THE 4 CARES: ASSISTED, SKILLED, MEMORY, HOSPICE

Sep 23rd, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Health and Living Care For Seniors

Progressive issues related to care needs prompt comparing the four cares available to seniors as their health issues require. If you are past 70, you likely have already had to consider one or the other or more of the four cares: assisted, skilled nursing, memory, or hospice.

Most of us, with aging parents have had to go through acquainting ourselves with beyond home care services.  Eventually signs indicate the need for more attentive care for persons previously able to live alone and get along quite well.

It is the better part of wisdom to have anticipated this likelihood, to have done necessary homework, cooperatively, and to be ready for that visit to the physician when the recommendation is given for identifying the care need of choice.

ASSISTED CARE:  ordinarily is the first level of beyond the home care to be given consideration.  While it would seem this is the easiest of the four, quite the contrary is the case.  Because some independence is being surrendered, coping with the trauma of having to adapt is sometimes quite difficult.  Assisted care means living in a residential facility within which levels of care are offered; nursing aids can help with tidying the room, dressing/undressing the resident, laundry, meals and personal care depending upon what the resident requires.  With careful and deliberate planning, careful evaluation, spending some time visiting the options, the new resident may find the experience pleasant and enjoyable.

SKILLED CARE: is the second level of identified care needs.  This comes at the time when the individual is less and less capable of taking care of daily routines, e.g. bathing, dressing, taking meds, even getting in and out of bed.  Mobility is ordinarily, but not always, influenced.  Safety issues are of paramount concern. Here, it is necessary to be aware of the professional and trained quality of care available for the specific needs of the resident to be.  Skilled nursing care is found in nursing homes and centers in almost every community.

MEMORY CARE: is the new kid on the block, which is made necessary by the sheer numbers of persons who experience major dementia or Alzheimer’s.  This option becomes critical and absolutely necessary when an individual has been diagnosed with these conditions.  The patient requires 24/7 attentive care and the security of a locked environment. This level of care might be compared to Intensive Care in a hospital, in that there is a regimentation of attention that is constantly required and provided.

HOSPICE CARE: is the final level of care offered today; it may be in a hospice facility or in the patient’s home.  This level is necessitated for those who are near death, and require the necessary comfort and care that accompanies the state of their condition.  Palliative care focuses on keeping our loved ones comfortable in their final days. Patients entering hospice are within six months of death.  Hospice programs are offered in almost every community in the country.

Each of these circumstances presents a thorough examination of the individual’s needs, requirements, expectations. Primary care physicians are involved to give their ‘orders’ for the level of care the resident requires.  Cost will be a factor.  Credentials will need to be verified.  Recommendations need to be sought.  If necessary, interviews of staff can be made.  It is no small matter to entrust a loved one to the care and keeping of an institution.



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