Ageing-in-place allows the elderly to remain in residence of their choice while receiving the care and support they need, from a team skilled in caregiving. Kasmiah Mustapha speaks to the CEO of Care Concierge
BY next year, the number of Malaysians aged 60 and above is projected to reach 3.5 million. The figure will increase to 6.3 million in 2040.
An article on myforesight.my mentions the loss of independence as a potential part of the ageing process, as are diminished physical ability and age discrimination. Generally, the ageing process includes biological, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual changes.
However, while there will be challenges for the elderly, ensuring that they still have a good quality of life is important. One of the solutions is ageing-in-place — this allows the elderly to remain in the residence of their choice while receiving the care and support they need. For many, it is the best option as they would continue to be independent and remain active.
Care Concierge Chief Executive Officer and founder Martin Yap says ageing-in-place enables the elderly or care recipient to receive the full benefits of healthcare in familiar surroundings. They can be watched over and receive the necessary care from trained caregivers at home rather than at nursing homes or hospitals.
“It also allows the family to remain together as a unit. This also saves time and money, as otherwise, family members may have to travel to a nursing facility and eventually, visits may dwindle due to the distance.”
Care Concierge, a healthcare provider, dispatches nurses, therapists and caregivers to the home for post-hospitalisation and eldercare. They help manage Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and offer specialised care for dementia patients, stroke recovery, cancer, post-hospitalisation, as well as conditions that require medical procedures and therapies.
Below, Yap explains the benefits of ageing-in-place or in-place home care.
IS AGEING-IN-PLACE A NEW CONCEPT IN MALAYSIA?
It is relatively new as the misconception is that once a person is elderly, they must go to a nursing home, or perhaps hire a nurse. There is also a difference between nurses and caregivers. Nurses specialise in procedures such as wound cleaning and tube changing while caregivers have specifically been trained and are experienced in caring for older persons, or post-hospitalisation patients once they are discharged from the hospital.
They also help with ADLs that involves daily self-care activities such as eating, bathing and getting dressed.
IS AGEING-IN-PLACE IDEAL FOR EVERYONE?
It caters to the needs of people who want to remain in their homes, close to their family. It is also suitable for providing proper care as untrained foreign domestic workers are not the solution. They are not trained to help with ADLs, prevent bedsores, lift and carry someone, or recognise signs of deterioration. Some patients also require specialised care, for example, if they have dementia or suffer from a stroke.
WHO ELSE WOULD BENEFIT FROM THE SERVICES PROVIDED?
It is also suitable for post-hospitalisation care such as those who have undergone orthopaedic surgery. They need a caregiver to assist with ADLs, as well as a physiotherapist for rehabilitation who can come to their homes to provide the service.
Having a caregiver at home will also offer some respite for family members who are primary caregivers. This reduces the disruptions to their daily life.
However, they should know that the caregivers are not maids as they only cater to the care recipient. They cannot be expected to clean the home and cook for the family.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF SERVICES OFFERED?
Caregiving includes the following on a daily or live-in basis:
* Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
* Diary and vitals recording
* Dispensing medication
* Grooming and basic physiotherapy
* Mind stimulation exercises
* Preparation of meals
* Daily task and reporting
Nursing procedures include:
* Naso-gastric tube feeding
* Catheter change
* PEG tube change
* Complex wound dressing
WHO ARE THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SERVICES?
Trained and certified caregivers, nurses and physiotherapists. They work closely with care managers who will liaise with the clients (family of the care recipient) and oversee the caregiver’s wellbeing. Our doctors and nurses will also be involved in cases where medical care is required. Each case is personalised to the care recipient’s needs.
Some elderly may be relatively healthy, so other forms of services focus on active living such as our daycare, where members can come for the day while their family members are at work. At the daycare, they are cared by our nurses and caregivers, to ensure that they have a safe and comfortable space in a lounge environment with catered food and activities to keep them occupied throughout the day.
WHAT ARE THE ROLES OF THE FAMILY MEMBERS?
Provide emotional support and companionship for the care recipient. Some aspects of daily care can be undertaken by the primary caregiver. Be involved in the life of the elderly as it contributes towards improving their overall happiness and quality of life.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF IN-PLACE CARE COMPARED TO SENIOR HOMES OR HOSPITALS?
Home is familiar and a comfortable place for the elderly. The family members also remains together and the elderly does not feel alienated. Senior homes and assisted-living facilities are for those keen on making friends and getting involved in community activities. However, they keep the family apart.
Hospitals are not a place to age. They are a temporary place for sick people to get better.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF AGEING-IN-PLACE IN MALAYSIA?
They need to be aware of the financial challenges. Preparing the home and age-proofing it to make it a conducive environment may require some minor renovations. There is also the consideration of how much space is available to accommodate the whole family.
At the moment, most people think that home care only involves hiring a nurse, not realising that caregivers are better and affordable. They also think they have to be the primary caregiver or having maids to look after the elderly. They are unaware that having caregivers for in-place home care is a better option.
Further details at www.mycareconcierge.com