Spending your final years in a nursing home is commonplace today, and nursing homes are a modern invention. While nursing homes are solid options for many needing full-time medical care, there is a growing trend away from nursing homes and toward solutions that provide greater flexibility for seniors.
A History of Caring for the Elderly
It wasn’t until around 1823 that the first homes dedicated to providing care for the elderly were established. Prior to this, widows and others without immediate family to care for them were often relegated to almshouses, also called poor houses. In 1923, 67% of the almshouse population consisted of elderly citizens.
One of the driving motives of the Social Security Act of 1935 was to provide a means of caring for the elderly that did not involve relying on these almshouses. It was at this time that the nursing home as we think of it today began to be established as the last home for seniors.
Senior Living Today
While nursing homes are still a vital part of caring for elderly patients today, there is a growing need for alternatives. Improvements in nutrition and medical care have enabled more of us to live longer, more productive lives.
Many today in their 70s and 80s need some assistance in daily life, but are otherwise very capable of living on their own. This has led to a boom in assisted living centers with a greater focus on providing minimal medical care and more on providing a comfortable place to live with others their own age. Especially as the baby boomer generation ages, there will be greater need for alternatives beyond even these assisted living centers.
Trends to Observe in 2018
So-called virtual assisted living centers may be gaining in popularity in the coming year. Seniors living in their own homes are provided with an easy-to-use tablet. Caregivers check in daily to remind them to take medication and make sure they are feeling alright. An even more common alternative, in-home senior care, is poised to grow like never before in the coming year.
Professional caregivers visit the homes of seniors, ranging from once or twice a week to multiple visits per day and can even provide 24/7 care, assisting with medication, daily chores such as cooking and bathing, and transportation to medical appointments and other errands. This has the added advantage over virtual care of giving the senior a chance to interact with a real, caring person every day.
Because in-home care seems like the most desirable option, it has been growing steadily in recent years, and 2018 looks to see an even greater increase in this positive alternative.
For those elderly who wish to remain in familiar surroundings near family and friends, an in-home caregiver is a wonderful option. Arista Home Care Solutions provides care for your loved one and respite care for you. Call us today at (419) 754-1897. We are here to help.