When considering the nursing home option for parents or other loved ones, here are a few of the main advantages to keep to mind:
Better resources and equipment: Private homes simply don’t have the types of medical equipment and supplies needed to help seniors stay healthy. Many nursing homes are almost as advanced as hospitals in their ability to provide sophisticated care for patients on a 24-hour basis.
High-quality long-term care: Due to modern medicine, seniors now live longer than ever. While we’re thankful for this, longer life-spans often come with longer periods of late-life illness and disability. Caring for a senior relative at home is often a long-term commitment of many years, sometimes requiring intensive care.
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On average, the cost of elderly health care is $5,531 annually. Family members not only provide hands-on care but often dig into their own pockets to pay other expenses which include groceries, drugs and medicines, medical equipments such as wheelchairs, toilet seat risers and transportation. Many times family members have to miss work and lose out on their income to take care of elderly family members.
Many family members take loans, skip vacations and often ignore their own health. Government must start providing tax deductions and tax credits to family caregivers.
The expenditures incurred for elderly health care is increasing rapidly and reaching astronomical heights. Elders have many special needs when it comes to health care. One is often left frustrated when there are gaps in insurance coverage. Medicare programs offer only minimal assistance for serious health disorders.
There are some programs that cover senior citizens. It covers hospital expenses and doctor visits, even if you continue to work. All one needs to do is pay a premium every month. These programs are popular among a vast number of senior citizens.
One needs to apply for these programs before one reaches the age of 65. In case you don't then one has to pay a high premium. One also has the option of enrolling for these programs after retirement.
The premium that one pays depends on your income and which company you will be purchasing coverage from. Senior citizens with low income are also eligible for the entire coverage under Medicare.
Prescription drugs which are used to treat a wide variety of diseases and illness are fully covered if one has a private insurance coverage. If you do not have private insurance, this could be matter of serious concern. Sometimes drug prices are simply not affordable, forcing the senior citizens to forgo other needs to pay for drugs.
Recent Medicare legislation has been a big disappointment for senior citizens, as drug coverage continues to be limited and fails to reduce the rising cost of drugs. Many seniors are forced to manage their medical plan on their own.
At times, the drug industry provides free drugs to the needy who are not covered under private insurance or any government program. Retail stores in the vicinity provide drugs at discounted rates. There are various medicine manufacturing companies that offer assistance to lower income senior citizens. One can seek out these discount programs if they have a financial need.
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Communication is an important aspect of healthy and independent living. Communication not only involves talking and writing but we also need to listen, watch, sense and read language.
Some seniors experience decreased senses (vision, hearing). Communication aids can make communication easier.
Some communication aids and tips include:
- pens and pencils that are thicker or wrapped in rubber so that it is easier to grasp
- heavier pens and pencils are easier to use for people who have shaky hands
- heavy lined paper and a thick pen tip for those with decreased vision
- a computer as you can increase the font and can print in large thick font
- computers can also have adapted keyboards, mouses, accessible programs (large font, etc) and even voice recognition programs that translate voice into text
- ensure proper lighting
- use a magnifier
- consider a magnifier with a built in light
- page turners
- books and other media in audio format (audio books)
- speech devices that display message on screen
- picture based computer or print based systems
- letter and symbol boards
- voice amplifiers
- hearing aids
- headset amplifiers
- door bell and telephone conversion (light and bell signals)
- amplified telephone
- large buttons and display on phone
- picture based speed dial buttons
- voice operated telephone
- loud ringer and/or light based signal
- teletypewriter (TTY) device for those who are hearing impaired
- large remote control
- large TV screen
- use captioning option on TV