Doctor’s Diary September 15, 2017: Defining where a senior lives

(Snippets from the frontline)

Defining where a senior lives

Some of my elder seniors have lived in their home for over 50 years, yet age forces difficult decisions moving them out.

What are the options?

Going to a nursing home is not an option for most of my patients.  Despite an attempt to make them sound palatable (“Skilled Nursing Facility”), our seniors know the depressing sights, sounds, and smells remove any dignity or independence one might have.

Assisted Living is an apartment with room upkeep, a common eating area, medication management, and entertainment and exercise programs.

Board and Cares are houses where a resident has a private room or a roommate, with caregiver, daily meals, and medication support.

These are all expensive.

I propose expanding options using technology to assist us:  In-home robots, internet monitoring, and senior friendly single-story dwellings with appropriate lighting and ramps.  Even non-ambulatory residents will be emancipated, washed and cleaned hygienically, fed, and placed in their computerized power-wheelchair and car.

Cost?  Figure it out.  It might be cheaper, while elder seniors won’t have to move out of their home with their dignity and independence spared. 

They deserve it.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.


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