Care of the Elderly – Independence in the Golden Years


By Sian P Wilson

Research has proven that for those individuals suffering from an illness or disability, that living in the comfort and familiar environment of their homes can contribute significantly to their physical and mental well being and rates of recovery. As modern society is progressing to an hourglass formation of population distribution, whereby there are higher proportions of aged and younger individuals, more families will be charged with the responsibility of looking after elderly family members as well as raising their own children.

Nearing retirement and ageing gracefully should be the golden years of life for everyone and for many, spending these golden years in their own homes is not only desired, but deemed necessary. Maintaining independence is essential. However, many will require medical care and advice that is not able to be provided by immediate family and friends. The care of elderly parents needs to be discussed thoroughly by all the parties involved to ensure that care giving decisions are made in the best interests of the elderly parent as well as all caregivers. It is important to have respectful and open conversations, assessing the care requirements based upon their mental, emotional and physical condition.

In many instances, the option to have healthcare professionals attend the family home to provide care for the elderly is the best option. Whether specialised medical care is required for an advanced illness or disease, or if simple assistance is required to help with daily routines that have become somewhat difficult due to the natural occurrences of aging, healthcare professionals can ensure that the quality of life of the individual remains at the highest of levels. There are many benefits of caring for the elderly in their own homes including: the provision of care in a manner that ingrains dignity and independence, preventing or delaying the need for hospitalisation or institutionalisation in nursing homes, freedom and comfort of the individuals concerned, specialised care designed for the specific needs of the patient, as well as providing the platform to keep families together.

Nonetheless, there are situations where elderly care is not feasible to occur within the home environment. While it is admirable of families that wish to take the challenge of caring for their elderly family members at home, there are some instances where the individuals may require more specialised assistance and care that isn't available in the home, even with the professional assistance of medical staff. In these cases, other alternatives may need to be evaluated and chosen.

However, deliberating over the issues of where an aged family member should live when they are no longer able to live independently is an extremely difficult decision, often leaving family members feeling guilty for even considering the options. The need to balance the requirements of the family, with marital and career responsibilities, requires decisions to be made that work for all the parties involved.

Whether the decision is made to retain elderly family members within their existing homes or other living alternatives are sought, professional healthcare staff will ensure that the golden years will be enjoyed with dignity and independence.

Geneva Health International Ltd is a leader in its field of health staffing and recruitment. They have a wide variety of major staff supply contracts, within Australia, New Zealand, UK and overseas, and have extensive experience in meeting the needs of a significant number of large and small health organisations.

Geneva Homecare is a specialist division of Geneva Health International, which provides a wide range of staffing solutions to the Health industry. Geneva Homecare offers a team of committed, caring, qualified and efficient carers are available for home help and nursing care of elderly. They believe in providing quality care and staff that promotes independence and well-being in a holistic, inclusive and respectful way, while meeting specific health needs. Geneva Health is accredited by the Health & Disability Association, are an ACC contracted preferred provider, and a member of the NZ Home Help Association.

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