HELPING ELDERLY PARENTS REMAIN AT HOME
With the ongoing debate about our growing ageing population, how do families help their elderly relatives make the right choices about their care needs as they age?
Findings from a recent Age UK report, ‘The health and care of older people in 2015’ reinforces that the number of older people in England continues to grow, especially those with long term conditions. Between 2005 and 2016, the biggest growth was among the over 85’s (up by 29.9%). The report also flags up that more than 3 million people over the age of 65 in England struggle with tasks such as washing, dressing, eating and going to the toilet, with one million of these either paying for care or relying on family and friends.
The burden often lies with the family to search for the right support. It’s often a crisis– perhaps a fall or an acute illness which suddenly highlights a parents’ vulnerability and leaves the family worried about their ability to cope on their own.
Often the first thought is a care or nursing home. However, that’s not always the right solution and there are ways in which we can help keep our elderly parents living as independently as possible in the comfort of their own homes, in the way that’s best for them, with familiar surroundings and preferred routines. Simple options can include: Installing key safes; personal alarm systems; occupational health advice on exercises and physical aids in the home; help with organising medication; calling on friends and neighbours (Myageingparent.com). Read more about our live-in care support services.
When conditions become more complex a live-in nurse caring for the patient in their own home can offer a viable alternative. Our experienced, compassionate nurses can maintain a level of independence for as long as it’s needed as well as offering emotional support and companionship for the whole family. They can help unravel the complexities of an illness and with constant nursing can prevent the onset of many simple infections that often result in being admitted to hospital. (The Age UK report cites an 88% rise in hospital admissions for urinary tract infections among the over 75’s and admissions for pneumonia among the over 60s have more than doubled since 2005.) With the pressure on our health services impacting on the elderly, being nursed at home can make a real difference.