Geriatrics and Long-term Care

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Though her sons and daughters check in on her all of the time, they are not there 24 hours a day. She does not want to have something happen and no one find out until several hours or days go by. She is very active in the community and church and I expect that she will remain so, even after moving into the assisted living facilities. This report seeks to uncover long-term care/housing programs and services provided to older adults. I will focus on the mission and services provided.

From this report, I expect to gain an understanding of long-term care options and the differences amongst them, so it will be useful for my aging parents.

Introduction There are 1,065,502 people (15. 1%), aged 60 and above, in Virginia (U. S. Census Bureau, 2000). There are 216,588 households with those aged 65 and over living alone with 565,204 households that contain individuals aged 65 and above (U. S. Census Bureau, 2000). The second number, 565,204 does not state that the household contains only 65 and over individual or could be an older person living with their son or daughters family.

If taken into the later context that leaves 283,728 elderly that lives other than their own home or with another family member.

This results in a huge demand for housing of the elderly on this country. With the onset of the baby boomers coming of old age, it is necessary that the government looks at ways to handle the increased need for housing of the elderly. Determining long-term care options Not everyone will need a long-term care option when they age.

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In fact currently most of the elderly remain in their residence. The questions elderly must ask themselves if considering long-term care are many. Elderly may consider long term care if they have a physical or mental disability, chronic illness, terminal illness or if they are not able to care for themselves.

Everyone will need to make their own decision when it comes time, but having the information about what services and programs are available will make the decision much easier. Long-Term Care Options There are seven types of licensed care services and facilities; Home Care Services, Community Based Care Services, Adult Day Care Centers, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes and Senior Housing. Which one to choose depends on factors that include, cost, insurance, health needs, medical condition of the person and value for services provided?

Home care services Home care services are broken down into skilled care and home support. Skilled care is provided under direction of a physician and administered by registered nurses, physical, speech and occupational therapists. Home support provides shopping, meal preparation and light housekeeping, to include bathing and dressing. Other home support services provided include counseling and social work services. Home care services allow older and disabled persons to remain in a familiar environment while maintaining their independence and security.

Home care is designed for elderly and disabled people that do not need nursing home care, but needs assistance with day-to-day health and personal needs. The cost of home care is often less expensive than hospital and nursing home care. Home care service can: • Preserve independence and security; • Allow recipient to remain home; • Relieve stress for recipient and family members or caregivers; and • Prevent unnecessary hospital or nursing home bills. Community-Based Care Services If you have the ability to transport yourself to social activities, health appointments or go out for meals, community-based care services are probably not needed.

However, for the elderly who cannot get out on their own, or have family that can provide transportation, community-based care services can help. Community-based organizations are broadly made up of an all volunteer staff. Services offered differ amongst organizations. Adult Day Care Centers Provides social interaction and meals in a protected environment, thus allowing those take care of the elderly person time-away. Social interaction includes activities such as physical exercise, games, trips, art and music. Some adult care programs offer medical services, such as help taking medications or checking blood pressure.

In the United States of America 1,141 of 3,141 counties lack enough space for adult day care (Shellenbarger, 2002). Transportation to and from adult daycare is sometimes offered by the adult day care center. Currently cost of adult day care averages about $60 a day. Though it sounds expensive it is cheap compared to home-care, assisted living and nursing home care. Adult day care is covered through Medicaid and those insurance companies that offer long-term care policies. Continuing Care Retirement Communities Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer independent living in a cottage setting to skilled nursing care and in between.

The services can be all-inclusive, modified to meet the residents needs or in a fee-for-service. CCRCs promote wellness, independence and socialization in a residential environment. The idea behind a CCRC is that elderly can stay in one place rather than moving from one long-term care option to the next. Example, your parents move into senior housing, then assisted living area, then for further care move into a nursing home, all of which are located in the same complex. Vice paying monthly for rent and services provided, elderly pay a fee or endowment to be part of the CCRC.

Assisted Living Facilities Assisted living facilities are broken down into independent, residential or assisted living facilities. Independent and residential living facilities provide minimal assistance for those elderly with minor limitations. Assisted living provides more assistance for those elderly that need help due to major limitations. Services offered include oversight, health care services and help with daily living activities. Assisted living facilities are one of the fastest growing long-term care options available today.

In 2000, there were only about 1,000,000, aged 65 and above living in assisted living or residential care (Munn, Hanson, Zimmerman, Sloane, Mitchell, 2006). Since then assisted living facilities have blossomed to over 36,000 licensed facilities providing for more than 9,000,000 residents (Hernandez, 2005-2006). The boom is due to affordability and the homelike living arrangements offered. Nursing Homes When family can no longer take of their elderly member that is injured or disabled, home cares is the preferred option, but if there are no availabilities, then nursing homes are appropriate.

In 2000, 1,557,800, aged 65 and above lived in nursing homes (Munn, Hanson, Zimmerman, Sloane, Mitchell, 2006). Most elderly that utilize nursing homes are recovering from illness or injury. Nursing homes also provide hospice care for those terminal elderly; provide rehabilitation; or maintain care for those elderly with chronic health care needs. Nursing homes provide around the clock care for those recovering from illness and injury. The homes are for those elderly that need more medical attention than social gathering. Nursing homes also provide personal care in the form of bathing, dressing and going to the bathroom for the elderly.

Senior Housing This is for those elderly that do not need long-term care, but live in a home that is not considered safe. Senior housing often is apartments that have been adapted for the elderly and include railing in bathrooms, wider hallways and raised outlets. Optional services provided include meals, housekeeping and social activities. Choosing the right long-term care option With the long-term care options, mentioned above, selecting which program or service is right can be overwhelming. Think about what it is that you mother, father, or both want in their older years. Ask the elderly what it is that they want?

What are their needs? Do they need help with chores? Do they prefer small facilities, certain location, special living conditions? What is their financial situation? Will you be paying for long-term care or is insurance providing coverage? Is Medicare or Medicaid involved? Research available long-term care facilities near your residence first. Ask questions about what services/programs that are/are not provided, if they are insured, costs and vacancies. Check on fee’s for special care services or if extra fees are charged for services. Think about waiting list, if you find the one you want, but are not needed immediately or near term.

Visit and tour the facility with your loved ones. Is it friendly, does it look clean, are people happy, what activities do the have for residents. How many staff is available, come back during different times of the day on different days. What the rooms are like are any options available? What are the residents allowed/not allowed doing? Is there a schedule for anything, eating, naps, bedtime, and social visits? How often are your loved ones checked on? Does the staff conduct regular care training? Ask other residents what their opinion of the long-term care facility?

Check with the Better Business Bureau to check for any complaints filed. Conclusion In conclusion, though there are many choices for long-term care, it will come down to the individual, the elderly, the elderly family or a combination to determine which type of care will best fit there needs. There is no one fits all long-term care facility, such as there is no specific type of elderly person. Everyone age’s differently and each will have their own very specific needs when it comes time to make a decision on long-term care. Some will choose to remain in their home while others may choose a community setting.

However, one thing is known and that is the elderly population is increasing in the United States. This will lead to a higher demand for long-term care services in the future. In the past families tended to take care of their own and their parents, whereas now the elderly will have to start looking at looking at for themselves, though some will be taken care of by their children. In the end, follow your instincts. Choose a place that treats your parents with respect and makes them feel comfortable. References Bolda, E. J. (2006). Community Partnerships for Older Adults: Meeting the Housing Challenge. Generations, 29(4), 61-63.

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Geriatrics and Long-term Care. (2018, Sep 02). Retrieved from

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