The situation today with elderly care is getting worse. We are heading for a crisis with many more people to be taken care of than there are people taking care of them. At the moment one nurse or practical nurse can be taking care of 12 elderly people during one shift unlike Denmark for example where they only have 7 per nurse/practical nurse. How to fix it? you can’t unless there are more people that are going to school and studying to do the work. There are people ageing more and more and not enough spaces in elderly care homes and not enough nurses and resources to take care of them all.
We often hear about how elderly people are treated badly in the homes or even home care but do we really know what it is like to work there? The staff doesn’t treat them badly or neglect them on purpose. Its hard work to take care of so many people in such little time. The morning shift starts at 7:00 and ends at 15:00 evening shift starts at 14:00 or 15:00 and ends at 21:00. Many have shifts that go from morning to evening and then morning and so on. It is hard on the body and mind and elderly care is also very physical work and you can easily hurt your back lifting someone the wrong way even a little bit. Nurses often have their lunch break in the same room where the people living there eat so take can see whats happening and if they need to get up and go do something they are close by. On a busy day they might not have time for a break or it lasts for 5-10min.
We would need to built about two thousand new nursing homes in the next 25 years to keep up with the demand and even if we built them who is going to work in them and where do we find the money to built and hire staff . Now a days with all kinds of technology we can use some of it to help us for elderly people living at home they have different kinds of software’s and tablets to help remind them to eat and take their medication and people also get to live at home for longer, in elderly homes these kinds of tablets wont work but they have new machines that help them lift the people or carry then for a short distance which makes it easier on the nurses back and helps with getting some things done faster. New technology is not necessarily the answer to all these questions on how to make it better but its a start and it helps. Technology will never be able to replace a human nurse and we shouldn’t aim at replacing them but now that there is a possibility with technology that we didn’t have before we should use it to our advantage