Elderly care is different in America and the European nations. While many countries in the Euro zone still prefer traditional methods of caring for the elderly, the US follows the idea of nursing homes. Do these fundamental differences between elderly care on the two continents make a difference? Let’s understand this along with Acorn Stairlifts.
How does American and European elderly care differ?
At least 58% of female and 47% of male retirees will need long-term care in the US. At least 90% of these retirees do not intend to go to nursing homes, even though it is one of the most easily accessible options available to them. Nursing homes have traditionally been the option for retirees needing intensive or long-term care in the US.
In Europe, families have a tighter structure because of which the elderly are taken care of by the families. Traditionally, families in Italy, the UK, Belgium and Germany would care for their elderly within the house itself. In fact, if the families are not available to provide full-time care giving, then staggered care is mostly available. Nurses or other qualified and trained care givers visit the homes of the elderly, providing them cleaning, food and washing services.
It is important to note that the European countries are more inclined towards providing a homely, more traditional and more comfortable environment to their elderly. Even though the US provides about 61% help in nursing home expenses through Medicaid and other insurance systems, many people still prefer to stay at home.
It is universal, many elderly people want to be with their families. It is a very delicate age where the love and support of their families could be of crucial importance to their well-being. At nursing homes, most retirees could feel lonely and depressed. Limited interactions with their loved ones could cause these states to develop further, leading to unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
Which approach is right?
Staggered care is always superior quality as compared to nursing homes. However, we must also note that affordability could be a major factor in this case. 75% of the US adult children believe that their parents should have independence. Less than 4% of seniors in the US live with their relatives for care. However, the kids still end up paying around $7,000-$14,000 as caring expenses for their ageing parents.
There are several day care and short-term nursing home stay options that can help children find the right care options for their parents. In Italy, only people who do not have families are admitted to full-time nursing homes. In the US, adopting such a model could be difficult as most people are unable to care for their elderly, even if they are working double shifts.
We all can agree that care giving is difficult and demands a lot of time and patience, along with money. While looking for the best options for ageing parents, children can also focus on their emotional and wellbeing by spending time with them regularly. This helps in making life appear more fulfilled to the elderly.