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There are many aspects that are involved in taking care of elderly or aged people. Those who have the responsibility of taking care of the aged need to be aware of the various needs and requirements that the elderly have.

Elderly individuals who live on their own, without the support of anyone, may have a certain amount of financial needs. Such people need to fend for themselves for everything, including food, groceries, medicines etc. Pensioners have the benefit of a steady source of monthly income. Those who do not have any pension or other source of income would have to live entirely on their saving or through special senior citizens' government financial schemes or donations from charitable organisations.

It is natural that elderly people prefer staying at home in their old age. This brings the benefit of familiar surroundings and people around them. The homes of such people may be modified to accommodate their changing needs. There is the added benefit of familiar neighbours in the event of an emergency. Transportation is quick and easier for elderly people residing in areas that are familiar to them.

Health services are the most important requirement when it comes to elderly needs. Elderly people have age-related health issues. This is a normal part of life and cannot be avoided. Proper care and nursing facilities go a long way in keeping most of these health issues in check and also preventing them from causing any serious harm. Regular medical check-ups are useful to monitor the health of the elderly and also to anticipate potential future issues. Regular medical check-ups also help in identifying serious health problems at the initial stage when treatment has a greater chance of success.

As people age, their digestive systems gradually starts to weaken. Elderly people often find that they have difficulty digesting certain foods. It is important to realize that diet has to change to accommodate the reduced ability of the body. It may be okay to over-indulge with regards to food when young. But for the elderly, a nutritious and balanced diet made up of foodstuffs that the digestive system is able to accept is of utmost importance. Very often, the diet needs to be altered taking into consideration the medicines that are consumed each day.

For the elderly whose mobility has been affected due to aging, a certain amount of assistance in the daily routines becomes a necessity. It may not be possible for a family member to be present the whole day. Home nurses are the latest professionals to have appeared on the career list. For those elderly who need assistance in basic activities like walking, eating, bathing and dressing a home nurse is an invaluable companion.

The elderly have social needs too. Being debilitated by age is no reason for the elderly to be confined to themselves or in their rooms. Modern medicine recognises as fact that the elderly, just as ordinary people, need to feel wanted, cared for and loved. The world over, kind-hearted people take turns to give companionship to the elderly. Oftentimes, just physical proximity is enough comfort for the elderly. Some read to them and some others chat with them.

Physical comfort for the elderly differs from the needs of the young. As an example, air-conditioning may be looked upon as a necessity for the young. Yet, for an aged body, it may be very uncomfortable.

Considering all that has been said, is it any wonder that care homes have become a billion dollar industry? Not every business is about profits. Care homes serve an important purpose in modern society. Nursing homes, care homes, retirement villages and retirement communities are just some of the forms that organised elderly care has taken. In the United States alone, this industry was worth USD 17 billion in 2010.
   

Answer the following questions using complete sentences

 

1.

From paragraph 2, in what manner do the elderly living alone have to fend for themselves ?

 

2.

(a) From paragraph 2, what is the benefit of having a monthly pension ?

(b) From paragraph 2, how do those without a pension survive ?

 

3.

(a) From paragraph 3, what are the advantages of the elderly who live in their own homes ?

(b) From paragraph 3, mention two benefits of living in familiar surroundings ?

 

4.

(a) From paragraph 4, what is the greatest need of the elderly ?

(b) From paragraph 5, what happens to the digestive systems of the elderly ?

 

5.

Care homes serve an important purpose in modern society.

Based on this statement, how would you describe the characteristic nature of care homes ?

 

6.

Based on the passage, write a summary of :

The changing nature of elderly care.

The good that care homes serve.

 

 

 

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Answers
 

1.

They need to look after their own grocery, food and medicinal needs.
 

2.

(a) Those with a pension may find it easy to meet their monthly costs without much difficulty.

(b) Those without a pension may have to rely on government assistance or otherwise they have to look towards charitable organisation for their basic needs.

 

3.

(a) The elderly who live in their own homes may have the comfort of familiarity of their surroundings and also familiar neighbours.

(b)

(i) Neighbours will not be strangers and can be of help in an emergency.

(ii) Familiar surroundings mean familiarity with the local transportation systems and available resources in an emergency.

 

4.

(a) The greatest need of the elderly is the availability of good health care and health services.

(b) As a person ages, his digestive system becomes weaker as a direct consequence of aging.

 

5.

Characteristic : Care homes exist for the sole purpose of giving the elderly a comfortable existence in their twilight years.

Reason : This fact is borne out in the fact that care homes give serious consideration not just to the physical comforts of the elderly, they also systematically address the medical, dietary and social needs of them.

  6. Care homes present a lovely aspect of the human nature. The elderly are people who have lived beyond their productive years in society. Jungle law is survival of the fittest. In human society, care homes have come into existence in recognition of the right for the less than fit to lead lives of dignity and comfort. The elderly have stepped away from working lives and are in retirement. Care homes are designed to especially address the medical, social, dietary and physical needs of those who need help to take care of themselves. Care homes have gone beyond just housing the elderly and ensuring that food and medicines are taken on time. Today, care homes have become focused on fulfilling every need that the elderly may have.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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