There are numerous milestones that we experience as we mature from childhood to old age. Each milestone plays a significant role in the growth and development of every individual. In these life events our family, friends and significant others are there to witness these and even share with the joys and the disappointments as well.
Getting old is inevitable. It is not something we can prevent from happening or even put a halt on it. How we age depends on how we live our lives. Some may dread even the idea of getting old while others are looking forward to it.
According to New Zealand Statistic (2010), the population of citizens ageing 65 years and above comprises 11 per cent of the entire population as of 1991 and is forecasted to reach 21 per cent the year 2031. New Zealand is one the countries with an ageing population and so with this information at hand, the government and private sectors has established a number of services in order to aid the ageing population as they face the physical changes of aging
- Age Concern is a non-profit organization committed to ageing New Zealanders. It provides free and confidential services addressing to issues on elder abuse and neglect all throughout New Zealand. The elderly as well their care givers are given support by a team of professional staff who also takes the role of an advocate so that the senior citizens will be able to have a happy, healthy and safe lifestyle. Psychological, physical, financial, neglect, sexual and institutional abuse of the elderly will also be dealt. Service providers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to recognize signs of elder abuse and neglect and act on it. The ageing citizens are treated with utmost respect thus promoting dignity. The organization gives the adequate attention to the needs of the senior citizens by acknowledging its existence and providing the necessary help rather than ignoring it.
- Grey power is an organization which stands as an advocate for the rights and welfare of New Zealand citizens in the 50 plus age group. It aims for the ageing residents of the country to enjoy and experience quality health care all throughout the country. It also represents the voice of the elderly so that their needs are given attention and be heard by the government as well as acquiring and having the services necessary in the maintenance of their health, as well as the promotion of their security and dignity.
- Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand is a non-profit organization that caters its services to people with hearing disabilities of any gender and age. It promotes awareness of the rights of deaf people and it access and advancement to New Zealand’s sign language. It works with ageing citizens with hearing disabilities and their significant others to make them understand the importance and the need for the deaf citizens to take part in the society in order to continue living a close to normal if not normal life. Information is also disseminated to the public in order to break down misconceptions, worries and barriers pertaining to having a hearing disability.
- Alzheimer’s New Zealand is a not for profit organization will members throughout the country in order for people to have access to information, support and services to ageing people with Alzheimer’s disease extending it to their significant others, partners, relatives and friends in order for them to slowly cope up with the demands of caring for someone with the degenerative disease. Information is also available to the public and the person with the disease to aid them in understanding, diagnosing and assessing the disease as well as the management of financial demands of taking care of someone with dementia.
- HealthEd is free website provided and updated by the Ministry of Health and the Health Promotion Agency open to all New Zealanders. It provides information pertaining to health in order to promote, enhance and safeguard the health of the citizens. The website offers free online information to the ageing citizens in order for them to make the right decisions in living a healthy lifestyle and the appropriate nutrition in order for them to maintain good health. Resources are also available in the website about the degenerative diseases that one may be have or a family member may experience as they age as well as health problems that comes with age and how to cope up these arising health issues and its effects to the rest of the family.
Types of Service Organizations:
- Hospice care is a concept of care for terminally ill ageing people or individuals allowing them to live the remaining days of their life with dignity. It does not focus on curing the disease but rather on making the elderly or resident live a comfortable way of life as possible. Its approach to care is palliative and not curative so to say. Its services include pain management, providing the needed physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual assistance of the elderly as well as their significant others in order for coping to take place. The manner of care rendered is not dependent on the agency but it is designed to the personal desire of the resident and the family.
- Residential Care is a type of service rendered to only a small group, usually a group lesser than 10 residents. Residents are housed in one residence with a home-like setting. Residents are offered lodging and meals are freshly prepared daily. In most cases, residents making use of these kind of service are those seniors who are still capable of doing things on their own at a certain level of independence but nevertheless nursing aids are present to assist them with activities of daily living like bathing, eating and grooming should the residents need it. This is a non-medical custodial care setting and the atmosphere of the homes is kept as personal as possible giving the residents a sense of being in their own homes. Apart from the assistance with the performance of activities of daily living the residents receive, the facility also provide them with custodial care like laundry services, housekeeping and transportation arrangement should the residents need to go to any scheduled appointments. In cases when residents have medications, a qualified staff will be there to remind them to continue with medication adherence, it not take part in its administration. Putting into consideration the ratio of care giver to residents, the elderly will surely be offered a lot of one-on-one tender loving care.
