How Does Senior Care Differ in Countries Outside the U.S.?

In the United States there are many different care options for the elderly; there is family assistance, home care services, assisted living facilities, full time nursing care and residential centers. These options offer a variety of options to the various needs of elderly individuals and their families. How does the care offered in the United States differ from the care offered in different countries? Here are some things to consider when comparing senior care between the United States and other Countries:

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  • It is commonly heard that in foreign countries the elderly are more revered and better cared for than in the United States. There are cultural differences between the U.S. and other countries with how the elderly is treated in their society. It is often heard that the elderly family members live in the homes of another family member. Some countries have multiple generations living together, all supporting one another and taking on the care of all members of the family.  While this type of living situation is more common in many cases around the world many elderly everywhere are living on their own, without the in-home assistance from their family members. In the United States especially more and more elderly adults are choosing to live on their own, with less care than you would expect.  Welfare of the elderly continues to be a growing concern.
  • Within the United States there is rising health care costs that is higher than what is seen by other countries.  The levels of services available to the elderly as well as their substantially is higher in the U.S. than in other areas of the world.  In the United States elderly patients have better access to doctors, referral options to specialists and other long term care options for their health concerns.  The cost of these health care options is higher than what other countries tend to spend on their healthcare programs.
  • Health care that is given by members of the family can have a dramatic impact for the benefits of the elderly.  It is a misconception that in order to provide in home care for an elderly member that it has to be in the same home. It is not necessary to move an elderly relative into your home to be part of a care support system for them.  Families are working together and dividing responsibilities for the care and well-being of an elderly family member.  This is a common occurrence within other countries as well as the U.S. In addition to family care there are government agencies, social workers, health care professionals, and other authorities that are continuing to find ways to provide better assistance families be able to care for their elderly family. As services and options increase in availability and quality, the life expectancy of the growing population is increasing throughout the world.
  • One of the most significant differences between senior care in the United States and other countries is the lifestyles that the population adheres to. In other countries the elderly continue to live a more active lifestyle based on having healthier habits in younger years. With things like healthier eating habits and more active lifestyles.  The United States continues to fight a battle with obesity and poor health habits with all ages of the population. To benefit the seniors in our communities it is important to address global ideals of proper nutrition and an active lifestyle early in life.

As we continue to look at an aging population in the United States and around the world it is important to continue to look for options and solutions to aid in the aging process.  All around the world people are living longer and the society they live within needs to be able to keep up with their gaining, and provide care for them. The United States leads the way in the variety of services that are offered through home care, assisted living, and full time care facilities. But, it is always good to compare with other counties to improve upon and adapt new ways to provide the best possible care to our elderly.

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