There are currently over 55.8 million individuals over the age of 65 in the U.S, meaning seniors account for roughly 16.8% of the U.S. population.¹. Estimates indicate that number is expected to jump to 73.1 million seniors by the year 2030. As the senior population continues to grow, services that they require and desire will as well. So, what are the services that matter most to seniors? Let’s take a look!
Personal Care Services
As an individual ages, being able to perform the duties they once could becomes more difficult. This can range from cleaning, maintenance of the inside and outside of their home, cooking, shopping, grooming, and more. There are several ways that elderly people can obtain help with necessary personal care services. This may include hiring a personal care services company, a friend, or someone they know. It could also involve looking into an independent or assisted living community where all of these needs will be met and more.
Seniors are at an increased risk of ailments that oftentimes require medication. Managing medication and making sure that medicines are taken at the right time and under the right conditions is important. For example, some medications require that they be taken with food, others require an empty stomach, while some cannot be taken with certain foods. Many medications need to be taken a certain number of times per day, while others must be taken several hours apart. There is an extensive list of medications which cannot be taken together to avoid serious complications.
Medication management can become very complex, and it is vital that medicine is managed properly to avoid life-threatening consequences such as overdosing, harmful interactions, or missed doses. There are several ways an individual can better manage their medications such as working with a caregiver, utilizing technology that is designed specifically for this purpose, and creating a system that keeps things organized and helps the individual stay on track.
Vision and mobility tend to decline more readily in older adults. This can impair their ability to drive, bike, or use other means of transportation. It is important for seniors to be able to get out and about and fulfill their needs and desires such as shopping, doctors appointments, entertainment, and socialization. Not being able to drive greatly hinders their activities and can cause issues such as isolation and inability to meet their needs. Having access to reliable transportation services is necessary. There are low cost services, sometimes free, specifically for seniors that provide transportation such as elderly transportation services and the local senior citizen center. Here individuals can call and schedule an appointment in order to get to and from their desired destination. Individuals that live in senior living facilities often have access to transportation either through the assisted living homes or the facility can arrange transportation for them.
Sadly, there are more than 14.7 million seniors living alone. This can result in loneliness, social isolation, and the health risks that accompany them. Isolation increases the risk of unwanted conditions greatly; the chance of developing dementia increases by 50%, mental health disorders by 26%, premature mortality by 26%, heart disease by 29%, and stroke by 32%.² No matter what one’s age is, social interaction is crucial for overall well being. Spending meaningful time with others helps develop and nourish people’s mental, emotional, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual health. There are several ways seniors’ social needs can be met. This can include becoming involved in clubs of interest, the local senior center, adult day care centers, and moving to a senior living community.
Having access to healthcare is essential, especially if one’s health requires several different types of healthcare services. Individuals may require seeing their primary care provider, physical therapist, optometrist, dentist, chiropractor, massage therapist, counselor/mental health therapist, physical trainer, dermatologist, and more. The great news is that many healthcare providers are recognizing that it can be difficult for elderly individuals to get to their providers’ physical locations. That is why many companies that tailor to seniors are offering mobile services. Individuals can also utilize home health services, which provide many of these offerings in the comfort of their home or senior living community.
Safety and Security
Safety and security is top of mind for many, especially if they are living alone. Some of the top safety concerns for older adults are falls, burns, poisonings, and being a victim of criminals who target the elderly. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.³ Feeling secure and safe is key for one’s overall wellness. Common ways for seniors to enhance their safety and security is to install a security system, motion lights, secure handrails, declutter their living spaces, remove rugs and throws, install anti-slip tread, and make sure that the footwear worn has traction. Further, being up to date on the latest scams that target seniors is needed. Many individuals enjoy the safety and security that comes with living in a 55+ community or assisted living home.
Making The Most of It
Seniors play a vital role in society. As the 65+ age population increases substantially over the next twenty years, recognizing their needs and desires and providing them with viable solutions will be top of mind. Looking at services such as senior living communities that can accommodate and fulfill many of their needs will help alleviate the negative consequences that can result when they aren’t met.
(1) United Health Foundation. (2023). America’s Health Rankings analysis of CDC WONDER, Single-Race Population Estimates. Retrieved from www.AmericasHealthRankings.org
(2) Consumer Affairs. (2021). Elderly loneliness statistics: Adults report feeling more isolated in 2021. Retrieved from https://www.consumeraffairs.com/health/elderly-loneliness-statistics.html#:~:text=28%25%20of%20seniors%20live%20alone,Stroke%3A%20Risk%20increases%20by%2032%25
(3) National Council on Aging. (2023). Get the facts on fall prevention. Retrieved from https://ncoa.org/article/get-the-facts-on-falls-prevention
Let Us Help You Today!
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about careers at The Cottages and the care that our residents receive at our Idaho locations. We are experts in assisted living, memory care, respite, adult day care, and have been serving seniors for over 20 years. Our small home-like senior living homes and specially-trained team members offer an atmosphere that promotes the well-being of your loved one.
If you have any questions, would like to tour one of the Idaho assisted living or memory care homes, or speak with one of our licensed administrators, please fill out the form below. Please mention which location(s) you’re interested in.