Monday, May 21, 2012

Aging Gracefully–with a Side of Independence, please!

The idea of getting older is scary. When you are a teenager, you worry about where you will go to college. When you graduate college, you worry about getting a job. When you get a job, you begin to worry about home ownership, children, and aging parents. Eventually, all of us have to start considering the consequences of advanced age. Whether it is your parents or yourself that you are thinking of, there is no better time than now to consider the many elderly care services that are available.

Elderly care services are designed to help seniors live a full and meaningful life even if they have lost some of their independence. Below you will find brief descriptions of three options that are available: 

Assistance with moving between
levels of a house is one way at-home
products can help keep you in your home.
At-home Services and Products
For people who don’t need 24-hour assistance, but may need a little help around the house, there are at-home services. At-home services can range from assistance with bathing and oral hygiene, cooking, medication reminders, shopping, and transportation to medication education, post-surgical care, wound care, and home therapy. At-home products such as LifeLine medical alert system can help people live independently without sacrificing the security of having help only a phone call away. There are also products available to help ensure safety in the bathroom, kitchen, and stairways.

Assisted Living 
Assisted living facilities offer many of the same services that can be provided by at-home services, but in a community setting that caters to the needs of seniors. Many seniors may feel alone and isolated in their home especially after the death of a spouse. Assisted living provides these seniors with a community atmosphere. However, not all seniors will want to leave their homes for an assisted living home.

Nursing Homes
Seniors who are of a very advanced age or who suffer from a debilitating condition may be best served by a nursing home. Nursing homes provide 24/7 ongoing and emergency health services. If a senior you know has become a danger to him- or herself or requires constant and reliable medical care all throughout the day, it may be time to consider a nursing home.

As you think about the future, keep these options in mind.

For more information about services available to seniors in Washington County, contact the Washington County Commission on Aging at 301.790.0275.

For more information about Meritus Health’s at-home services and products, contact Meritus Home Health at 301.766.7800, Care At Home at 301.766.7801, or Equipped for Life at 301.714.0200.

By Shawn McNally

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