What Is Elderly Care?
Elderly care or senior care is a specialized care program that is intended to meet the requirements and needs of senior health. Seniors, at various stages, can receive elderly care via assisted living, nursing care, adult day care, home care, respite care, and hospice care. These types of elderly care also provide caregiving services and health care services to senior citizens for a few hours or up to 24 hours per day.
Why Is Elderly Care So Important?
Elderly care is so important for several reasons. First is that elderly care helps senior citizens who are having difficulties with activities of daily living (ADLs). Activities of daily living (ADLs) include cooking, cleaning, shopping, dressing, bathing, driving, taking medications, and others. These activities may require assistance through elder care because seniors may not be able to do them independently.
Elder care or long-term care is necessary for seniors who are experiencing a general decline in health. A general decline in health may be in the form of senility, where a senior may have difficulty remembering to take medication, failing eyesight, wherein an older adult may have difficulty moving around the house safely, or advanced arthritis, wherein a senior citizen may have difficulty getting in and out of the bathtub without assistance.
Elderly care is also important for seniors experiencing physical and mental health problems due to isolation and loneliness. Seniors who are isolated and lonely may develop anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and weakened immunities. Elderly care through companionship services is very helpful for senior citizens who are looking for someone they can discuss things with, play games with, go for walks or shopping with, and assist them when necessary.
Elderly care is important in keeping seniors at home. Seniors, through the help of home care services, can continue to live in the comfort of their own homes while receiving assistance when needed. Living at home than in a nursing facility or care facility gives them more chances to live as independently as possible and spend time with their families.
What Are The Basic Needs Of The Elderly?
There are several basic needs of the elderly. The first basic need is staying mobile. Staying mobile means moving within their own surroundings safely. This can be addressed by mobility assistive devices, such as a cane, a walker, and a wheelchair. Seniors’ homes must also have installations of handrails, wider doors, and a wheelchair ramp for easier moving.
The next basic need of the elderly is personal care. Personal care is required by seniors on a daily basis. Seniors may need assistance with activities like bathing, dressing, and grooming. These daily tasks can be assisted by professional caregivers, family caregivers, and care coordinators.
Another basic need of the elderly is medical care. Medical care ensures that older adults are healthy enough to enjoy their golden years. Senior citizens may need assistance in getting a physical exam, eye checkup, foot care, physical therapy, and nursing care.
The next basic need is proper nutrition and exercise. Proper nutrition and exercise are crucial in keeping the elderly stay active and healthy. Seniors may need a care provider, care coordinator, or nutritionist to do meal preparation that fits their lifestyle. A healthy meal plan is necessary to provide proper nutrition and hydration to senior citizens. Senior citizens benefit from regular exercise for the prevention of injury and improvement of their mood.
One more basic need of the elderly is activities and recreation. Daily activities and recreation are important to keep them productive and engaging instead of staying idle. These activities provide social care that helps their mental health by having a healthy social life.
How Do We Treat The Elderly With Care And Respect?
There are several ways we can treat the elderly with care and respect. The first way is to consider hearing loss when communicating with them. Older adults may have developed age-related hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is due to prolonged exposure to noise, disease, heredity, or because of aging. This affects 1 in 3 adults between ages 65 and 74, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The NIDCD, under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducts and supports research on disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.
There are several techniques to take care of the elderly suffering from hearing loss:
- Speak loudly enough for them to hear us, but not so loud that we are already shouting.
- Get their attention by placing our hand gently on their shoulder or by speaking their name before giving important information.
- Speak clearly and at a slower pace so that they can understand what we are trying to say.
- Reduce background noise by turning off the TV or music or sitting away from crowded areas so that we can be heard better.
- Repeat yourself to confirm and ensure that they understood what we said.
- Have decent lighting because it is easier for them to understand when they see our body language and facial expressions.
The second way is to understand their health-related conditions, including their behavior and physical symptoms. Older people with heart conditions such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease may show signs of fatigue and lack of physical strength. The elderly with dementia may experience and show paranoia, aggression, agitation, and lack of self-care, in addition to memory loss. Older adults with delirium may show symptoms such as shaking, shortened attention span, and extreme mood swings. The elderly who are suffering from depression may show signs of sadness, irritability, fatigue, and feelings of worthlessness.
Pros And Cons Of Elderly Care
There are several pros and cons of elderly care or aged care. For the pros, elderly care allows seniors to get help with daily activities. Seniors can also have opportunities to socialize with other older adults in the community through elderly care and social care. Social care contributes to the health and well-being of the elderly. The elderly also maintains the feeling of independence through elderly care.
For the cons. elderly care can cost a significant amount of money, especially when seniors stay at assisted living facilities, home care agencies, and nursing homes. These elderly care facilities may require medium to high income from residents and their families, including the senior residents’ pension. Residents may also have difficulty maintaining their privacy with elderly care. Elderly care or senior care also may not offer sufficient medical care offered by doctors, skilled nurses, and other professional healthcare providers, depending on the seniors’ medical conditions.
Elderly Care Tips
There are several elderly care tips. The first tip is to have the right body language. Having the right body language means a seated position directly opposite the older adult patient to improve communication. This position reduces distractions and sends a message that the care provider is focused completely.
The second tip is to exercise patience. Patience is required when caring for seniors. Seniors may require their primary caregivers to repeat several times before they can fully understand the message. Care providers need to talk slowly and enunciate properly until the senior patient can understand.
The next tip is to show proper respect. Respecting the elderly despite the differences in opinion on several things is a must for care providers. Care providers should acknowledge the experience that seniors have in order to bridge generational gaps during communication.
Another tip is to practice active listening. Active listening to the seniors’ words is crucial for care providers because it can be challenging to express ideas to both parties. Care providers can use body language like nodding in order to acknowledge what seniors are trying to say and ask clarifying questions to seniors for better understanding.
The next tip is to build rapport. Building rapport starts with creating positive interactions. Positive interactions include care providers introducing themselves and finding out the senior’s name preferences. Name preferences allow both parties to create familiarity and a positive overall impression.
Another tip is to show sincerity. Showing sincerity includes asking appropriate questions about seniors’ living conditions and social circles. Senior’s beliefs and culture must also be considered when recommending treatment methods and custom care plans.
The next tip is to ensure comfort. Ensuring physical comfort is important for both seniors and their family members. Seniors with multiple illnesses can be difficult for care providers to alleviate physical discomfort. Alleviating physical discomfort, such as offering extra cushions or blankets, reduces distractions during treatment.
Another tip is to show empathy. Showing empathy to senior patients makes them feel at ease because they feel that their caregivers understand and identify with their concerns. Caregivers must have honest and open communication with their senior patients to show that they recognize their patient’s difficulties and care about their circumstances.
Elderly Care Cost
Elderly care costs are affected by several factors, such as location, level of care and type of care, one-on-one interaction, amenities, and living spaces. Long-term care facilities may require medium to high income for seniors and their families. Assisted living costs a median average of $4,300 per month. Memory care’s cost of care is an average range of $5,300 to $6,800 per month. The rate of home care is an average of $23.50 per hour or $4,704 per month for 40-hour weeks. Home health care program’s cost of care is an average of $24 per hour or $3,840 per month for 40-hour weeks. The rates for nursing home care are from $7,905 to $8,990 per month. Adult day care and respite care cost $73 and $80 per day, respectively. Residential care homes’ cost of care is from $1,500 to $10,000 a month.
For more information on Elderly care contact Specialized Home Care today.