Proposing A Solution To A Social Problem: Elderly Care Essay Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Family, Elderly, People, Parents, Nursing, Breastfeeding, Services, Time

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/17

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INTRODUCTION

Old age care has emerged as a contested issue and a major obstacle in various communities. Developed societies face this problem more than Third World countries do because of social structuring. Indeed, caring for an elderly spouse, aging parent, close friend, or domestic partner presents a litany of challenges, especially when families face a crisis, and the onus and responsibilities for caring for the elderly shift towards younger generations. Youths do not have ample time to care for their parents and other old-aged relatives because of increasing pressure to perform well in their jobs along with other liabilities that affect their lifestyle. Such a complex and high-pressure lifestyle renders it quite difficult to adequately care for the elderly. The population in the United States is rapidly aging, as almost all communities have large number of elderly people. Family members, however, continue to struggle to provide proper elderly care. Bookman & Kimbrel (2011) mention that changes that occur in the workplace and family life profoundly impact people’s efforts to care for the geriatric population. Currently, a large percentage of caregivers are employed, and they hardly have any spare time to effectively take care of their elder parents due to their hectic work schedule and social commitments. In such situations, elderly people must fend for themselves (Bookman and Kimbrel, 2011). 
The objective of this paper is to propose possible solutions to the litany of problems surrounding elderly care. It will discuss the best ways to take care of an aging population by elaborating on the strengths and weakness of proposed solutions. The solutions will describe how children can provide adequate care to their aging parents or grandparents without compromising their work or family life. People can choose from various solutions depending on the age, health, and mental condition of their elders. The solutions provided in the paper can be pursued by people who are over the age of sixty two. 

SOLUTION ONE: LIVE IN CARE

Elder Care at Home in Presence of External Care Provider: Families with elder member can chose to live in apartment or building that are specifically designed to offer basic services needed by the geriatric population. For example, the availability of wheelchairs at all common locations, walk-in-bathtubs, limousine service, grocery store, shopping assistance services, pharmacy, and availability of common service providers on-call or telephone are all considered to be basic necessities. Besides living in elderly-friendly environment, the progeny of elderly parents can appoint service provider to ensure that elderly persons take their medicines, bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming. Such health care providers also offer meals-on-wheels or home delivery of meals (U.S. Department of States). In-home medical care provides a vast array of non-medical and medical services that accommodate the patient’s needs on an idiosyncratic basis.

STRENGTHS

According to Bernstein (n.d.), ninety five percent of those over the age of seventy five want to indefinitely stay in their homes in order to preserve their autonomy. This solution has proven effective because elderly parents would receive care without leaving their homes. Easy access to such basic needs will make their life easy and happy. The biggest strength of this solution is that elderly parents, domestic partners, spouses, and friends can with their relatives and can communicate their feelings with them when their younger relatives return home after work. Having elderly relatives or spouses live at home will allow their younger family members forge stronger bonds with their parents, which is crucial as relatives continue to grow old. Elderly people are good in developing healthy bonds with their grandchildren and younger relatives, which is sometimes difficult for working parents. Working parents do not spend much time with their children, so the presence of grandparents and other older relatives help keep children happy and emotionally attended to in the absence of younger adults.

WEAKNESSES

While in-home patient care is the most convenient solution that also enables the elderly to maintain their grip on their own independence, it also may require families to relocate to a new house in order to live in a place that is elderly-friendly. Children or relatives of elderly people may also need to cover additional costs involved in hiring external care provider and food services (U.S. Department of States, n.d.). Moreover, caretakers and relatives of elderly often worry that their parents or spouses will not be able to reach them in the case of an emergency. The Pew Research Center has collected data that shows that the majority of seniors do not use cell phones, even in the case of an emergency because they are too complex and technologically advanced (Bernstein, n.d.).

SOLUTION TWO: ADULT DAY CARE

Adult Day Care: this service is provided at the community level by different service providers. In adult day care, old people attend daycare facilities on a quotidian basis or for protracted period of time, ranging from a few days during the week to weeks at a time, depending up the comfort and requirement/necessity. Adult day care facilities employ caretakers to look after elderly people throughout the day. Such a facility is similar to a child daycare institution where parents drop off their children when they are at work. Daycare facilities take care of elderly sojourns by including exercise programs, music, singing, dancing, painting, debate/discussions on different subjects, guest lectures, and various other regular every day activities (Block, 2008). These facilities promote the well-being of elderly people who either lack the capacity to maintain their own independence or who feel isolated and lonely.  

