This is a fairly simple explanation for the question, “What is elder care?”
Elder care is best defined as any number of personal care and health care services available to seniors that are tailored to help meet their needs as they age. Services can include everything from home care services, assisted living, occupational therapy or transportation; the list is endless. These services provide assistance to seniors who may have trouble with daily needs.
Elder care services are not exclusively for nursing home care. In fact, elder care services encompass the whole spectrum of senior living including at-home care, day programs, senior housing, assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes and the like.
Most seniors will at some point require assistance with daily needs and personal care whether due to aging, illness or an injury, which may only be temporary. Elder care includes short-term and long-term assistance with everyday living such as shopping, getting out of bed, paying bills, making meals, cleaning, dressing, grooming, pet care, eating, transportation, incontinence care, medication management as well as many other services that help maintain a person’s health and well-being.
What is elder care planning?
According to the Administration on Aging, the population of people over age 65 in 2030 will be more than 71 million. Although there are many seniors who are living healthy, active lives, many others will require some form of assistance at some point during their senior years. A mix of professionals and non-professionals can provide this assistance.
Elder care planning encompasses all of the personal, financial, medical and household requirements of aging seniors. Professionals such as nurses and therapists can provide many of the services required by the elderly, and they may be necessary for health and medical assistance. However, in reality, it is family members and friends that often provide elder care services. Many times a family member will frequently visit to make sure the elderly person is eating, cleaning, taking medication or just to provide companionship or transportation to an appointment. All of these things are considered elder care services.
Although you may never need elder care services, it’s important to plan ahead. Speak with your family, physician and even friends to help form a plan. Keep the conversation going and discuss any needs that come up as you age.
photo credit: eflon