Describe what you found
The population of older adults is rapidly increasing because of the constant increase in life expectancy. It is projected that in the next 40 years the number of older adults will be higher than that of the younger people. Therefore, the number of older adults is estimated to grow by more than the double rate from 880 million in 2012 to slightly above 2 billion in 2050. Concurrently, aging is associated with increased functional disabilities and a rise in morbidity rates. Many older adults desire to age-in-place, to remain independent, autonomous, and active. They also want to age at home where family and friends surround them. The paper comprehensively describes an article by Lecovich (2014) that describes aging in place (AIP) among older adults.
Aging in place (AIP) is the ability to experience a safe, comfortable, and independent stay in one’s homestead or community regardless of age, ability level, or income (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017). Lecovich (2014) begins by exploring AIP and gives the various dimensions associated with the term such as physical, social, psychological, and cultural dimension. According to Lecovich (2014), AIP deals with the strategies of making a home more functional and less risky for the elderly population by providing numerous home aids to assist in various aspects of daily life. From the older person’s point of view, the goal of aging is to stay in their homes for an extended period since it helps in preserving their identity and well-being, and they have control of their lives (Anderson et al., 2018).
From the policymakers’ point of view, the goal of aging is to provide alternative care for older adults in their communities because institutional care is much more expensive than providing care in the community (Black et al., 2015). The author also describes some of the programs designed to facilitate AIP. These include home-based programs, age-friendly communities, and AIP in long-term-care facilities. Lecovich (2014) also describes the factors that policymakers need to consider before implementing AIP. These are community planning, housing programs, health, land use, transportation, and social services.
How it can help older adults transition back to the community
AIP is an important strategy that enhances the person-environment fit by improving personal control, living conditions, and reducing environmental pressure (Lecovich, 2014). This implies that older adults should massively embrace the idea because of its positive results. The author educates people on community care which is the care offered to the elderly population in their own homes or communities rather than in homes or long-term care facilities. By reading the article, the older adults can also get to learn of formal home-and community based supportive services and assistive technology devices that have been developed to meet the demands of the older people (Kim et al., 2017). They include home care services, home-hospice, home health care, telemedicine, and tele-homecare. Lecovich (2014) also describes age-friendly communities and AIP in long-term care facilities. All these help in acquainting older people with strategies for AIP and therefore one can choose the most effective method to help in the transition back to the community.
Whether the article is helpful or not
The article by Lecovich (2014) is useful to older adults, healthcare providers, and policymakers. It informs older adults on some of the programs that have been developed to facilitate AIP. For instance, the Global Age-Friendly Cities Project, a program launched by WHO purposely to promote the physical and psychosocial well-being of the older adults thus helping to improve the quality of life of the whole society (Szanton et al., 2016).
Other programs include home care services, home-hospice, and home health care. The article enlightens nurses and social workers in the role of caregiving such as providing help with assistive devices, operating specialized medical equipment and ensuring older people adhere to the prescribed medication regimen. Lecovich (2014) also implies that policymakers should give more attention to community planning, housing programs, health, land use, transportation, and social services due to the increasing number of baby boomers.
How healthcare providers (nurses or social workers) might be able to assist the client in getting access to these things or who they might recommend them to
The caregivers have a role to play in assisting the clients on using assistive devices, ensuring they take medications as prescribed, and assisting in activities of daily living (ADLs). The healthcare professionals help in sourcing for gerotechnologies and assistive devices from respective organizations and make them available to the older adults. These help in the person-environment interaction, hence, helping the older adults to age-in-place and alleviate caregiving burden (Lecovich, 2014).
AIP is the ability to experience a safe, comfortable, and independent stay in one’s homestead or community regardless of age, ability level, or income. There are various programs which have been designed to facilitate AIP. These include home-based programs like home care services, home-hospice, and home health care and community-based programs such as the Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. The social workers perform a variety of roles in caring for older adults including in assisting the clients on using assistive devices, ensuring they take medications as prescribed, and helping in ADLs.
1. Anderson, K., Dabelko-Schoeny, H., and Fields, N. L. (2018). Home-and community-based services for older adults: Aging in context. Columbia University Press.
2. Black, K., Dobbs, D., and Young, T. L. (2015). Aging in community: Mobilizing a new paradigm of older adults as a core social resource. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 34(2), 219-243.
3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2017). Healthy places terminology. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/terminology.htm
4. Iecovich, E. (2014). Aging in place: From theory to practice. Anthropological notebooks, 20(1), 21-33. 5. Kim, K. I., Gollamudi, S. S., and Steinhubl, S. (2017). Digital technology to enable aging in place. Experimental gerontology, 88, 25-31.
6. Szanton, S. L., Leff, B., Wolff, J. L., Roberts, L., and Gitlin, L. N. (2016). Home-based care program reduces disability and promotes aging in place. Health Affairs, 35(9), 1558-1563.