By: Mindy Harrington
According to AARP, 80% of older people today live in their homes. Successful aging means independence. Improved medical treatment and growing life expectancy marks the senior population as the fastest growing demographic. Seniors prefer to do things for themselves and remain independent.
Long-term care costs are rising. The ability to pay depends on availability of long-term care insurance, sizable savings, or other means. Medicaid eligible nursing homes may be the only solution.
Technology exists and seniors are willing to give technology a try. Technology costs are also low. Baby boomers own more technology than any previous generation. We can connect multiple generations of families with each other and with their care providers. Although seniors may not know what is on the market.
Families need to strengthen their communication. Healthcare providers offer few communication mechanisms while long-distance relatives are not up-to-date on their relative’s condition. Frustration then ends with moving closer to family into independent or assisted living facilities.
Monitoring of the patient needs to be improved. Safety should be one of the main concerns of seniors.
Hospitals tend to push seniors into rehab and permanent assisted living or nursing homes. This is not always necessary as seniors may be more suited to age in place at home. With proper support, functioning at home is a possibility. This allows the individuals to enjoy a more normal life in and around the comfort of their own home.
Caregivers should talk with the senior. Listen and access their needs. Provide the senior with the best care possible. Exceed expectations and explore the options available.