Elder care, also called senior care, is specific care for the elderly population. The elderly often have special medical needs or special requirements of healthcare and elder care is specifically designed to meet those needs at various life stages. Elder care isn’t an absolute of old age. Even healthy individuals can become disabled or develop a condition that affects their ability to function normally. Whether they are simply getting older or have a terminal disease, many people find themselves in the position where they need help managing their senior years.
Many individuals who are approaching or end of their lives find that they need additional medical attention. Often, they are looking to reduce their financial and other costs associated with such assistance, but they may also desire increased comfort and assistance when engaging in daily activities. This is where they can turn to their local elder care agency to provide the additional support they need to maintain their quality of life. Whether it’s a simple assistance such as help with bathing, moving to a new apartment or visiting with family members, or it is a more complex situation requiring added level of specialized services, the right company can provide all the assistance they need.
One of the most common types of senior care provided by local agencies is Assisted Living. This can be in a variety of forms but usually involves coordinated group of services including housekeeping, meals provided, transportation assistance and medical assistance. It’s important to remember that Assisted Living is not health insurance and therefore requires the monthly premiums to be paid along with any additional medical conditions the patient may be battling.
Another type of senior care offered by local agencies is in nursing homes. Nursing homes are for the elderly only and therefore tend to focus on the daily needs of the residents rather than providing extensive medical care or medical coverage. Some nursing homes even have medical practitioners on call should an emergency arise. These services vary from home to home and residents are generally assigned to a specific nurse assigned to them.
Then there are the other specialized senior care options available for those suffering from a debilitating condition that either requires more ongoing or one-time treatment. For example, Alzheimer’s disease is a cognitive disease that affects the cognitive ability of the individual affected. The first stage of the disease involves the beginning stages of forgetfulness, less attention, general malaise and confusion. Over time the individual begins to lose their ability to perform any task requiring any degree of physical coordination, including dressing, eating, walking and talking.
The second stage of the disease involves the cognitive aspects of memory loss and the decline in reasoning abilities. This decline is usually progressive but there are instances where the progression only differs in a single area such as using a toilet. The third stage of the disease involves the decline in verbal and mental functioning and is often confused with depression. Most of these conditions are treated with medication and daily living aids that include feeding bottles, using toilet facilities and dressing.
Daily living aids such as crutches, canes, walking sticks and other physical assistance may also be needed. Another type of senior care option would be home care services. This option would involve having your loved one cared for in their own home. Often this type of assistance is provided by a trained aide who will assist your loved one with tasks that require basic daily living skills. An example of these tasks would be bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation and other tasks that most adults could do.
The final type of senior home care option is skilled nursing care. This type of service employs medical professionals to assist your loved one with physical limitations such as those associated with diabetes, heart conditions, mental health conditions, cognitive problems and chronic health conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Some skilled aides may also assist those with a learning disability by providing assistance with activities of daily living. With a skilled aide, your loved one is able to participate in all aspects of their day to day life. Many elderly individuals who receive this type of care are able to maintain their independence and to remain in their homes for longer periods of time due to the specialized care they receive. Regardless of which of the options your senior has chosen, you will want to keep them in the forefront of your mind so you can be prepared in case a medical emergency arises or any other type of medical condition that requires medical attention.