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Community Resources for Older Adults, Essay Example

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Essay

The continuum of services concept embraces aligning a series of intervening agencies with activities that ensure adults maintenance of optimum health during their senior years. According to Wacker and Roberto (2008) it extends beyond the care concept towards a more holistic approach intervention at this later stage of life (Wacker & Roberto, 2008).

It is an all- inclusive health care strategy embodying geriatric assessments, hospitalization, house call programs; hospital at home services; assisted living facilities; rehabilitation programs; wellness therapies; inpatient consultation; nursing home placements; social services assistance, palliative care and hospice.

Formal services are usually addressed by state entities and they mainly pertain to dispensation of proper health care. In formal continuum care settings older adults are expected to comply with doctors’ visits when scheduled; undertake diagnostic tests; consent to inpatient consultation and education regarding changing roles due to aging. Formal day care programs organized by the state or nonprofit agencies can be a requirement depending on the health status of these individuals.

Informal services are not compulsory, but considered social enhancements. They include day care centers operated by private not-for profit organizations; fitness clubs; recreational centers that organize competitions through games; music clubs; fitness centers; religious activities and senior congregations where they are grouped according to their medical conditions. Within these groups they exchange supporting ideas to help in coping with long term conditions.

Importantly, there may be many resources within a community offering services mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs.Thedifference between resources and continuum services is that resources represent structures through which services are delivered to older adults. For example, hospitals, doctors, nurses, clubs are all resources through which various aspects of services are delivered. One of the dysfunctions occurring within societies and the health care delivery system in many countries is that numerous resources may be available, but poor accessibility to services.

This encompasses social determinants allowing some older adults more privileges,especially, the rich who seem to have more access to resources than the poor. In societies where continuum of services depends on insurance coverage it is obvious that some services would not be accessible to the poor because they may not have the financial resources required to receive them.

Therefore, this is the reason for non-profit private organizations blending resources with public sectorensuring that continuum of services is universal to older adult members of  the society. Publicsector designs continuum services’ policies and even applies funding through Medicaid and Medicare. In many developed nations public continuum of care expenditure is paid either by private insurances or individuals and can be considered to some extent non-profit. Private continuum of care is usually for profit.

There are many examples of non-profit continuum of care in the community.  Recognizable entities are huge establishments providing assisted living accommodation at affordable costs. These seniors based on their retirement income gain admission and pay form their pension for accommodation and boarding.

However, these retirement homes or assisted living communities must comply with regulations from Agency for Health Care Administration regarding spacing, diet, fixtures in the building applicable to senior citizen constraints of life. They also must undergo yearly inspection and staff submit to yearly physical and tuberculosis testing.

To assist in expenses certain subsidies are dispensed and privileges granted to these non-profit organizations for engaging in this continuum service. In many societies public sector provides clinic services and accessibility to nursing home care or rehabilitation. Private sector non-profit links resources to support this system in helping older adults enjoy a better quality of life if they cannot live alone but still healthy enough to participate in life’s joys.

Structure of the aging network based on discussion in class, in my opinion fosters continuum of care. The programs speak for themselves when resources are examined. They are aimed at providing services in key areas such as aging and disability intervention through rehabilitation of the older adult.

Health prevention and wellness programs, nutrition education; family care giver counseling and community living programs add to the gamut of resources and services extended in the continuum of care intervention undertaken by aging network of American operating in 56 states across the country. Besides, their goal is to invest public and private funds towards initiating efforts for improvement and maintenance of quality life experiences.

Services

There are nine categories of services provided under the American Older Adult Act.  They include supportive intervention for caregivers/relatives; congregate and home meals deliveries; ombudsman’s privileges; in-home execution of care; special needs cases attendance by physician/therapists; elder abuse reporting and representation; preventative healthcare and outreach programs whereby the elderly participate in day care activities and social interaction events. These services are financed by both private and public sector funds through Medicaid, Medicare, private insurances and funding organizations.

Comparing OAA with Medicaid, Medicare

The Older American Act is a welfare structured piece of legislation philosophically providing comprehensive documentation regarding execution of services and specific responsibilities of agencies offering services to Older Americans. It emerged from situations of elderly abuse by children and loss of respect of younger generations.

It is aimed at protecting the rights of this vulnerable population from exploitation due to their age and inconsistencies in judgment, which may create vulnerability. Also, the act is expected to provide opportunitiesfor older Americans to live independently as soon as possible.

