by Cheryl Culbertson
Elder care is a growing area of healthcare concerned with providing medical and other services for the rapidly growing, aging population most often persons 65 years of age and older. Given the choice, most elders would prefer to continue to live in their own homes known as aging in place. Unfortunately the majority of elderly people gradually lose functioning ability and require either additional assistance in the home or a move to an eldercare facility. The adult children of these elders often face a difficult challenge in helping their parents make the right choices especially if they live a distance away.
Elder care encompasses a wide variety of issues, including choosing an appropriate physician to care for an aging patient, and making decisions about moving an elderly person from the home environment to a residential care setting. Elder care also refers to an array of care services such as adult day service, assisted living facilities, hospice care, skilled nursing facilities, home health care and specialized care services such as geriatric care management.
In home elder care includes a wide range of services that are provided over an extended period of time to people who need help to perform normal activities of daily living such as eating, dressing and bathing because of cognitive impairment or loss of muscular strength or control. They may also need assistance with meal planning and preparation, laundry, obtaining medical care, paying their bills paid, transportation to and from their doctor appointments as well as to the grocery store.
Medical elder care can include rehabilitative therapies, skilled nursing care, palliative care, and social services, as well as supervision and a wide range of supportive personal care provided by family caregivers and/or home health care agencies. Elder care can be long-term or short-term depending on the needs and situation.
Cheryl Culbertson, Founder of Elder Options of Texas has worked in the senior housing and elder care industry since the late 80's. She started her Texas elder care site based on three factors:
One - The aging of Texans. According to the US Census Bureau more than 2.3 million Texans, aged 65 or older in 2006, accounted for 9.9 percent of the state's population. That share is expected to rise to 11.7 percent of the total by 2015. Additionally, the Texas baby boomer population (those age 55 - 64) totals over 5.6 million or about 28 percent of the total Texas population.
Two, families today too often are living miles apart and are unable to be available due to these logistics to provide care or assistance when needed by their elder loved one.
Three, Baby boomers! This Internet savvy generation is more accustomed to going on line to find and learn about the elder care services available in the city or small town their elder loved one lives in.