STRENGTHS

Flexible timing and schedules allow people to avail daycare service depending upon their requirements. Such facilities allow children and other family members who have flexible work hours or shifts to pick up and drop their parents according to their own schedules. The cost of adult daycare facilities is low compared to full-time care facilities. Daycare centers also provide opportunities for elderly people to socialize and interact with other people and groups. The elderly can participate in various activities that enhance their health. Daycare facilities ultimately allow children and grandchildren to spend quality time with their elderly family members and to develop strong family bonds (Block, 2008). Adult daycare centers unequivocally provide a jovial, safe, and supportive environment that stimulates their mental acuity and social proclivities while also providing principle caretakers with much needed respite during which they can attend to their own needs.

WEAKNESSES

The cost of daycare facilities varies depending upon brand name of the facility, whether it is profit or non-profit, and the different services delivered by them. Some daycare centers also have long wait periods that discourage people from using their services. Daycare facilities do not provide the option to leave the elderly during the night time. Hence, it is important that one person is at home to take care of the elderly during the night time. SOLUTION THREE: INSTITUTIONALIZED CARE OD NURSEING HOME CARE
Institutionalized Care or Nursing Home Care: This facility offers around- the-clock care for the elderly. The daughters and sons of elderly parents often face difficult decisions, particularly if bereavement has just transpired. American baby boomers are currently transitioning to a different phase in their lives: old age. Hence, there has been a significant increase in the demand for elderly care. Various healthcare institutes and nursing homes offer elderly care services. Such institutions often function as a last resort to old age people who are incapable of taking care of themselves; severely disabled; isolated and lonely individuals; abandoned by their family members; or have no children (Merrill, 1997). It is important to note that the quality of care varies on a continuum in nursing homes.  
STRENGTHS
Adults are unsurprisingly weary of placing their parents and/or elderly relatives in nursing homes because complete strangers will be charged with caring for their loved ones twenty four hours a day. The primary strength of this solution lies in the adequate care provided in these nursing homes. Elderly residents receive ample and timely care. Healthcare professionals and volunteers work in these facilities and monitor the routine, diet, medicines, and other necessities. The primary problem adult caretakers face is having ample time to properly care for their parents. Moreover, elderly people can also socialize with the other denizens in the nursing homes, as there are always a lot of elderly people who live in them. They can share their time and experiences together and wax poetic on their pasts so that they never feel alone (Merrill, 1997). As a result, the elderly in the nursing home forge a sense of community with others who are similar in age. The feeling of being a part of a social community undoubtedly amplifies the psyches of the elderly.

WEAKNESSES

Horror stories about the victimization of patients in nursing homes have circulated in public discourses despite the fact that the government regulates and oversees these facilities in order to mitigate such instances. Nursing homes are very costly and almost impossible to afford. Children and the elderly alike realistically could only afford the costs of nursing home care if they had set aside a retirement fund. Irregularity in paying bills further affects their stay at nursing homes. Elderly people are also often left in these nursing homes at the mercy of employees. They often do not get to enjoy the company of their family members because of their busy schedules. Elderly people also feel emotionally detached with their family and it affects their mental and emotional aspects. As such, nursing homes, while cultivating a sense of community, they also remove the elderly people’s sense of belonging, especially if they are unable to walk or suffer from some form of dementia. Finally, nursing homes essentially strip the elderly of their autonomy due to the highly structured nature in nursing home environments.

CONCLUSION

The problem of effective elderly care is common in various communities. There are a litany of options available to take care of the elderly, which enables adult caretakers to select from a list of options according to their convenience and budget. Good elderly care at private institutions may require a large amount of funds. However, it is not possible for poor people to afford the same. Families also prefer to stay with their old parents during the time when old parents need their children most. 

References

Bernstein, N. (n.d.). “Aging in Place Gadgets.” Caring.com, retrieved March 12, 2015 from http://www.caring.com/checkllists/useful-gadgets-for-elderly
Block, S. (2008, Feb 1). Elder care shifting away from nursing homes. USAtoday, Retrieved March 10, 2015 from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/eldercare/2007-06-24-elder-care-costs_N.htmBookman, A., and Kimbrel, D. (2011). Families and elder care in the twenty-first century. The Future of Children, 21(2), 117-140.Eldercare. (n.d.). U.S. Department of States. Retrieved March 10, 2015 from http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c23133.htmMerrill, D. M. (1997). Caring for elderly parents. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

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