In this modern day and age, our average life expectancy is far better than it was a century ago. With governments worldwide putting a huge push on healthier lifestyles and diets, it seems that people are finally listening. As it stands the current life expectancy is 79 years of age in the US, versus the 76 years of age, which was recorded 19 years ago in 2000. Whilst this is a slight increment it’s still really important that this continues to grow in order to live happier and longer lives with our nearest and dearest. However with every positive there is always a negative to counter act it, and as the average life expectancy has increased unfortunately so has the development of several types of chronic illnesses.
Dementia is one of those illnesses that comes in many different forms, 200 subtypes in fact, and unfortunately it effects billions of individuals worldwide. In 2015 it was recorded that 5 million people were living with some form of Dementia in the US, and due to this there has been an increase in the demand of home care services for those that suffer from the illness.
The problem with dementia is that it damages the nerve cells in the brain, which prevents the correct messages being sent to different parts of the body allowing us to function. Symptoms will vary between diagnoses but common traits are loss of memory, problems with information retention, problems with functionality, and many more depending on the type of dementia an individual is diagnosed with. The majority of the time it’s recognised early in individuals, meaning they can adapt their daily routines as the disease gets progressively worse. There is no set time to how rapidly this disease can escalate but some may live with it for years.
For those that are affected by dementia home health care can play a vital role in helping them with their independence. In most cases during the early stages of dementia the friends and family of the diagnosed individual, will support them with little tasks where they can, but as the disease progresses and a more hands on approach is required, it’s important to seek professional help. Care givers can support the individual the same way their friends or family would and more, all from the comfort of their own home. This takes away that feeling of being a burden to their friends and families, and allows them to relax in an environment they are most familiar with, surrounded by all their possessions.
Understanding the different subtypes of dementia care givers can offer the appropriate level of care to each individual. From light housekeeping and cooking, to bathing washing and dressing, they can help with as much or as little as needed. Home care services are also great for mental stimulation, particularly if the individual is struggling to get out of the house or doesn’t usually get many visitors. Regular conversations between carer and client helps keep their mental health in check, and in most cases a friendship can be made.
As long as people can afford in home care it shouldn’t matter if the average life expectancy increases, this is why care organisations are trying to provide realistically affordable payment plans to suit all those that need such a service. However this won’t be available for everyone, so what happens to those individuals? Will it fall back on the government to pay for their home care? At the moment it seems too early to tell, but it’s good to see that the number of care providers are increasing to help those in need.