The concept of caregiving and the approach toward elderly care can differ significantly between cultures. International registered nurses and medical technologists working with Conexus MedStaff in the United States have commented on how different they find the caregiving culture here compared to what they know at home, so we created a quick guide so that you can familiarize yourself with common practices in the U.S.
While the definition of a caregiver, someone who provides essential assistance and emotional support to another person, may remain the same, the responsibility of caring for elderly family members in the United States does not necessarily fall to their relatives. Families may choose to hire someone to help provide care at home, or the person needing assistance may move into a care home, senior living facility, or similar accommodation.
Caregivers, whether working with a patient at home or in a care facility, assist with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication management, and transportation. They also provide emotional support, companionship, and often act as advocates for the elderly.
Placing the elderly in care homes
There are instances when elderly individuals are placed in care homes, which are commonly referred to as "nursing homes" or "assisted living facilities." Several factors contribute to this decision, including:
Health needs: As individuals age, they may develop complex health conditions requiring specialized medical attention and round-the-clock care. Care homes can provide the necessary medical support and supervision that families may not be adequately equipped to handle.
Safety concerns: Some elderly individuals face risks associated with living alone, including falls, accidents, and medical emergencies. Care homes offer a secure environment with trained staff capable of addressing immediate health concerns and providing assistance whenever required.
Emotional burden: Caregiving can be emotionally and physically demanding. Families may choose care homes to alleviate the strain on their own mental and physical well-being, ensuring their loved ones receive professional care by trained individuals.
The role of caregivers in the U.S. is vital in providing support and ensuring the well-being of aging individuals, with the objective of preserving the dignity, well-being, and independence of the elderly. Understanding the cultural norms of United States’ society will help you to settle into your new home. Find more blogs on U.S. society and culture here.