Geriatrics and Long-term Care

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Long-Term Care Options for the Elderly

I selected the topic of long-term care options for my research paper, because of the importance of allowing the elderly to remain in their residence as long as possible in their final years and what options they have if they choose not to live in their own home. I will look at programs and services that provide long-term care for the elderly. My grandmother, 89 years old, has recently decided to move into an assisted living facility after living by herself since my grandfather passed away 16 years ago. The decision for her was not easy, except she does not want to live alone anymore. Though her sons and daughters check in on her all of the time, they are not there 24 hours a day. She does not want to have something happen and no one find out until several hours or days go by. She is very active in the community and church and I expect that she will remain so, even after moving into the assisted living facilities. This report seeks to uncover long-term care/housing programs and services provided to older adults. I will focus on the mission and services provided. From this report, I expect to gain an understanding of long-term care options and the differences amongst them, so it will be useful for my aging parents.

Introduction
There are 1,065,502 people (15.1%), aged 60 and above, in Virginia (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). There are 216,588 households with those aged 65 and over living alone with 565,204 households that contain individuals aged 65 and above (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). The second number, 565,204 does not state that the household contains only 65 and over individual or could be an older person living with their son or daughters family. If taken into the later context that leaves 283,728 elderly that lives other than their own home or with another family member. This results in a huge demand for housing of the elderly on this country. With the onset of the baby boomers coming of old age, it is necessary that the government looks at ways to handle the increased need for housing of the elderly.

Determining long-term care options
Not everyone will need a long-term care option when they age. In fact currently most of the elderly remain in their residence. The questions elderly must ask themselves if considering long-term care are many. Elderly may consider long term care if they have a physical or mental disability, chronic illness, terminal illness or if they are not able to care for themselves. Everyone will need to make their own decision when it comes time, but having the information about what services and programs are available will make the decision much easier.

Long-Term Care Options
There are seven types of licensed care services and facilities; Home Care Services, Community Based Care Services, Adult Day Care Centers, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes and Senior Housing. Which one to choose depends on factors that include, cost, insurance, health needs, medical condition of the person and value for services provided?

Home care services
Home care services are broken down into skilled care and home support. Skilled care is provided under direction of a physician and administered by registered nurses, physical, speech and occupational therapists. Home support provides shopping, meal preparation and light housekeeping, to include bathing and dressing. Other home support services provided include counseling and social work services. Home care services allow older and disabled persons to remain in a familiar environment while maintaining their independence and security. Home care is designed for elderly and disabled people that do not need nursing home care, but needs assistance with day-to-day health and personal needs. The cost of home care is often less expensive than hospital and nursing home care. Home care service can:

• Preserve independence and security;
• Allow recipient to remain...
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