The need for special care arises as one advances in age. In fact it would not be wrong to say that proper mental and physical care, both contribute to their well-being and happiness. The happier and active they are the better will the elderly be both in terms of mental and physical health. Hence caring for the elderly mainly revolves around keeping them physically active and mentally happy.
There are times when in spite of having good intentions, family members are not able to provide the required geriatric care. Paucity of time and inexperience are two main factors which it difficult to provide the required care for the elderly at home. In such instances it is best to look for other alternatives like:
- Shifting them to homes for the elderly or
- Getting in touch with other organisations which specialise in:
- Providing care for the elderly,
- Ensuring that they have a companion to spend time with.
There are several advantages attached to delegating elderly care to senior citizen homes, retirement homes, independent living communities or social work organisations specialising in the same. Some of the advantages are:
- Assistance: Advancing age makes the elderly loose the efficiency of their motor functions and find difficulty in performing their daily chores. While a dedicated caregiver at home helps alleviate the problem but the probability of finding someone with that dedication is also very less. This assistance however, comes from trained personnel in a senior citizen home or a retirement home etc.
- Security: Elderly people staying alone face several security risks like:
- They are an easy, potential target for miscreants, vandals and thieves.
- When in emergency, help would take some time coming thereby wasting precious moments which could even be life-saving.
At senior citizen homes, help is always nearby and hence prompt action helps the elderly feel safe, secure and protected.
- Availability of medical care: Irrespective of whatever is done, it is virtually impossible for dedicated caregivers at home to take care of all their medical needs. But senior citizen homes have special medical facilities always available to take good care for old people by way of:
- In-house doctors, nurses and other medical attendants,
- Easily accessible emergency services round the clock,
- Provision for assistance and accompaniment when keeping scheduled appointments with specialised doctors etc.
- No feeling of abandonment: Paucity of time and the pressures of daily life leave family members with very little time and energy for the elderly people staying with them. Even though the practical needs can be taken care of by hiring a caregiver, the feeling of abandonment which the elderly feel, seldom gets addressed. This feeling is not present among people staying in retirement homes or senior citizen homes because the companionship is provided by the other elderly people present.
The ability to talk to people nearer to their age and who might also be facing similar problems makes for better understanding and friendships which grow are quite satisfying thereby leaving no scope for feeling abandoned. Thus today, opting for senior care services is a much more practical way to ensure the betterment of the physical and mental health of the elderly.