When people get older, in many cases,they require assistance when it comes to performing many daily tasks.While this assistance is often provided by their younger familymembers and their children, sometimes, the elderly are taken to ahome or an elder care facility.
These facilities are, in most cases,regulated by the government which makes sure that the people livingin such facilities receive only the best possible care and thehighest level of social, medical and emotional support.
Elder Caregiver Help from State
In the US, most of the multi-facilitycare providers are into this form of business for profit only.However, fortunately, this is not always the case. Rather, theEvangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and some other non-profitorganizations grant the people in need beds and accommodation. Infact, this organization manages 6,531 beds around the US, accordingto the information obtained by the American Health Care Association.
In 2009, there were about 39.6 millionelderly people in the US, standing for about 12.9% of the totalpopulation. Some estimations claim that the numbers will rise to 72.1million by 2030, taking into consideration the fact that people livelonger and longer as the years go by.
For this reason, there are about 36,000assisted living facilities in the US, according to the informationgathered in 2009. These facilities provide home for about 1 millionof elderly people in need. However, not all elderly individuals arepermanently spending time in these facilities. Rather, in many casesrespite care is available, being a temporary assistance service wherethe care facility admits an elderly person during limited time whilehis/her actual caregivers are on a vacation, business trip or someother form of absence.
In the US, such institutions are SeniorHelpers, Home Instead Senior Care, Home Helpers, ProfessionalHealthCare At Home etc.
As the names of these organizationssuggest, these may provide caregiver help while keeping the elderlypeople at their homes. This is a good alternative for elderlyindividuals who are used to their regular surroundings and dwelling,feeling more comfortable in such environment.
The in-home care may also be long-term,depending on the needs to the elderly people. This is usually thecase when the individuals in need of this form of care live alone.
In Canada, the story is a bit differentsince the governmentally funded elder care facilities present astrong competition to the private ones. While spending time ingovernment-funded caregiving facilities of this type, people pay theservices according to the amount of their annual income.
On the other hand, in Australia,elderly care presents a problem which is one of the main long-termconcerned of the country. In 2010, according to reports, only 40% ofAustralian Aged Care providers managed to earn money from theirservices, while all others were forced to sink into debts in order tocompensate for the expenses of the service they provided.
What is a Job of a Caregiver?
Being a caregiver is one of the mostdemanding jobs, due to the excessive amount of support andunderstanding that these people need to show on a daily basis, makingsure that the elderly person they are taking care of has all his/herneeds met.
The patients need to know that thecaregiver will be there to support them and solve any lifestyleproblems they might be experiencing. The wishes of the patientare, therefore, placed first and the caregiver is bound to attend tothem. Apart from walking, going on visits and performing chores,caregivers need to administer medications, prepare food, take care ofthe household and do all the jobs that the elderly individual cannot.Of course, the range of work of a caregiver depends on the needs ofthe patients. Therefore, initial assessments and analysis are carriedout before the caregiving process starts, regardless whether theperson will be admitted to a home or will receive the necessaryassistance in his/her own living environment.
In order to make the best out of thecaregiver profession, you are advised to share your feelings withyour patient, educate yourself on the legal, financial and medicalmatters you need to provide and encourage progress of the patient,regardless of what this might require.
However, do not neglect your free timeand set clear rules regarding your availability and the services youprovide.
Some of the things you need to be onthe lookout for are sudden loss of weight of the elderly person,burns or injuries, forgetfulness, signs and symptoms of seriousdiseases or any other abnormal patterns of behavior. If these occur,the caregiver should assess the condition of his/her patient again.Moreover, if the elderly person living alone shows any of thesesigns, he/she might need caregiver services.
All in all, elder care with governmentassistance is present in many states, especially in the US, due tothe fact that the numbers of elderly people are rising on an annualbasis. Caregivers from government-funded organizations have set andregulated services they provide and are, therefore, the best choicefor assistance of this type regardless if these involve respite careor long-term support.