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The Problem of Age and the Provision of Care

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Long Term Care - Residential Care - Home Care - Caregivers - Day Care - Live in Care Givers and Companions - Assisted Living

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The Problem of Age and the Provision of Care

In 2006, almost 45 million people in the United States were aged 65 or over. Better healthcare, better diets, and a generally improved quality of life, will see the number of aging, retired people constantly increase. More than 750,000 people are employed in looking after an aging population. Many elderly are being cared for by relatives. A 2002 survey of US households estimated, there were 26 million US households with at least one member who provided some level of unpaid assistance to a spouse, relative or other person, older than age 50. These informal caregivers are an important part of our care for the elderly.

The variety of senior housing and senior care options available today is rather confusing for most people. The difference between Assisted Living, Residential Care and Respite Care, Adult Day care and other options are overwhelming, when you have to make a choice quickly. You want to do the best, but which option is best for you and your loved one. In addition to the variety of choices, you should be aware that each state has its own regulations and some of the differences are just short of bizarre.

This part of Senectutis is an attempt at explaining some of the care options you have and what, in an outline, they provide. The pages also provide you with an option to advertise a care job or, if you are a caregiver, to advertise your availability in a price effective way.


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The Formal In-Home Caregiver and Companion

Besides the informal caregiver there are a large number of formal caregivers. They include professionals and paraprofessionals who provide in-home health care and personal care services, and are compensated for the services they provide. Often, it is difficult to find the right person. In many instances, the elderly client does not need the attention of a nurse, but rather requires a live-in person who can perform some light household duties and who is principally, and foremost, a trustworthy companion. The search for people willing to do that work is often difficult. We have a page that gives you a definition of the different types of caregivers and companions with an outline of their approximate costs (which obviously depend on the part of the country) and what you can expect the caregiver to do for you and the person to be cared for.

You can find a care giver or a live-in-companion who is willing to perform some light housework, shopping and other activities through advertising in these pages. His or her duties should be in line with an agreement signed between the client and the caregiver/companion in return for considerations as outlined in such an agreement. You also have to be aware that a person or family employing staff in their homes becomes an employers in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service and their state's Department of Labor. The live-in-companion was hired to make the the individual's or family's life easier. Who can help with the payroll issues? Against a small fee, Senectutis will help families locate payroll and employment tax providers in the required area. It is all part of the service we offer!

A companion to elders moves into your, or your elderly parent's, home, long term and becomes their eyes, ears and hands.

The prime quality of a companion to elders must be sensitivity to the aging process. She, or he, is there, to provide help and companionship when needed but, at the same time, respect the privacy of the people they care for.

  The person cared for will have a live-in housekeeper, cook, chauffeur and someone to makes sure they keep to their medication routines. Live-in companion's earn from $500 per week plus private room and board, depending on the person and type of infirmities they are caring for.  Medicare will cover any nursing needs in the home.  It will not cover the household work, such as laundry, shopping, cooking and cleaning, required to live alone. Nor will Medicare cover the around the clock presence of a caring adult.


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Adult Day Healthcare Facilities

A relatively new trend in adult care is the Adult Day Care Facility. An Adult Day Health Care Facility provides planned care supervision and activities, personal care, personal living skills training, meals and health monitoring in a group setting during part of a twenty-four hour period. Adult day health services can also include preventive, therapeutic and restorative health related services. But they generally do not include behavioral health services, that is services which would be used when you have a mentally disabled elderly relative..

Residential Care Facilities and Assisted Living

Adult Family (or Residential) Care Homes, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Personal Care Homes (see a definition for these facilities in our Glossary Page ) are just some of the names under which a large variety of services are offered. If you hand over the responsibility for a person to one of these institutions, you better thoroughly evaluate it before you send the person there. We have some Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home and other Care Facilities. The quality and prices vary widely and you want to make sure that you get the best you can afford. Some States, under whose responsibility control and supervision of care and assisted living facilities falls, have rather lax regulations and even poorer enforcement. Therefore having a good look at what you "buy" is of the utmost importance



Some Books that might Guide you into the Right Direction

Amazon offers a large number of books on aging, care and associated topics. Here are some that might be helpful to you.

Some Books on Elderly Care from amazon.com

These books should provide you with some guidance. The more you know about care, care homes and other facilities for the aged, the better and more intelligent your decision and the better the life your aging parents or relatives will enjoy. The quality of care is not only about money, though that is a large part.


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