Keeping an elderly parent independent

elderly care omahaWith the number of Americans 65 and older expected to double over the next 30 years, more and more seniors and their families will go through a tough decision-making process to ensure the best possible elderly care. According to a recent New York Times article, this challenge becomes more difficult if no one takes the time to think through various care options before severe illness or injury occurs, making it impossible for elders to continue to live independently.

There are plenty of options for help, however, many of which adjust to the schedules and budgets of each particular family. Whether it’s a nonprofit volunteer service or a professional care firm, there are many areas where help can be provided. The following list is adapted from The New York Times article:

  • Assistance with dealing with paperwork and technology
  • Trustworthy referrals to service workers, home health care agencies and personnel
  • Information about and transport to local classes and social activities at a discounted rate
  • Regular visiting
  • Prepared meals delivered to the home
  • Shopping services
  • Adult day care

The future of senior living?

Former secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros writes in the book Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America that another way to prolong elderly independence is to change American neighborhoods and communities so that elderly persons can longer remain in them, as reported by the Times.Americans are aging in traditional homes, neighborhoods and communities that were designed for yesterdays demographic realities, Cisneros writes.Homes can be retrofitted, new age-appropriate homes built, existing neighborhoods reconnected, and new communities planned.

Cisneros notes that community changes can come in the form of affordable small-scale housing as well as cluster housing situated in walkable communities with easy access to health facilities, public transportation, etc. Elderly living of the future can even borrow from the design of current assisted living facilities and, perhaps, be built near or attached to family homes.

We’d love to hear what you think of Cisneros’ ideas as they relate to the current state of assisted living. Let us know on Twitter or in the comments.

Encompass Senior Solutions — currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa — provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

Photo credit: Michael Patrick via photopin cc

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”