If you’ve got a loved one who is getting on in years, they may find themselves (or you may find them) struggling with day-to-day activities. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to place them in a nursing home — they’ll resist you anyway, as (understandably) 90% of people over the age of 65 want to remain at home for as long as possible. And fortunately, due to the increased interest in specialized home health care, you won’t have to.
Home health care provides an opportunity for your loved one to remain in an environment they already know and love with the added benefit of a medically trained, educated companion they can rely on for help, in whatever form it may take. Today, home health aides perform more specialized roles than simply preparing meals and ensuring medication is taken on time (although they certainly do that as well). A recent conference in Chicago saw some of the biggest names in home health care and senior living come together to discuss an extremely important topic regarding today’s elderly: Alzheimer’s.
Currently, there are around 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and this doesn’t include other forms of dementia. With that number expected to nearly triple in the next few decades, the need for a suitable in-home form of treatment has never been higher — which is why companies like Brookdale and Bayada came together to focus their efforts. Kristin Kingery, division director of Bayada Home Health Care, stated the key component.
“For somebody with dementia, it’s really, really important for people to stay in their familiar environment if we’re going to keep them as high-functioning as possible.”
Bayada has already developed a team of around 1,500 individuals specifically trained in memory care. The education focuses on understanding dementia as a disease and its physical impact on the brain while also helping caregivers manage symptoms. Kingery understands the importance of both:
“Family caregivers can have a really hard time being able to manage. If we don’t have in-home care agencies that know how to support the caregiver as well as take really good care of the person with dementia, people will end up going into facilities because there doesn’t seem to be another option.”
In addition to offering medical services specific to whatever your loved one is dealing with, home health aides provide a much more personalized experience. This may open up care to people who previously weren’t able to seek assisted living. For example, a survey recently done among Hispanic adults revealed that nearly 30% believe the language barrier would make it very difficult for the older Spanish-speaking members of their community to receive care.
The number of Americans who will surpass the age of 65 has increased 26% in the last ten years — but the portion of Hispanics over that age is estimated to nearly double in the coming years. The need for a suitable language option incorporated into health care will only increase as time passes.
The average resident in assisted living is an 87-year-old woman who is mobile but needs a little help with daily activities. If your loved one needs more support than that, either medically or culturally, home health care is the best way to go, especially with its dedication to meeting the specific needs of its patients.