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Senior Care Facilities May Foster Ambient Despair

elder careEach year, thousands of seniors are forced to make the choice between aging at home or moving to an assisted living facility. Sometimes, the need for care is based on an unexpected medical event, while other times, seniors simply need additional assistance with their daily routines.

While facility-based care, like assisted living units and convalescent hospitals are necessary and a good fit for seniors who need ‘round-the-clock care, a recent interview with Martin Bayne, the publisher of the Feathered Flounder, reveals that many individuals in care facilities are suffering from what Bayne calls “ambient despair.” Bayne himself was diagnosed with early onset Parkinsons in his early fifties, and was quickly made aware of the often overlooked despair of seniors living in care facilities when he moved to one himself.

“As a society, we’ve begun to think what our elders are capable of as pinochle and bingo – and that’s such a waste of humanity,” says Bayne, noting that each senior is an individual with a life story and vast amount of knowledge. Additionally, Bayne notes that regardless of senior’s condition, entering new surroundings can be a very challenging endeavor – often in the face of already difficult circumstances, such as losing a spouse or severe illness. (http://www.npr.org/2012/09/06/160676993/advocate-fights-ambient-despair-in-assisted-living)

Home Care Alternatives
Bayne notes that he believes the “ambient despair” within care facilities can be caused by a lack of recognition of the individual, and years of isolation and loneliness. One alternative to this lifestyle is in-home care from a reputable agency that utilizes a home care software or home care system, such as ClearCare.

Seniors needing assistance with activities of daily living may find that care managed in their own residence with a home care software or home care system allows them to remain in familiar surroundings, as well as keep up established routines. Additionally, professional caregivers working in a home are more likely to establish a positive connection with seniors, giving them a source of socialization. Home care software can be used to help caregivers manage social engagement both in and out of the home, while a home care system with telephony, like ClearCare, can help ensure that care plans are carefully followed and monitored.

Finding What’s Best
Although Bayne notes that many seniors living outside of their homes are suffering from emotional trials, it’s important to note that care facilities are a needed and appropriate option for some seniors – and that many of these facilities foster positive cultures and superb treatment of their residents. However, for seniors who are capable of doing so, and express a desire to stay at home, home care coupled with the management efficiencies of a home care software or home care system may help keep senior despair at bay while keeping seniors at home.

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