Types Of Services Available For Children, Adults, And Elderly
By: Gail R Mitchell
Whether you are caring for a child, a spouse or a parent, each
will have very definite needs, which will need to be met. It is
best to begin familiarizing yourself with the various forms of
services that are available. Most individuals responsible for the
care of another would prefer to keep them at home if they are
a child or spouse, and a parent living comfortably in their own
home and surroundings.
There is a broad range of care choices that permit you to keep
your loved one at home, even if they are saddled with physical,
mental or emotional limitations. Home care covers the range of
supplying transportation to and from doctors, preparation of
meals all the way to caring for those who are disabled, elderly
Assistance With Daily Living:
Companion- A personal care attendant provides
assistance with meal preparation, shopping, supervision, light
housekeeping and companionship. Generally speaking, they do
not provide any personal care such as bathing, dressing and
grooming, and no medical care is administered.
Housekeepers- can provide assistance with meal
preparation, shopping and transportation. No personal or medical
care is given.
Home Maintenance, Repair And Chore Services
Community volunteers perform minor home repairs inside and out.
Their job chores may include raking leaves, winterizing the home,
mowing lawns, installing special handrails or guards, and removing
snow. There usually are fees for major repairs and cosmetic
Emergency Response Systems- Electronic monitors
which can be worn by an individual or placed in the home to
provide an automatic response to medical or other emergencies.
Health Care Services:
Home Health Aide or Personal Care Attendant-Provides
personal care such as bathing, dressing, grooming and feeding.
This may also include light housekeeping services, the
administration of medications and other light duties.
Government and charities may offer these services for free
or on a sliding scale or you can hire one through a health
Nursing Assistance, Occupational or Physical Therapy-
Licensed personal that may be provided by insurance if the
patient's doctor prescribes their need or they can be hired
on your own.
Hospice-Supportive medical and social programs for
terminally ill patients, usually diagnosed with six months or
less to live. Volunteers and support are provided for members
of the patient's immediate family at home.
Case Management-Care Managers
Home maintenance, housekeeping, chores and services
Telephone reassurance- Volunteers will make daily
phone calls to an elderly person living alone to provide contact
and checkup on their well-being. Programs may be set up to
remind them to take their medications, etc.
Friendly Visitors- Volunteers from civic organizations,
church, senior center, or service organization will come and spend
time with the individual. They may read, play cards, bring a video
to watch, take them for a walk or whatever is needed. They are
their to socially connect with the individual as well as offer
support and monitor their well being.
Senior Centers- The centers act as a social gathering
and networking place for seniors who are able to function on an
independent basis. Social, cultural and recreational activities
are usually offered. These may also include day trips, matinees
at the theater, communal meals, health screenings, volunteer
opportunities and even legal and financial services. Generally
speaking services are free or available at a low nominal fee
to all participants.
Childcare Centers- Centers with professional staffing
to care for your children while you are at work or caring for a loved
one. There are special centers for children with special needs as well.
Adult Day Centers-Community programs offering meals
and structured activities. Transportation may or may not be provided
as with health services. Most programs operate only during the
week. Depending on the area you are in, attendance can be full
or part time and there may be a wait list. They usually provide
social and health care services for those who have special needs.
Hospitals, private organizations, local governments, nursing homes
and often religious groups offer these types of programs.
Transportation-Some cities and communities provide
special transportation for seniors and children. Volunteers may drive
their own cars and assist in transporting them to doctors,
treatments, supermarkets, senior centers, childcare centers,
etc. Other services might be van pickups, sponsored by the City.
One such example is “Access-A-Ride.” If the program is funded it
may be offered free or for a small, nominal fee.
Meals- There are two types of programs available.
Volunteers in programs such as “Meals on Wheels” can deliver
meals. Upon delivery of the meal, the volunteer will also check
on the well being of the recipient. The second form is communal
or group meals for the elderly, usually served at a senior center.
Recreational activities may be supplied as well. Depending on
the situation the programs may be free or there may be a small
Legal And Consumer: Attorneys, ombudsmen, elderly
abuse, child abuse
Financial Assistance: Paying bills, balancing checkbooks,
submitting insurance forms, tax preparation
Medical Assistance, Sliding Fees, Subsidized Programs
Rehabilitation Facilities- Facilities for short-term stays
helping a patient to recover from an illness or accident where they
receive treatment until they are ready to return home.
Senior Apartment Living- This type of living is usually
government subsidized and adjustable accordingly to the senior's
income. They usually are conveniently located to shopping and
transportation. They may also serve meals
SHARED HOUSING-Elderly people who live together. Each
has their own room and they share the common areas.
Adult Foster Care-This method of care is starting to
grow in different parts of the nation. A family provides custodial
care to an elderly person or more than one person in exchange
for a predetermined fee.
MOVING IN WITH A CHILD OR RELATIVE
Assisted Living- These are usually individual living units
in senior housing situations. A kitchenette may be available; however,
usually meals are served in a dining room with other members of
the facility. Activities are provided throughout the day. A 24-hour
staff is present. Nursing and housekeeping fees are usually
provided for an additional fee.
Long-Term Care Facilities:
Hospice- Supportive medical and social programs for
terminally ill patients, usually diagnosed with six months or less to
live. Volunteers and support are provided for members of the
patient's immediate family at a Hospice facility.
Support for Caregivers:
Respite- Services provided to assist and relieve the
caregiver from their role for a few hours to a week or more. Care
may be provided at home or in a long-term care facility.
Links corresponding to this article are:
American Self-Help Clearinghouse
Careguide.com - database of housing, etc.
Directory Of Aging Web Site Directories
Elderweb - ElderCare Sourcebook
HealthCare Financing Administration (HCFA)
Hospice Foundation Of America
National Association of Geriatric Care Managers
National Association Of Home Care
National Meals on Wheels Foundation - 1-800-999-6262
National Respite Locator Service
NCOA Aging And Advocacy Links
NCOA Addresses Vital Aging Issues
Nursing Home Care
The Health Care Financing Administration publishes a
free booklet called “How To Select A Nursing Home” - Write
to HCFA Publications Dept., 7500 Security Blvd.,
Room N1-26-25, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.
Senior Housing Net
Click on logo links on this page
State Index Aging Agencies and Programs
THE ELDERCARE LOCATOR - A wayy to find community services for Seniors.
The Wellspouse Foundation
To find out more about all of the services mentioned in
this section and other options as well, order “Staying
at Home: A guide to Long-Term Care & Housing” (D14986)
from AARP Fulfillment, 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049.
We look forward to the opportunity of serving you. We
welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions. Please
feel free to contact us at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or
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