An undeniable fact of life, ageing, results in the loss of body strength. With an increase of dependency amongst the older population due to an ever growing risk of incurrence of diseases amongst them. This ultimately leads to the inability of the older population to take care of themselves. Bare minimum daily life tasks such as purchasing groceries, going out to socialise, managing their daily chores, and more, begin to feel difficult. 

Majority of the older people with an age of 65 years or more develop necessities for long-term support and services. Depending on the health care services differ based on the situation and other requirements of the individuals. Some gain help from their own family members while others resort to the home health care providers who visit their residences to offer healthcare facilities and other support services. Besides, healthcare facilities and nursing homes can be considered as an option to get support during their old age.

Every kind of service will have its own set of difficulties and disadvantages. However, they vary based on the place where the service is provided and who the service provider is. The challenges faced by the families, for example, may be different from those faced by the healthcare providers since the former offer a higher standard of personal care. However, irrespective of the source of the service provider, the challenges faced by them in order to take care of the elderly are a lot. Read on to know more about the various challenges faced by the healthcare providers of the elderly.

Challenges Faced When Taking Care of the Elderly

Here are the 7 challenges faced when taking care of the elderly:

  • Financial Stability

The average retirement age is about 60 years, unless they have their own business or a part-time job. The permanent income source of the elders is usually lost post retirement, implying that they have to depend on their pension or life-savings for their life thereafter. Hence, they frequently need financial help from their offspring. It is not a hidden fact that old age brings about lots of degenerative illnesses, diseases, and ailments. The medical expenses involved in the treatment of diseases amongst the elderly is soaring high. Hence, it is advisable to buy medical insurance for your parents as it will provide you with financial coverage against hospitalisation and treatment expenses at a very nominal premium amount. 

  • Physical Demands

Based on the condition of the elderly, helping them can be physically demanding. They may require help with basic daily affairs such as bathing, walking, dressing up, and more. Physically helping an elderly who has mobility issues can get very tough without the appropriate tools, such as ramps or rails, and can have safety risks as well.

  • Accessibility

Elderly people are more likely to depend on the accessible equipment for their mobility at some point in their lives. This varies from one condition to another. Few of the accessible options comprise a walker, ramp, railings, wheelchair, elevator, shower chair, and more. Such tools are difficult to keep at the homes of the patients, whereas it is relatively easier to access them in the long-term health care facilities. They also add up more at-home expenses which can get quite difficult to manage. The lack of such equipment makes it more difficult for the families to offer care. It may also get quite discouraging for them to possess physical limitations. Families can not help their beloved elder family members with such kinds of mental exhaustion and frustrations. This, in turn, creates several physical demands which can add on to such frustration.

  • Time Commitment

An average of at least 24 hours per week is spent by the family members for providing health care to their elderly loved ones. This does not comprise the time which is spent on providing the caregiving duties, which may get extended up to about 40 hours a week. If the caretakers do not live with the patient, the time taken to drive to their residence shall also be added. If the elderly are more dependent, then it implies that the supporter may have to reduce time from their personal life. Missing out on personal commitments, scaling on work, losing time with other family members, and finding a work-life balance, in addition to taking care of the ageing parent can pile up into an emotional burden.

  • Safety Concerns

Going into the house of a stranger can result in safety concerns. A healthcare worker may not be fully assured of the house they are walking into. These individuals may have to work alone which may ultimately result in the increasing risks. If the elderly patient gets agitated, it may get extremely difficult to manage their violent actions, if any. This may worsen if there is no one else around them to help them. Workplace violence in the healthcare industry is high and the probability only rises if their workplace is someone’s home. Verbal abuse, threats, aggressions, and sexual harassment may be some of the common concerns that may arise in such a scenario. Besides, the risks of the healthcare worker contracting the diseases from the patient is relatively higher, thereby ultimately affecting their safety parameters.

  • Quality of Care Standards

It is very important that the health care facilities offer care which is of high quality. This can get very difficult if the number of patients is higher. However, it is imperative that they can be utilised as long-term healthcare options. The nursing homes’ quality has been improved over time, however, lots of health care providers end up failing to meet the quality standards. The costs of maintaining high-quality healthcare systems can cost them a lot of money, and it can be even more difficult for the families with a basic source of income to afford such high-quality care. 

  • Dealing with the Elderly’s Mental Health

Several stereotypes related to the elderly people can result in marginalisation and isolation in quite a few communities. Their lack of mobility, inability to work, increased susceptibility to diseases, and other harmful impacts of ageing may result in self-esteem issues and loss of a sense of identity which may ultimately lead to mental health issues. Dealing with such ageing individuals with lack of mental health may make it difficult for the healthcare givers.


With more people growing older, the population of people who rely on healthcare services is only increasing. This aid could be given from home healthcare workers, family members, or residential facilities such as nursing homes. There are several challenges that they may have to face along the way. Difficulties may vary, however, not addressing the necessary concerns may result in higher numbers of problems. Hence, it is important to deal with the challenges which may arise and manage them before the healthcare industry gets over-saturated by the elderly population. Reducing the struggles may make it easier to offer care and keep the patients healthy and secure. 



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