- Nursing home also known as skilled nursing facility, convalescent home, and rest home offers a standard of care to the elderly with medical needs outside of a hospital but in a residential setting. Custodial care is offered like assistance in getting out and in of bed, feeding, grooming and other activities of daily living. Laundry services are also available and meals are also prepared fresh daily. There are scheduled activities that the residents can participate in. What set them apart from the residential care facility is its capacity to render a high level of medical care. A nursing home has a licensed physician supervising the health care of the residents and skilled nursing care is available at all times, as well as nursing aides are available to assist and render care to the residents. In here, residents may have their own room or it may be a shared set up.
- Domiciliary Care is care provided in your own home. A care provider comes to regularly to a senior citizens home and help the resident with whatever assistance he or she needs be it with bathing, toileting, grooming, meal preparation, housekeeping and even laundry. The number of working hours for care provider depends on the resident requirements in some cases the care provider may even stay in or live with the resident. In this kind of care set up, the senior resident will experience one on one care with a health care provider in the comforts of his or her own home.
- Social Care Workers provide a varied range of services depending on the needs of the client and at times the financial capability of the client. When senior citizens are assessed to be experiencing geriatric conditions such as dementia, visual and hearing impairments and mobility restrictions but what to still live a life as normal as possible they often call the services of the social care providers. Social care workers come to the client’s home to assist them with bathing, toileting, and grooming. They can also be available to prepare fresh meals for the clients. The work hours rendered by the social care worker depends on how much help is needed by the client, giving the client as much independence as possible so as to maintain a sense of self pride and dignity. Social care workers also schedule interesting activities for the client to enjoy. Emotional support is also given as the adult go through the changes that come with age and advices are provided so that they may be able to cope up with these changes that may be caused by illnesses, age related problems and disabilities. The Social care worker also has the duty to see to it that the client regularly takes his/her medications and accompanies the client to scheduled appointments like doctor’s appointment or even hairdressers appointment and other personal appointments.
- Physiotherapy services. As a person ages, there are different changes that could happen regarding his health and mobility as well. Bones tend to get dense and a person may feel certain restrictions to mobility. These may be pathological in nature or due to trauma or injury. It is the role of the physiotherapist to help the elderly to fully use the functions of the body system to improve mobility and independence and keep the body systems to it maximum capacity. These services can also help in the prevention of the development of other problems that may arise later in life. In cases when improvement and maintenance of the body’s functional mobility is not achievable, the physiotherapist can still help to keep the elder pain free and comfortable as possible.
Stigma, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or a group of people have about something. And as an individual approaches old age, there are a couple of major stigmas that are evident in the society and should be addressed to.
Issue: Social Isolation of the Individual and their Family
There are many factors that could contribute to a elderly’s feeling of loneliness and social isolation. The loss of a family member or a spouse, experiencing a degenerative disease, living alone, poor health and retirement are some of those reasons.
There are certain factors that could contribute to an elderly’s feeling of loneliness and isolation and some of these are beyond our control. The loss of a spouse or a significant other is one that is inevitable for death is the end cycle of life but we, the care providers can do something to lessen the feeling of loneliness that comes a loss of a love one and thus helping the elderly cope up with the loss. In Kindly Residential Care Home, there should be a scheduled group activities for the clients, be it a small or a big group. By this, we are paving a chance for each resident to be socially active and be with other elderly who are also experiencing the same thing. Sharing your thoughts and feelings about something with someone who can sympathize can someone give the elderly a feeling that he or she is not alone. It would also be a good idea for let the residents give their suggestions and ideas on the kind of activities that would be done in the rest home, in this way they will feel a sense of belongingness knowing that they can take part in structuring the activities that they would be participating on. It would also be beneficial if remaining family members or even friends are encouraged to visit the residents on a regular basis in this way residents will know and feel that their existence is still of value to their family.