Foreword By The Editor
In this article by J Strange, the advantages of providing care for the elderly in a quality institutional environment (where necessary) are covered in some detail. Many people, as pointed out, cannot even come close to the level of care that is on offer at some of the better establishments of this type, which makes them the ideal alternative to home care.
Author of ‘Internet Traps, Ripoffs And Pitfalls’
There is nothing like the comfort and security of home when you are ill or recovering from illness. Research shows that even for those living with chronic illness or disability, living at home is often the best option for physical and mental wellbeing. However, if a family member is now needing regular support which you are unable to give due to work schedules, for example, you still want the best health care for them. You still want them to feel secure and relaxed. But if you believe that a daily routine is crucial and you are aware that there are trained nurses who can provide 24 hours a day care to cater for their every need, you will surely opt for the next best thing—residential care.
Even with the ability to monitor a loved one remotely with FM listening devices or webcams, monitoring requires that the care givers in the family are able to sustain that surveillance over the long term. In a nursing home environment, there is always a trained health care worker available to monitor them and, when necessary, intervene to help your loved one.
As people age, participating in activities and taking part in social events becomes more difficult. Deterioration in physical and mental health, mobility limitations, and lack of communication can cause friendship groups to break apart thus forcing elderly people into isolation. The isolation experienced by elderly people can lead to lowered self-esteem and depression which can, in turn, cause more serious health issues. Elderly people who are experiencing social isolation will become depressed, especially if the person was extremely active in younger years.
Chaplains provide support for staff as well as residents and their families and support is provided on an ongoing basis, not just the occasional. Most elderly care facilities have a calendar of activities, such as card tournaments, crafts and art projects, bingo, attending concerts and dances, playing games and cinema nights. Some homes even have gyms or swimming pools to prevent feelings of social isolation for residents. Elderly care facilities organize the activities such as escorted group outings to shopping centres, museums, and other places of interest. Many elderly care facilities even have an activities director who will encourage residents to suggest enjoyable leisure activities.
Today’s elderly care facilities make attempts to ensure that elderly residents are involved in activities because involvement helps to maintain an elevated mood state. That, together with the security, constant monitoring and the other activities mentioned, helps most long-term care residents to settle down remarkably quickly and happily.