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Elder Care

What is Elder Care?

As healthcare continues to improve around the world, the average human life expectancy also continues to grow. The resulting effect is millions of individuals living decades longer than they would have just a generation ago.

Elder care refers to the specialized treatment that is typically required for senior citizens. The degree to which individuals need care will vary substantially from one person to the next.

Several options have cropped up for this growing section of the population, which allow them to continue living vibrant lives throughout their twilight.


In-Home Elder Care

This form of care involves having a professional, usually in the medical industry, come into the home and care for an aging loved one. The amount of time spent working with the patient will vary, depending on individual needs. Whereas some families hire professional assistance on a 24/7, live-in schedule, others simply have a home healthcare facilitator come out for a set number of hours each week. Still others, opt to look after their loved one entirely on their own.

It is important to consider the stress that taking in an aging loved one can have on family members. In some cases, this stress is minimal, but in situations where an extreme level of care is required for the aging relative, other types of care may be more ideal for everyone involved.


Nursing Home Elder Care

A common lifestyle option for the elderly, this is best suited for individuals who require around-the-clock medical care. These facilities typically have 24/7 professional care from licensed nurse practitioners and others. Some newer facilities of this type offer communal living and dining quarters, combined with organized recreational activities, to give residents a chance to socialize and lead relatively normal lives despite their age and health concerns.

In general this type of care is reserved for individuals who are no longer able to take care of themselves. It is considered the most intensive type of elder care.


Retirement Communities

Retirement communities are pre-planned neighborhoods or apartment complexes that cater to the elderly. These locations typically require all members to be 55 years or older. They generally include a variety of interesting, scheduled activities that are intended to bring the community together on a social level. Some communities also offer residents house cleaning services or other types of professional assistance. This living arrangement is best for individuals who are still capable of self-care, but are interested in greater social opportunities with peers.

Since these facilities function very much like the outside world, with residents left to their own devices much of the time, they are considered the most flexible style of elder care. This is a good option for individuals who are completely in control of their own care.