The issues affecting the aged, particularly those of 80-year-old and older remain very urgent in the XXI century. This entails an increase in demand for health and social care services, and is a challenge for the social state economy. To identify the needs of aged in medical care is first necessary to determine the state of their health.
With all the variety of needs of aged people in health and social care, the majority of researchers specify the needs in long-term care (care at home, in nursing homes), and the needs in short-term forms of care (hospitals, rehabilitation).
According to the research of group of aged people (average age about 62 years old, women – 57%, men – 43%), the following needs have been identified:
- A need for assistance: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, behavioral modification, dressing, assistance with eating, social contact, occupational, speech, auditory therapy, transport services, nursing home care.
- A need for special aid devices: glasses, wheelchairs, walkers, grab bars, canes, hearing aids, adaptations for eating.
- A need for training adaptation skills: communication, dressing, undressing, using the toilet, eating food, hygiene and grooming, walking, compensation of visual and auditory disorders.
- A need for health care activity: visiting doctor, visiting other specialists, health state monitoring, dieting.
With age, the proportion of older people in need of care increases rapidly. It is noted that about 50% of 85-year-olds and older are in need of personal assistance. It was assumed that by 2020, the need for long-term care for persons 85 years and older, as the most risk group, will be doubled.
According to the experts, up to 20% of aged people have various functional disorders; they need basic support in their daily activities. However, most of them – 70% – live at home, in the community, receiving care at home. Less than 10% of older people with functional disabilities receive services from the formal sector, with about 75% of the elderly living at home need help of family and friends, that is the informal sector.
More than 80% of the agencies for the aged in the United States noted the following types of needs of their elderly patients: specific medical problems and medical care, in medical devices, in aid of mental health problems clients to pay for services, social support. An assessment of the issues affecting aged is a systematic process of gathering information on the aged people, which allows to increase the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment plan.
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