Almost all families have people who are above 60 years of age. These people have certain unique needs. Let us see help for the elderly and how to take care of them and ensure fulfillment of these needs.
As a person ages, he undergoes certain changes both mentally and physically. His actions tend to slow down, his powers of comprehension tend to go down and his body becomes afflicted with ailments and conditions which need attention. At this stage a person survives as much on food as he does on medicines. Hence taking care of these people becomes a priority so that they are able to live a relaxed, happy and problem-free life.
Elderly care broadly refers to a number of services which are provided to the elderly or the aged in lieu for money. This care includes:
- Assisted living thereby providing home support for the elderly,
- Adult day care facilities,
- Long term care for people who are not able to independently mover about or are confined to their beds,
- Nursing homes which fulfil the requirement of taking care of these people when they fall gravely ill,
- Hospice care and
- Even home care required for specific periods of time.
The biggest advantage of providing elderly care is that they allow these senior citizens to age gracefully with dignity. However, elderly care differs from country to country. While the continent of Asia is famous for the elderly being looked after by their younger generations, help for the elderly , is facilitated in the western counties with the help of senior citizen homes and retirement homes etc. However, today, with a change in the dynamics of today’s progressive society, the process of taking care of the elderly at homes is slowly getting replaced. This shift or change that is taking place is because of the:
- Decrease in the size of the family,
- Increase in the life expectancy of the elderly,
- Geographical dispersions of families,
- Increase in the number of women attaining higher education and being gainfully employed outside of their homes etc.
In the Asian countries where residential care for the elderly is still popularly followed, it is the woman, above the age of 45, who are the informal caregivers and who spend much more time with the elderly than their male counterparts.
This has given rise to a number of both private and government run senior citizen’s homes which run on donations given by philanthropic individuals or companies. This donation under sec 35 ac , is tax-free and can be submitted to gain tax exemption on the amount donated. This money is utilised by these senior citizen homes for:
- Providing skilled medical care as well as non-medical or social care,
- Promoting independence among the elderly,
- Improving their mobility and providing them with ample opportunities to keep using their muscles and limbs etc.
Incapacity is perhaps the worst condition faced by the elderly. It is not only frustrating but also extremely unnerving and unknowingly erodes the body. In this instance, the court has to declare the incapacity of the person and a legal guardian is appointed to take care of his deeds.
Elderly care is a part of the journey of life for many. And people involved in the same have a specific system by which they regulate the food, medicines etc. , taken by the elderly. Once this basic need is met, elderly people tend to lead a happy and relaxed life thereby surviving with self-respect for many more years.