Providing care in homes and communities
Care for the elderly is offered through a variety of services, including caregiver support, day care, transportation, rehabilitative treatment, and acute care. The settings in which elders receive care are as diverse as their needs.
These can include:
- In-home care
- Adult day programs
- Nursing facilities</strong
- Adult day care centers
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care facilities
Focus on “Aging in Place”
In recent years, the emphasis on “aging in place” has shifted care from nursing facilities to community-based services, including home care. Nearly 79 percent of all people who need long-term care live at home or in community settings with the aid of a family member or health care provider.
Elder services are targeted towards older adults, caregivers, and their families. Throughout Massachusetts, elder service agencies known as Aging Service Access Points (or ASAPs) facilitate the various types of care needed by the elderly. ASAPs serve as “one-stop” entry points that either provide direct care or refer patients to agencies and resources in their area.
Providing services to the elderly requires caring for the whole person. Caregivers place emphasis on allowing elders to remain as independent as possible and maintain a high quality of life. Employment in elder care services includes a wide variety of responsibilities, including bedside and personal care, keeping records of patients’ activities, transporting clients, and monitoring vital signs and medications.
This variety of elder services offered leads to a need for varied skill levels and types of careers available.
Career opportunities in elder services can include:
- Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
- Home Health Aides
- Registered Nurse (RNs)
- Care Coordinator
- Social Worker