Though the population of aging adults in the United States only accounts for approximately 12 percent of the total population of the country, senior adults over the age of 64 experience around 65 percent of the cases of sepsis that occur in the country each year. Seniors tend to be more vulnerable to sepsis just as they are more vulnerable to other health complications and challenges due to the tendency for seniors to have less effective immune systems, other health complications that further reduce the immune system, and other factors. As a family caregiver it is extremely important that you are aware not only of the risks associated with sepsis, but also a condition known as post-sepsis syndrome.
Post-sepsis syndrome, or PSS, affects approximately 50 percent of survivors of sepsis. This syndrome leaves sufferers with challenges that can linger for a long period after the sepsis. These affects can be physical, psychological, or both.
Some of the effects of post-sepsis syndrome include:
- Difficulty getting to sleep or trouble staying asleep
- Vivid hallucinations
- Panic attacks
- Severe muscle pains
- Debilitating joint pains
- Difficulty concentrating
- Extreme fatigue
- Diminished cognitive functioning
- Decreased self-esteem
- Decreased belief in themselves
Your elderly family member is at increased risk of suffering from post-sepsis syndrome if they spent time in the intensive care unit or were in the hospital for a long period of time when they were dealing with their infection. Though PSS can and does develop in sepsis survivors of all ages, studies have indicated that, like sepsis itself, post-sepsis syndrome is more likely in older patients. Senior sepsis survivors are also more likely to experience certain effects of the syndrome, particularly long-term cognitive functioning decline or impairment. In fact, approximately 60 percent of cases of severe sepsis will result in cognitive functioning decline. Many of these survivors will experience difficulties with daily activities and care tasks that they did not struggle with prior to their experience with sepsis, such as trouble with bathing, toileting, dressing, or cooking independently.
Starting senior care for your elderly parent can be one of the best decisions that you make for them throughout the time that you are their family caregiver. Whether you live at a distance or are close by, are only able to be with your parent occasionally or can be with them daily but feel that they would benefit from additional care and support, the highly personalized services of a senior home care services provider can fill care gaps that exist in your care routine and ensure that your senior is getting everything that they need to maintain a lifestyle that is happy, healthy, safe, and comfortable, and that features as much independence and fulfillment as possible as they age in place. This can include monitoring their physical health and condition and letting you know when they notice indications that they might be struggling with challenges or complications, offering reminders to keep them compliant with medications and treatments, and supporting good lifestyle choices for a healthier life as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care near Quarryville, PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author
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