The Aging Population Relies on Different Types of Adult Care Providers

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | January 6th, 2017

We live in an increasingly mobile society, and our oldest generations are living longer than ever before. As we start to think about our own retirement, perhaps somewhere between the ages of 50 and 67, we’re still dealing with aging parents, many of whom have been retired for decades and have outlasted their own retirement savings. They can become permanent fixtures in our households, but we may have trouble giving them the right level of care.

Think About the Services That Your Loved One Needs 

If you’re approaching retirement and still raising kids or grandkids, you may feel sandwiched if your aging parents also need you. Keep yourself healthy and remain of service to loved ones of all generations, but also think about what level of services each loved one needs. In this age of longevity, there are many adults who want to be independent, but they will depend on some level of adult care. The different types of care providers will help adults and their families to handle the challenges of illness, disability, and aging. With adequate supports, adults with physical and mental challenges can remain longer with their families. They can enjoy life. 

The Types of Providers

1. Adult day service centers are a place where adults can be left for a few hours, perhaps up to an entire workday. Caregivers can assist with helping adults take their medications and eat their meals. They can lead group activities that will encourage adults to socialize and exercise according to their ability level. Loved ones aren’t just stuck at home while their family members work.

2. Nursing homes are loving communities where many residents are permanently in need of medical care. Some patients will be in units where they can move around with supervision, whether walking or using assistive devices. Other patients may spend some or all of their time in the hospital bed. These patients are at greater risk for illnesses because they aren’t mobile, and their loved ones can’t always be there to monitor their nursing care.

3. Residential care communities provide assisted living supports to adults, who may live in individual or group accommodations. Adults can get help from nurses, therapists, and other types of caregivers. They can use their community’s transportation to attend doctor appointments, shop for food, attend recreational activities, and participate in special events. Caregivers may help to prepare meals and check on residents to make sure that they are keeping to an acceptable standard of living while being somewhat independent. These communities provide the appropriate level of support for each person but are not 24-hour nursing care facilities. 

 4. Home health agencies have flexible delivery models and can send medical personnel, from occupational, speech, and physical therapists, to nurses and nursing assistants to a patient’s home. They can provide services from a few hours a day to 24-hour coverage. It really depends on whether a patient’s medical needs can be met in the home environment. For example, a person might need regular dressing changes or daily infusion of medications. A caregiver might be a person who sits with a patient to ensure that a heart or apnea monitor is at a safe level and can call for help if the individual becomes distressed.    

5. Hospices help patients who are near the end of life. They need palliative care so that they won’t experience more suffering or discomfort than is necessary. This is particularly difficult for families to provide because they’re grieving for the impending loss of their loved one. A caregiver can assist with helping a person drink cold water, eat a snack, or take a bath, always with his or her comfort in mind.

Caregiver services may fit into a model of healthcare in which adults remain at home, especially if relatives can care for them during the evenings and weekends. These services shouldn’t be confused with home healthcare agencies, which have professional medical staff and are subject to regulations like other medical organizations. If you have adults who need assistance with self-care and common chores around the home, we might be able to help. Our caregivers will not provide medical assistance. Having caregivers come to an adult’s home on a routine basis will help him or her to maintain the household and perhaps drive to appointments, but still remain independent. Even if your loved one lives with you, a caregiver can offer temporary relief while you attend to other obligations. 

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