Caregiver Awareness: Caring for Seniors with AIDS
Caregiver in Hamilton NJ
In the thirty years since the discovery of HIV in the United States, the understanding of the infection and its subsequent disease, AIDS, has progressed dramatically. Those with the disease now have access to much more advanced medication and treatment technology, enabling them to resist the development of AIDS longer, and survive later once AIDS has developed. Many are able to live healthy, engaged, active lives. One major thing that has also changed is the demographic of those with HIV and AIDS. Today, more than one third of those infected are over the age of 50. This means that caring for people with AIDS has become a significant elder care issue.
As a family caregiver, if you are caring for a senior with AIDS, it is important to educate yourself not just on the disease, but on the proper way to care for your elderly loved one so you can encourage him to live as healthy and enjoyable a quality of life as possible.
One of the most important things to remember as a caregiver for a senior with AIDS is your safety. Many care providers express concern and even fear when it comes to caring for a senior with this medical concern, but it is vital to keep in mind that HIV has a very low transmission rate. This means that you are not going to come into contact with the infection through normal everyday contact or through contact with saliva. The virus transmits primarily through contact with blood, sexual activity or contact with sexual fluids, and intravenous drug use, making it extremely unlikely for a caregiver to contract the infection through normal care activities. If there is a chance you may come into contact with your aging loved one’s bodily fluids during the course of your care activities, it is important to protect yourself by wearing gloves, a mask, and eye protection to reduce your risk.
Keeping your aging loved one healthy relies heavily on treatment compliance. Some of the most common obstacles to ongoing treatment compliance include:
• Complicated treatment guidelines
• Lack of access to medications
• Inconsistent reminders
• Comorbidity with other diseases and cognitive challenges
It is vital to remain consistent with your aging loved one’s treatments and find ways to encourage consistency, such as setting timers throughout the day or corresponding treatments with other activities. If you are concerned that your aging loved one needs more assistance, get in touch with the elder care agency to find out about hiring a home care provider who has experience caring for seniors with HIV and AIDS so that together you can ensure your elderly loved ones live the highest quality of life possible.
The agency can also offer recommendations for support groups and other resources to help you feel more confident in your care plan and give you the emotional guidance, support, and encouragement necessary to help you deal with the stress and other difficult emotions of this type of care relationship.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Hamilton, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.