Care Communities & Housing Category Professional
Care Communities & Housing – Care communities and the services offered are confusing for caregivers to evaluate. Here you’ll learn about the different types of care communities available and the services provided. It is critically important for caregivers to understand the housing industry and aspects that are more favorable to the industry rather than in the best interests of the consumer. What are the minimum care standards and how to do make sure your loved one receives the best care possible?
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Many older adults move from their homes to assisted living communities because they’re experiencing challenges remaining at home either physically or cognitively. Many move because adult children have been acting in the role of caregiver and the time required to support care of parents becomes unrealistic. Some older adults are unable to manage medications, others have difficulty grocery shopping and cooking meals and others are simply isolated, lonely and depressed. Do assisted living communities support these individuals in remaining as independent as possible or do they further advance the physical declines experienced by older adult by helping too much because it’s quick and easy?
Many young people I know have never stepped inside a nursing home. Yet our parents and grandparents have sickening visions of nursing homes that play in their minds like a horror movie especially when they think about getting older and the possibility that they might have to live in a nursing home.
Couples living together in assisted living communities may presently be a rarity; however the prevalence of couples living in assisted living communities is expected to increase. What challenges do couples experience when moving to and living in an assisted living community? How might couples with different care needs and personalities live successfully with others in an assisted living community?
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Discussions surrounding sexual expressing by residents living in care communities and in nursing homes should occur more often, but do not. Care staffs often discover themselves in embarrassing situations or without knowledge of how to appropriately respond to situations where residents may be engaging in sexual expression. Is sexual expression a resident right? How might care staff become more informed about the different types of sexual expression and provide support to residents rather than giving dirty looks or making inappropriate comments about “dirty old men”? A care community founded in 1917 leads the charge with respect to encouraging sexual expression among residents.
Despite significant national efforts since the 1980’s, to improve quality of care, quality of life remains sub-standard for many nursing home and assisted living residents. The culture change and person-centered care movements seek to improve resident quality of life and care by focusing on deinstitutionalization and individualized care. Research lists six domains around which culture change efforts are focused: a) resident direction, b) home environment, c) close relationships, d) staff empowerment, e) collaborative decision making, and f) measurement based quality improvement.
Nearly 50% of individuals living in assisted living are diagnosed with dementia; one third to one half experience agitated behaviors at least once a week. Research indicates that these behaviors threaten the psychological and physical well-being of individuals diagnosed with dementia and often result in a higher likelihood of being neglected by care staff.1
Anticipating what consumers will want in the future relative to assisted living and care communities is challenging. While statistics indicate a significant increase in the aging population because of aging baby boomers, will this result in more individuals moving into assisted living and skilled nursing communities or will baby boomers prefer to remain at home with care? Aging population statistics indicate that the number of individuals diagnosed with memory loss will increase; will this increase consumer demand for memory care only communities? How will the changes in healthcare policies and systems continue to affect consumers?