|In this issue: Helping patients help their loved ones grow old gracefully|
As healthcare providers, you’ve likely heard the saying, “Getting old is no picnic!” As patients age, they may begin to struggle with memory, movement, isolation and self-care. And for the 43.5 million Americans helping an aging relative, long-term care or assisted living may seem like the obvious choice when their loved one’s health begins to deteriorate.
However, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP®), the vast majority of seniors—90 percent, to be exact—wish to stay in their own home as long as possible. In fact, a National Council on Aging (NCOA) survey found 77 percent intend to live out the rest of their lives at home. Only 36 percent thought they’d have the need for long-term care as they aged.
There’s no one right answer because each situation is as unique as the person experiencing it. But these points of consideration, which can be shared with your patients and their loved ones, may help guide the decision-making process.
Is home the safest place?
Here are some things patients, caretakers and family members can look for to determine if help is needed.
If your patient is experiencing some or all of these symptoms, it may be time for that individual to consider making some modifications. Moving into an assisted living or long-term care community may be necessary. No matter the final decision, it’s never an easy choice for anyone involved, but hopefully these tips can help in the process.
“3 Early Signs Your Aging Loved One May Need More Care.” Care Conversations. N.p., 21 Feb. 2014. Web. Retrieved 24 Sept. 2015.
Stevenson, Sarah. “Dangers of Seniors Living Alone.” A Place for Mom. N.p., 17 Sept. 2015. Web. Retrieved 24 Sept. 2015.
Anderson, Jeff. “Assisted Living Preferred Care Option for Seniors Who Can’t Live Alone.” A Place for Mom. N.p., 23 Jan. 2015. Web. Retrieved 24 Sept. 2015.
“Aging Parents: 8 Warning Signs of Health Problems.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.d. Web. Retrieved 24 Sept. 2015.
“Assisted Living – Signs Why Your Parents Need Help.” MedBlogger Code. N.p., 26 Aug. 2015. Web. Retrieved 24 Sept. 2015.