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Getting the Care We Need as We Age

by UPMC Susquehanna - June 4, 2019

UPMC Susquehanna offers a wide array of options to help individuals maintain independence while still receiving quality care each day. UPMC Susquehanna is part of the UPMC Aging Institute, a program which provides integrated, comprehensive and timely access to a full range of services for older adults, families, and caregivers.

UPMC Susquehanna’s state-of-the-art medical resources, preventive health care, and comprehensive wellness services offered at our Senior Communities can help seniors live life to the fullest, stay well, and meet the challenges that older adults sometimes face. Whether you need in-home health care, memory support, or other services, residents have access to nationally-recognized geriatricians, primary care physicians, and cutting-edge geriatric research. Whether your choice is independent retirement, personal care, assisted living or skilled nursing and rehabilitation, UPMC Senior Communities provides exceptional value and affordable living options, along with comprehensive medical services

There are many different types of elder care available. You can break these types down into two major categories: family-provided care and professionally-provided care. Family provided and in-home care are when the loved one receives care in their home or they move in with a family member to receive care. The care can be provided by a family member or through an in-home worker, aide, or home care provider.

There are six types of professionally-provided care including: in-home licensed or unlicensed care, adult day programs, independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, continuum of care facilities, and dementia facilities.
With so many options, how does a family know what to choose? First and foremost, it’s important to consider the loved one’s preference for receiving care. This means that it’s important to have conversations about the subject before care is needed. If you are a senior, consider creating a living will and appointing a power of attorney so that someone in your family is aware of your wishes and can speak for you when needed. Although it may be easier to avoid, it’s important to talk with your family about how you’d like to receive care (in-home, residential, etc.). If you are a family member, talk to your loved one about their potential future care needs. Encourage them to speak with their doctor about their health and wellness, as well as encourage them to have a living will or plan for their care and life.

If you need additional help, resources are available from your local agency on aging and senior centers. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with a representative from the care facility of your choice to learn more about their program and facility. There are a lot of options and resources out there, it’s just about knowing how to access them and being informed.

Open communication is an important part of the process on your journey to senior living. The last thing you want is for you or a loved one to feel like they are being forced into a community without any say. Sitting down and having a conversation with your loved one will give them the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, as well as allow you to discuss the value and benefit to senior living. The sooner you are able to have the conversation, the better. This gives you time to talk through any issues and navigate to a place of common ground. Some seniors are thrilled about the idea of moving to a community. They are ready to pack their bags, sell the condo and begin living life carefree alongside their peers. But for other seniors, the idea can be unsettling. Don’t feel discouraged if your loved one isn’t on board with the idea. For the majority of adults, it’s the idea of change that’s the hardest thing to grasp. Everyone gets used to living life a certain way, including seniors, and your loved one just need time to get accustomed to the idea. Change is a very positive thing, and once your senior sees all the perks of senior living, they may just regret not making the move sooner.

Having the conversation may not be easy. Even if your family has strong relationships, this discussion can create apprehension and surface some difficult and emotional questions. But with patience and thoughtful communication, you can work together to move past any disagreements.

Not only are we facing challenges throughout our industry in regards to workforce (nursing and provider shortages), but we’re facing a large and growing demographic of people needing care for longer into their lives.
Estimates say there are over 75 million baby boomers (age 55 and older). That’s a lot of people to plan the next 50 years’ worth of care for. We are inviting nursing professionals to join us for a recruitment event on Thursday, July 11 from 9 am to 3 pm at The Green Home in Wellsboro for a chance to tour the facility, meet with our leaders, and see firsthand the care we provide our residents. This event is a great opportunity for new and experienced nurses to hear more about UPMC’s career ladder, current openings, and our generous total rewards package. Attendees will have the opportunity to sit down with our leaders for an interview during the event, and as an added bonus, we are offering the opportunity for everyone to have a professional head shot photo of themselves taken for their personal use.

Credits:

Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: UPMC Susquehanna
Anchor: Rhonda Pearson
Correspondent: Sara Vogt

Produced by Vogt Media
Home Page Sponsors: UPMC Susquehanna