accordingly, you’ll know (almost immediately) if an elderly person is suffering from the challenge upon meeting him/her or spending some time together.
To help out, here are the things you could do as a friend, loved one, relation or caregiver:
- Do not allow a Senior or an elderly person who is challenged with arthritis walk for a distance. Always help with transportation means.
- Always be close to a Senior who is suffering from this challenge when he/she is walking. This will help prevent a fall should their legs/joints fail to co-operate.
- Finally, ensure that despite the medical challenge, they still keep fit and actively exercise. This is best way to ensure that they actively get better and work on their confidence along the way.
Most importantly, however, seek medical help.
Unlike some of the issues treated here, arthritis is a medical condition that is largely treatable and with the right attention, becomes history sooner than later.
The young and middle-aged are not the only ones who suffer from the pains and challenges depression ensures.
As a matter of fact, statistics show that today, the aged population is more prone to bouts of depression which is sometimes so serious that it leads to suicidal thoughts.
The sad thing is that no one is immune to depression.
As it stands, it can happen to anyone – depending on many external factors which are often beyond the immediate control of either the Senior in question or those who care for him/her.
This notwithstanding, depression is a serious challenge of the elderly and one to be taken extremely seriously – especially since it causes other challenges such as suicidal thoughts.
Who wants to handle a suicide case even if it means the ‘victim’ is already aged?
How To Help Seniors Suffering From Bouts Of Depression
The most noticeable symptom of depression in the aged is loss of appetite and a general disinterest in carrying out the activities that once gave the elderly person in question joy/pleasure.
Others such as loss of appetite and unexplained fatigue that is not tied to work or normal tiredness could also be noticed amongst Seniors who are hit by this challenge.
To help them, there are a few straightforward things that can be done:
First, encourage them to talk about what is bothering them. While this will not be easy, if you’re close to them, they should open up and make the process easy enough for you.
Second, help the Senior in question tackle the problems that are causing him/her stress.
Finally, if all prove abortive, convince him/her to see a therapist/psychologist who will professionally offer insight that will prove productive in the end.
Let’s now take a look at the last point.
About 8 in every 10 Seniors report that they’re lonely.
That’s a whopping 80% of the aged population!
When you also consider the fact that many Seniors lose their spouses in their Senior years, have children who are all grown up and living away from them, or are actively retired, you’ll completely understand why most elderly people make the TV their primary companion out of the fact that they have no choice.
The sad fact is that, like depression, loneliness can also inspire suicidal thoughts, reduce productivity and overall, undermine the health of the aged.
It is our sincere submission that no elderly person deserves this fate in life!
How You Can Help Seniors/Elderly Persons Who Are Lonely
If you have an elderly person that you care about and he/she is living alone, then, it is up to you to ensure that you provide steady and consistent companionship for such an elderly person so that loneliness does not creep in to cause very avoidable havoc.
How you do this, will however be based on your schedule/ability and much more importantly, the temperament and reality of the elderly person in question.
This is the very last section of the second part of this article detailing challenges the elderly have and wish that you understood as their caregiver, loved one, relation, or friend.
It is often said that with knowledge, comes power…
Today, the Best for Seniors Online team has ensured that you are informed and bequeathed with the knowledge to ensure that you understand the Senior/elderly population like the back of your hands.
Go forth and ensure that you turn this knowledge into power – of the highest variant!
All the best 🙂