Tag Archives: Comorbidities

Common Diseases Seniors Face and Challenges in Providing Healthcare Solutions

Due to aging, diet, and living styles, seniors are more prone to degenerative diseases. As people age they become more susceptible to diseases and conditions that make even simple tasks difficult. Routine activities like grocery shopping, preparing meals and running errands become harder as we get older and adopt a sedentary lifestyle, which is why many elderly people seek assistance from caregivers. Though aging is a reality of life, it is important to know which specific diseases are most common among seniors in order to decide a course of action of prevention, and barring that, then which type of care or assistance is best for your needs.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the most common diseases among seniors in the U.S. are Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Each of these illnesses can have dramatic effects on the quality of life of seniors and their families. Caring for an aging parent with dementia or depression can be especially trying. And while there are some precautions one can take to avoid such diseases, like leading a healthy lifestyle, the inevitable deterioration associated with old age is the leading factor that make seniors vulnerable (Medicinenet, 2013).

Though these conditions may manifest alone as a single disease, the problem gets worse as these conditions overlap. According to recent studies, having one of these diseases may make an elderly patient more susceptible to contracting others. Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a psychiatry professor at Duke University, suggests that there is a link between dementia and vascular diseases. Studies aimed at establishing these connections are currently under way. As these ailments and conditions coexist, seniors suffer more and start to need more care. These overlapping health conditions also call for more specialized care for the senior; they need a caregiver or nurse who has experience working with patients suffering from similar comorbidities.

To date, more than 733,000 Americans live in assisted living facilities (ALFs) (New York Times, 2013). These popular living arraignments for seniors and people with disabilities offer an easy solution for their families if they can afford it. Depending on the preferred facility, level of care required, and professionals called for to provide care, yearly rates may vary, but the cost of living in a nursing home or assisted living facility has increased consistently for the past five years and typically costs about $80,000 annually. With such high costs, many families are looking for more affordable alternatives without sacrificing the quality of care and stability for their loved ones.

Many healthcare professionals, including Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), are moving away from the old model of finding jobs in an established geriatric living facility. Uncertainty about the future of the healthcare industry has driven many qualified medical professionals to operate independently, working for private pay and visiting the patients in their homes. This limits the cost of care and allows aging loved ones to remain in their own homes.

The number of seniors who need personal care is ever increasing in the US. These individuals and their families have enough stress in their lives dealing with illnesses and deteriorating health, that the addition of navigating the waters of elderly care is simply too difficult to take on alone. Fortunately there are many resources available today that can help seniors and their loved ones find the care they need at a cost they can afford.

Well Beyond Care gives caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in-home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses, certified nurse assistants, and geriatric care managers can use the website to be best matched with Careseekers looking for care, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers and family members looking for someone to give care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses, CNAs and caregivers, are matched with a caregiver who can best can deliver care to specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules and payment online and receive personal support from the nurse that is assigned to them when they join. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.

More Baby Boomers Caring for Parents in Their Homes

Due in part to the fact that Americans are living longer, there are now over 70 million baby boomers who are now dealing with the reality of having to care for their aging parents or grandparents. Supplying geriatric care needs can affect these individuals on many different levels. Impediments such as arthritis, high blood pressure or increased blood sugar levels are just a few of the concerns that may require the attention of someone taking care of an elderly person. In addition to these medical conditions, incontinence and immobility may be additional burdening concerns, as well as comorbidities such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, CHF (Congestive Heart Failure, and Dementia.  With this in mind, aging adults may need the assistance of geriatric care professionals, in conjunction with skilled caregivers, in order to afford a safe, healthy, stress free environment for their loved ones.

Today, a number of geriatric care options exist for concerned baby boomers to choose from. There are nursing homes, assisted living facilities (ALF), independent living facilities, and in-home care service providers. Depending on the extent of service and assistance necessary, any of these geriatric care options could be a viable solution. While nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be more convenient for the responsible family member, these sorts of geriatric care options may also be cost prohibitive. According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of private nursing home care in the US is now $92,345 per year (or $235 per day). Assisted living facilities usually charge less, while in-home care is the least expensive option with flexible payment rates that can vary depending on the skill set and time required for the patient’s care.

Aside from these usual geriatric care options, there are those who choose to offer care for their elderly parents or grandparents personally. They are classified as “informal caregivers”, and provide in-home care for their loved ones without formal training or education in geriatric care. While this setup may be motivated by very noble causes, the physical, emotional, and psychological pressures associated with this kind of arrangement could become a very large burden for someone to assume. In addition to the pressure of caring for an elderly person, there may also be some legal implications if you cannot provide the level of appropriate geriatric care needed for your elderly relatives.

Just recently, prosecutors from the State of Pennsylvania charged an “informal caregiver” with allegedly committing “assisted suicide” to his chronically ill and aged father, in spite of the personal requests to end his life due to the fact the father felt an undue burden was being placed on his child. It is important to note that taking care of the elderly requires tremendous amounts of dedication, care, and caution on a daily and ongoing basis.