Many seniors wish to grow old in their own home and in their familiar environment. However, since many everyday things, such as doing housework or shopping, are no longer so easy in old age, many people depend on support. As far as possible, this help is taken over by relatives, but many of them in old age cannot fall back on a family network. Senior service providers such as ADJUVANDO offer help and take on all the activities that children would also do for their parents. From the interview with Dr. Klaus Wemhoner.
the essentials in brief
- Senior service providers offer comprehensive practical and organizational services to support older people in activities that they can no longer do independently.
- Care and support offers are limited where professional medical care or permanent monitoring is necessary.
- A combination of structural adjustments, building services and services enables older people to live happily in their own four walls for as long as possible.
Cross out from A for pick-up service to Z for fence
The range of services offered by many service providers for the elderly is wide-ranging: from the classic care service, to doing the shopping, doing housework and repair and maintenance services, to organizational assistance such as accompanying you to visit the authorities and helping you to fill out important forms and applications. Some service providers even handle the correspondence with authorities and insurance companies – or even help with changing electricity providers. In particular, service offers to support active or practical activities that are no longer so easy for older people to carry out due to physical limitations are very popular. Demand is particularly high in the area of household services (apartment cleaning from vacuum cleaning to window cleaning, everyday housework such as washing and ironing, gardening, repair services, etc.). Clearing out and house clearances are also frequently in demand.
Despite the wide range of target groups, there are limits to the support provided by senior service providers
Although of course all inquiries are answered, regardless of who makes them, the group of older people who often live alone (generation 60+) is one of the main demand groups. Since many people have fewer financial resources in old age, it is important that the services offered by the often private service providers for the elderly can also be billed to the health or long-term care insurance companies. The care and relief services offered by ADJUVANDO for those affected or relatives are, for example, covered by the long-term care insurance fund if the necessary requirements are met. However, there are limits to the support of older people in their own four walls where it must be assumed that the customers are endangering themselves or others. For example, elderly people with dementia or other intellectual disabilities may forget to turn off the stove or have an inexplicable urge to run away. Selective service and support can then be replaced by 24-hour on-site support. However, if it is no longer medically possible to ensure care in your own home, moving to a nursing home is often the only last alternative.
Buildings + technology + service = an optimal combination
In addition, many senior citizens’ service providers also offer on-site advice on the barrier-free design of the apartment. dr Klaus Wemhöner, founder and managing director of ADJUVANDO, is most often confronted with questions about the barrier-free conversion of sanitary facilities (e.g. barrier-free entry into the shower and bath, raising toilets, etc.). Widening the doors according to DIN standards, eliminating tripping hazards and lowering light switches are among the most common conversion measures. In addition, support by means of AAL systems (Ambient Assisted Living) is a good way to ensure long-term independent living in the familiar living environment. Networking and monitoring mechanisms can be used, for example, to automatically identify electronic devices if the customer has forgotten them. Floor mats laid in the bedroom send a signal when the patient has fallen out of bed and door systems let you know as soon as someone enters or leaves the apartment. However, since this technology is still in its infancy, demand is still relatively low due to the high prices.
Ultimately, however, it is difficult to say which is more important. dr Klaus Wemhöner says in an expert discussion: “You can’t have one without the other.” Structural and spatial adjustment measures and building services as well as service and support services are essential prerequisites for enabling older people to live a carefree old age in their own four walls.