What Is Elder Care?
Elder Care is a term used to identify the care of a elder or senior aged person. This care can be provided by a family member, friend, caregiver, or group of people. Routine care of aging seniors is given in the home where the elder resides or at a facility designed for Elder Care.
Nearly 100% of the human population will be on one side or the other of Elder Care. It's possible you will, have, or do provide care for an elder loved one. You might currently, or soon become, employed in the Elder Care Industry as a Nurse, Caregiver, or Facility Staff Member. And, chances are, someday you will be a senior citizen needing some sort of care. The likelihood of Elder Care being a part of your life is very high.
In times past, humans did not live long. In 1900, life expectancy in the USA was little over the age of 45. A slow increase to 1985 when life expectancy became 70 years old. Fast forward to now, as USA TODAY reports "life expectancy hits a record high" with Americans living to their 80's and 90's. With US citizens living longer lives the question presented; What do we do for our aging population?
Introduce the "Older Americans Act of 1965 (Pub.L. 89–73, 79 Stat. 218) was the first federal level initiative aimed at providing comprehensive services for older adults. It created the National Aging Network comprising the Administration on Aging on the federal level, State Units on Aging, and Area Agencies on Aging at the local level. The network provides funding - based primarily on the percentage of an area's population 60 and older - for nutrition and supportive home and community-based services, disease prevention/health promotion services, elder rights programs, the National Family Caregiver Support Program, and the Native American Caregiver Support Program." -Credit Wikipedia
Since the creation of OAA additional laws and acts such as HIPPA have been implemented to ensure quality, consistency, accuracy, and accountability in Elder Care. Huge improvements in the industry have been made. We can be confident there are hundreds of senior care options out there. Directories for insurance companies, medical devices, physicians, care givers, elder living facilities, and more have generated of public access. This is great, great news. We know where to go when we need it.
As our life expectancy increases, it's fair to suggest that we increase expectation of ourselves and plan our own future, our own senior years, our own elder care. Often ailments that accompany aging interfere with our abilities leaving family members to make stressful and difficult decisions. Can this be avoided? Is it reasonable to think we can take a proactive part in planning our own Elder Care?