It differs from Medicaid and Medicare in that the purpose is different. Medicaid is a form of health insurance designed to pay for extended health care services which Medicare does not cover. For example Medicare does not pay for long term care. Hence, Medicaid would take care of this cost for the elderly over 65years who is on Medicare.

Medicare when separated from Medicaid is an insurance coverage offered to all Americans over 65 years old to assist in paying for their health care expenses if not admitted to a nursing home facility.

Example of an OAA title 111 Program

The Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly known as PACE can be considered a Title 111 intervention. PACE’s aim is consistent with OAA’s philosophy of sustaining the independence of elderly Americans as long as possible though a variety of activities conducted in their various communities.

This aim is fulfilled through executing a number of services. These strategies embody delivering medical and supportive services to the client’s home; providing a comprehensive continuum care services for the elderly with long term diseases such as diabetes, hypertension early stages of Alzheimer; evolving dementia while maintaining their independence at home for as long as the y remain healthy.

Specific interventions aimed towards independence are adult day care. When clients attend this center they are evaluated by a nurse and a physical examination is conducted by a primary care doctor. They then receive occupational and recreational therapies; meals; nutritional counseling; social work and personal care education.

PACE continuum health care methods are similar to any other physician’s procedures inclusive of history and routine diagnostic testing in monitoring the elderly’s health. If needed home health care is offered as well as routine social services, prescription drugs are delivered to the patient’s home and medical specialist treatments are all wrapped in the package of a very effective Title 111 model program. Specialists’ services include audiology, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, and speech therapy.

Gerontologists Prediction of Community Based Services

Theoretical Model

Continuity theory argues that adult development is based on the assumption that people invest their memories in mental pictures that arrange ideas about themselves and the world around them. These ideas develop as people age. By the time adults attain middle agethey know what their strengths and weaknesses are. In turn these same ideas create choices that enable them to exploit their strengths at length.

Choices would allow older adults to decide whether they need help and if they do who and where to access it. Often they select familiar people and situations to interact with regarding their emerging limitations. This explains how responsive they would be to community resources or services of a formal or informal nature. Essentially, the coping strategies older adults used all their lives will determine whether they will seek help or at what point they would.

Application of model to Case Study

An 80 year old retired physician lives alone with her two dogs in an apartment complex. She became very frail and obviously unable to care for herself and dogs. The tow dogs wore pampers, she was un-kept and her apartment had a disturbing stench. However, she continues to live independently. To compound the dilemma her only surviving relative was a brother who lived in another state.

In applying the continuity theory to help seeking behaviors in this case study it is obvious that the doctor enjoyed independence all her. These are the mental pictures she formed about her life and they have been sustained though into old age. Nothing will change that perception. Besides she is a doctor who knows about health care and personal hygiene. These ideas of the self would definitely make it difficult for any intervention to be accepted readily.

Question 1V- Community Resources

Transportation

Transportation for the elderly in many states encompass special transportation provided by the state where by people over 65 years old receive reduction in fares or free pass to ride public buses. For those who do not like buses there are special transportation services such as STS which charges $2.50 for a round trip. The companion pays a fare as well. The policy is that senior citizen must enjoy a quality of life comparable to that which they shared during early and middle adulthood.

Funding continues to be the challenge for all these social services intervention. Many countries are moving away from the social welfare philosophy towards a neo-liberalist society. The focus is on cutting spending for health care and services to the poor and elderly who happen to be the minorities in some channeled into social security to prolong access to these services at the same quality in future.

Health Care

Health care for the elderly over65 years of age is supplemented by Medicare. People who have personal insurance can still receive Medicare after they reach age 65. The elderly are asked to support Medicare coverage with an advantage plan easy access to parts A, B, C and where applicable.

These plans when combined with Medicare allow the elder to visit a primary care physician free or with low copayments. Physicians and specialist operate within a net-works and they must confirm to using resources and services within the network specified on the plan. Medicare does not pay for long term care.However, when this becomes necessary Medicaid intervenes and takes over the cost. Serious implications are that within this health care frame- work the elderly populations are programed into a system, which may not be to their advantage, especially when often they have not power to choose doctors.

Reference

Wacker, R., & Roberto, K. (2008).Community Resources for Older Adults. Sage Productions

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