The US has famously entered a time in its history when significant numbers of six different generations are alive at the same time. The three most relevant to this discussion are 1) the GI Generation (those born from 1901 to 1926), 2) the Silent Generation (1927 to 1945), and 3) the Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964). Many of these individuals are living under full time care. For a generation like the Boomers, the sheer size of individuals living several years or either side of retirement means that millions of people are preparing to enter full time care. This is a major healthcare concern for Americans, and this sector of the economy stands to add many jobs, as these individuals’ children need help to take care of their aging parents.
At this stage, many individuals will need to make an important choice: “Should I put my parents in a full time home or retirement community, or should I invest in in-home care?” This is a difficult decision for many, especially with accounts of elder abuse that have been making headlines for the past decade. Some sources indicate that many as 5 million elders are abused by caregivers in nursing homes each year. Elder abuse should be a high priority for anyone considering where an older loved one should spend his or her time.
Elder abuse can take several forms. In extreme cases, nursing home caregivers have been known to physically abuse older adults. Punches, abrasions, and even bites can result from arguments or altercations between an elder and an unqualified caregiver. More frequently, abuse takes the form or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, or financial advantage-taking.
So what can be done to prevent this from occurring to an older adult that you care about? There are many ways to prevent this, some of which we’ll cover here:
In Home Care. In home care in Scottsdale, Arizona is a national standard for individual care of aging adults. It’s an example of how finding a single, qualified caregiver can be much better for aging adults than putting them in a full time home. This is true for many reasons. Nursing homes are expensive. They have high turnover of staff in many cases, meaning that it isn’t always possible to know who is coming in contact with the residents. Furthermore, home care allows an older person to enjoy life in a home they know. Removing an elder from home puts unnecessary stress on his or her life and can exacerbate personal feelings that lead to confrontation with caregivers. It can also stress their dignity and personal time, at an age where they are at their most vulnerable.
Know the Caregivers. Whatever care option you choose, it’s important to personally know the people providing care. As stated above, this can be a challenge at a centralized nursing facility, where there are many caregivers and staff. By finding a single caregiver, you can more carefully screen your possibilities. Good caregivers will have excellent references from credible sources. Nursing homes are much more difficult to evaluate, and will almost certainly be more expensive.
There are a lot of reasons why home care can be the perfect solution for older adults. Consider this if you ever have to put a loved one into full time care.