The Importance of Matching a Caregiver to Your Seniors Needs

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Annually 8,357,100 people receive support from the 5 main long term care service, home health agencies (4,742,500), nursing homes (1,383,700), hospices (1,244,500), residential care communities (713,300) and adult day service centers (273,200). A large percentage of our countries population is receiving some type of elder care services. Choosing the type of assistive home care and living situation is one of the most difficult decisions that many adult children will make. It is important to match the senior with caretakers that fit their physical needs, medical needs, and personality.

Familiar and experienced with any current medical conditions More than three fourths of assisted living residents have had at least 2 of the 10 most common chronic conditions, high blood pressure and Alzheimer?s diseases and other dementias were the most prevalent. Seniors who are dealing with the symptoms of Alzheimer?s of dementia require a caregiver that is familiar and experienced with Alzheimer?s care. Many of the symptoms that are common with the conditions of dementia can be slowed with specific skills and activities.

Caregivers will also need to pay special attention to senior?s safety. The symptoms of Alzheimer?s may make them forget their residence and other important information such as contact information, family members, and current situations. Caregivers are responsible for ensuring that the senior is kept safe and secure at all times, especially when symptoms are strongly present.

Qualified for assistive duties Some of the everyday tasks that seniors require assistance with are simple, including light housekeeping duties, errand running, and entertainment. Other tasks, however, may require more strength or skill. Some seniors may need help with bathing, dressing, and medications. They may require a caretaker that can take them to and from their physician appointments and remember to fill and provide prescription medications.

Understanding caregivers Seniors often deal with the loss of independence in different ways. Some want to still be given as much independence as possible, depending on their specific medical conditions. Caretakers that do not take the senior?s wishes into account may not be the best fit for them. Most home care and assistive living residencies goal is to provide the senior?s with the assistance they require, while also providing them with a high quality of living.

An improvement to life Along with a personal understanding of the senior, caregivers need to ensure that they are also providing improvement to their everyday living. Many studies show that seniors who are involved in more activities, for example, do not progress as quickly in dementia diseases. Many caretakers are also responsible for encouraging these daily activities in the seniors. It can be especially helpful to match a caretaker with a senior who has similar interests, thus further increasing their daily activities levels.

There are many entertainment activities that show benefits for seniors that caretakers can encourage. You will find in many nursing homes and day care centers that they offer daily games, music lessons, dancing, Bingo nights, lunch and dinner outings, sporting events, and even grocery and hobby shopping afternoons. Some seniors may take an interest in joining a club that meets regularly or even moving to a senior retirement community where all of these activities are easily reachable.

As seniors age, they experience more disease and medical concerns that require additional care. Alzheimer?s and other dementias are very common among seniors. Of the older population with long term care needs in the community, about 30% (1.5 million persons) have substantial long term care needs (three or more ADL limitations). Of these, about 25% are 85 and older and 70% report they are in fair to poor health.

At some point, the decision needs to be made of the safest living situation for their current medical conditions. Regardless of the living situation that you decide is best for your loved one, consider matching their caregivers to their specific needs. A caregiver should be something that they get along with, is familiar and experienced in their medical concerns, and is able to encourage them to improve their daily life.

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