By Ethelle Lord
Alzheimer’s is quietly changing the face of long-term care. Every 70 seconds a person is receiving the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in the United States (http://www.louisianamedicalnews.com/alzheimer-s-diagnosed-every-70-seconds-in-the-u-s-cms-1500). A family becomes emotionally, physically and financially responsible for the care of that individual with Alzheimer’s.
Baby boomers who must place their loved one in long-term care are demanding partnerships with the management of these facilities. They are insisting on having an active input never seen before in long-term care. This new phenomenon is credited to the rapid growth of Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the exhaustive demands of caregiving all
over the world. The caregiver’s partnership agreement allows family caregivers to complete their cycle of responsibility to the individual with Alzheimer’s. Such partnership agreements offer governments and organizations a rare and unique opportunity to improve their services without having to hire more professional caregivers while benefiting from family caregiver support, knowledge and skills.
In some areas of the world funds are being cut by governments to organizations providing long-term care at a time when the demands on services are increasing. This is putting pressure on an already growing caregiving crisis. Only now in other areas of the world governments are contemplating the possibility of establishing long-term care facilities due to the rapid growth Alzheimer’s and the pressure it is putting on their existing systems.
The partnership agreements are introduced at a time when admissions of individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia into long-term care are is on the increase all over the world. Although not everyone ends up in long-term care, there needs to be a safety net for those who find themselves having to complete their cycle of caregiving responsibility (stages of family caregiving see http://www.remembering4you.com/articles/stay-well.html) and a way of assuring the best quality of care possible for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
Depending on where you live in the world, family values dictate the best form of caregiving. For example in China and India it is family members who take full responsibility for the care of the person with Alzheimer’s, while in the UK and America family members are responsible for as long as they are able to provide the care but if necessary they have the option of long-term care services to help complete the cycle of caregiving. No matter where in the world Alzheimer’s strikes new perspectives are welcome.
New perspectives of dealing with the enormous ethical, personal and financial responsibilities of Alzheimer’s care are inviting a real and positive change for all of us. It does not have to be a human tragedy resulting in a caregiving crisis. The call to all governments, organizations, and family caregivers around the world is to change the way services are funded and provided for the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s partnerships are a breath of fresh air for governments and businesses, not to mention family caregivers, who seek to maintain and continue to improve the quality of care while maintaining or minimizing the costs of operation.
About the author: Ethelle G. Lord has her Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix (2010). Dr.Lord is an adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior and author. She has her own coaching business at Remembering for You (dot) Com and Teamwork Coaching (dot) Com. From 1992-1996 she had a private practice in mental health counseling; in the late 80s she was a paralegal for Legal Services for the Elderly; and from 1992-1996 she was a two-term President of the Maine Gerontological Society of Maine. Ethelle is married to Maj. Larry S. Potter, USAF Retired and lives in Maine. Visit us today at http://remembering4you.com and contact the author at Info@remembering4you.com