In the olden days, the life expectancy of an average male was around 50 years; and of a female was around 55 years. However, these days people live much longer due to several reasons, such as better medical treatment and enhanced living conditions. Currently, men are expected to live up to 75 years and women are expected to live up to 80 years. And the number of people aged 65 years and above, is anticipated to increase every year.
These senior citizens prefer to remain independent and retain their dignity for the rest of their life. Yet, as they grow older there is a tendency to become dependent on other people; due to ill health, disability, weakness etc. Hence, as our population ages, caregiving becomes essential as well as important.
It basically refers to looking after older adults and providing them regular assistance in the form of nursing and other supportive care.
During the earlier days, all the aged and sick persons received proper attention and care from their young children and other family members. However, nowadays most of the younger generation people have a busy work schedule and modern lifestyle. Also, some aged persons either live alone or stay far away from their families.
Hence, there was a need and demand for a dedicated person, usually known as a caregiver; either from within the family or outside, to look after elderly and ailing people.
A caregiver offers required support to an aged, sick, injured or disabled person; that includes medical help and other associated care. These care recipients may either be living in their residence or in some health care institution.
Generally a family member, relative or friend; including an adult child or a spouse is referred as a primary or voluntary caregiver. They may have to give up their work in order to take care of ailing persons. Hence, professional care is now provided by a skilled person; to assist older adults in their daily activities and related health requirements. These home health care services enable elderly patients to lead an independent, better and healthier life.