Saturday, December 13, 2014

On Assisted Living

Growing old is a serious issue, and majority of problems stem not from physical health failing, but from the social aspect of the entire ordeal. The solution to the health of senior citizens is generally offered by assisted living senior communities, where the needs of senior citizens are provided for by trained professionals who can respond immediately to any sort of medical emergency that can arise. This relieves considerable stress and anxiety from the senior’s family, which may not be readily available to help should an emergency occur. 

However, the transfer to senior living community might be a different sort of issue on its own. Senior citizen is then faced with the fact that he or she is a burden to the family. While families tend to brush aside such view of things, the fact remains that families are generally ill-equipped for handling the elderly. The move and new environment are all stress factors. The good news, however, is that all these problems are only temporary and go away as soon as the senior citizen gets accustomed to his or new surroundings. Constant contact with the family is of crucial importance for preventing the feelings of rejection.

Senior living today in the US is an expanding business. Retirement homes (or nursing homes, depending on the terminology) are becoming more and more mainstream. They are not viewed as a storage facility for the elderly, but as a standard phase in one’s life, aimed exclusively at improving elderly citizen’s quality of life.  The popular perception is changing, in part, due to the presentation as wrought by the popular media: sitcoms and even animated shows feature nursing homes as a plot device. 

Of course, the selection of the nursery home itself remains the most important question when deciding whether or not to enroll a senior citizen into one. Word of mouth is of course the best possible solution, but even this is not foolproof; people have different needs and wants, and some nursing homes are better equipped to deal with certain types of needs than they are with others. Personal visit and a conversation with the elderly there present might be the best solution in the case a recommendation from a trusty source cannot be obtained. 

There exists a middle solution for those who do not want to be separated from their elderly loved ones. The new service, ‘respite care,’ is slowly taking hold in the world of assisted living. It provides lodging and other necessary services for the senior citizen on a temporary basis, and is used primarily when the caregivers need to go for a vacation. Respite services can be both in-home and out-of-home, so they can be tailored to fit one’s special needs.

As life expectancy continues to grow, so will the need of retirement homes. It is still a relatively young service that needs to find its way into the modern world. There can be no doubt that it will only continue to improve, and offer many new arrangements to fit into busy schedules.

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