Life expectancy has reached record highs in recent years. For example, life expectancy in the United States has reached 79 years. That’s pretty high when compared to past generations.
This increase in life expectancy is due to a variety of factors. One of the most significant is advances in medical care. The world now has access to better treatments and medications than ever before. This has allowed people to live longer, healthier lives.
As people live longer and healthier lives, more and more are finding themselves caring for their elderly loved ones. Whether helping them with everyday tasks or providing full-time support, senior care is integral to many people’s lives. And it’s a field that has undergone some major changes in recent years. Here are five ways senior care has evolved throughout the years.
Home Care vs. Institutional Care
Traditionally, when elderly family members needed help, they would be moved into nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. These days, however, more and more seniors are opting to age in place at home with the help of professional caregivers. In addition, thanks to advances in technology and medicine, seniors can now receive high-quality care at home that was once only available in institutional settings.
The Rise of Dementia Care
Dementia is a broad term that describes a decline in mental abilities such as memory, language, and problem-solving skills. In the past, dementia was often seen as a natural part of aging, and not much was done to treat it. These days, however, there is much greater awareness about dementia and its causes, and more resources are available to help those who suffer from it. As a result, professional caregivers are now trained to provide specialized dementia care that wasn’t available before.
Increased Use of Technology
Technology plays a big role in modern senior care. Devices such as fall detectors and emergency response systems allow seniors to live independently while still having access to help if needed. In addition, many caregivers now use apps and other online tools to stay organized and communicate with families. And thanks to video conferencing software like Skype and FaceTime, families can easily stay in touch even when they live far apart.
Greater Focus on Quality of Life
In the past, the primary goal of senior care was simply to keep elders alive for as long as possible. While that is still an important goal today, there is a much greater focus on the quality of life. For example, caregivers now help seniors stay engaged in their lives rather than just providing primary medical care. Here are some examples of that.
It’s estimated that about one in five seniors has lost all or almost all of their teeth. Losing all of your teeth can lead to various oral problems such as gum disease, infection, and difficulty eating. In the past, dentures were the only option for seniors who had lost their teeth.
These days, however, there are many more options available. One particular option is the installation of full-arch dental implants. These implants come in a set. This makes the entire process much cheaper and more efficient when compared to traditional implant methods.
Seniors who have lost their teeth can struggle in their daily life. Thankfully, improved dental services can help them regain their quality of life.
Exercise is vital for people of all ages but is essential for seniors. That’s because people lose muscle mass and bone density when they age. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems such as balance issues, weakness, and mobility problems. Fortunately, many more options are available for seniors who want to stay active. One popular option is physical therapy. Physical therapists can work with seniors to design exercise programs that meet their needs and abilities.
Expanded Services Offered
Caregivers today provide much more than just essential assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They also offer companionship and help with household tasks like cooking and cleaning. In addition, many caregivers are now trained to provide specialized services such as wound care or physical therapy. As a result, seniors can receive the care they need to maintain their health and independence.
Senior care is a crucial part of many people’s lives, and it’s a field that is constantly evolving. Thanks to advances in technology, medicine, and our understanding of aging, seniors can enjoy longer, healthier lives. And professional caregivers are better equipped than ever before to meet their unique needs.