I would like to share my experience with my both grandmother and grandfather.
I live in Egypt ( male 32 years old)which is a nice country by the way. I live in a city that is on the sea shore directly. I find it dramatically that the weather here is almost fine all the year. About caring of my grand mother and my grand father, it was a hell of experience.
First of all lets talk about my grandmother. She had never went to a doctor in her early life, but later when she got older she began to suffer from diabeted milletus which is a disorder of glucose metabolism that lead to hyperglycemia due to lack or resistance of insulin in the body. This disease need treatment with either insulin or oral hypoglycemic to decrease the rising blood sugar. In our country we call is in or language "sugar", this name refers to the pathology of the disease.
Anyway my grandmother also suffered from heart problems, and hypertension. Those diseases are the typical for old ladies and old guys who have vascular problems.She began to develop dyspnea or short breathing on the slightest efforts. She did not move much from those days. Her mood was depressed more and more. She suffered from heart attacks and went many times to the hospital to be treated.
The main problems we face in the house while taking care of her :
1- we needed to schedule her medications, she had to take a lot of pills and medicine that we did not even know what is its mechanism of action or what those drugs do... it was just the doctors orders to do so. She felt stronger after she took the pills, so even those pills gave her a placebo effect, they were important to be taken. So we scheduled the daily doses so as not to miss one of them.
2- We had children in the house , so we were so cautious to avoid contact or access of the pills medication of my grand mother to the young children. It was so risky for the child to swallow those pills thinking that they were candies or something like that. One day it was almost that they were going to swallow one, but we had them caught in the last minute....
3- frequent falls especially during walking in the dark light. We avoided this by making some places to rest in the middle of the walk at the house, we had bells every where , so she can call us . Falls in the elderly can lead to hip and knee injuries especially with the osteoporosis or weak bones in the elderly.
4- During her sleep we had to check on her regularly, because once she has fallen from the bed which is high from the ground , and another time she had some dyspnea . To solve the problem of falling down, we put something to strand her while she was asleep, an edge that was high enough to prevent her fall.
5- The problem of falling was obvious again during her going to the bathroom, someone has to go with her to help her doing the things inside the rest room. It was a tedious job to do. But an important one actually. We had to distribute the jobs to be done for the whole family and every one helped to do something.
As regards my grandfather, he had problems with his memory, and many times he goes out and even travel and don't remember where did he went. One day he came back accompanied by some men who were carrying him, it turned out that he fell down while walking down the street and those nice men volunteered to bring him back.
Later on we discovered that he had Alzheimer's disease, which means that he had some sort of senile old age dementia or memory loss that interfered with daily social or work activities. This condition gradually increased till he did not recognize us.
Do you imagine that , my own grandfather do not recognize me any more. How sad.. this made me think about life and how cruel it is. You are young now , but after many years you will be old and lonely, you will need someone to take care of you.
Anyway let's go back about caring my grand father. He did not require many efforts like my grand mother. He went to the toilet by himself and could feed himself without assistance. But later on as the disease advance, he needed someone to feed him by spoon , he lost all of his teeth , so he had artificial teeth. He suffered from stroke also, so hospitalized many times. We were having a ready pack to go to the hospital any time and with no alarm before it.
It was very disappointing how many time the stroke recurred. His heart condition was fine, but his mentality got worse, he even ignored his appearance. We had to take care of that every day , dress him and feed him. Read some newspaper to him. Let him watch television. We did not bring him a nurse to take care of him. We did that on our own.
God be with all those who take care of the elderly, it is the job of angels in heaven!!