Assisted Living around the World: Understanding the Similarities and Differences
It is common knowledge around the world that the United States has one of the best healthcare services and medical standards anywhere. It is especially true for senior care. The country puts a strong emphasis on assisted living facilities that offer excellent care without taking away independence.
But what is assisted living like in other parts of the world?
Here is what we know:
Many countries in Europe and Asia follow longstanding traditions that involve delegating long-term care to the women in the household.
In fact, in some cultures, taking care of the elderly in the family were obligations related to childbirth or homemaking. It’s not uncommon to see families in shared living arrangements. This makes taking care of their elderly easier and saves money.
Many developed countries still have most elderly living in their own homes as opposed to being in assisted living.
Seniors who need specialized care due to a medical condition are sent to a hospital instead of senior care. Countries like France and Japan don’t even have facilities that are classified as nursing homes.
The United Kingdom has assisted living facilities, but admission isn’t based on the needs of a resident but on reimbursement.
Before getting into senior care, seniors go through evaluation by a local council according to rules and standards. Senior care facilities in the UK are regulated by different organizations in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Italy’s Universal Health Care system doesn’t cover long-term care for seniors.
Therefore most seniors stay at home rather than in assisted living. Family members will normally care for them.
If they don’t have any family members to take this responsibility, seniors will be placed in an acute hospital instead.
Denmark’s Universal Health Care system includes senior care.
While the country saw a huge boom in assisted living facilities in the 50s and 60s, there has been a decline in construction ever since. There is now a stricter standard for admitting residents into these facilities.
Before admition into assisted living seniors go through an evolution to determine eligibility. This is also evident in neighboring countries like the Netherlands.
Finally, Switzerland is promoting home-based care of seniors causing a huge drop in senior care facilities in the country.
This is also the same with Sweden where most seniors prefer to stay at home rather than being in assisted living.
However, there has been a shift in senior care in Sweden because more patients are now moving into senior care facilities instead of staying in acute hospitals if they are suffering from a chronic illnesses, terminal conditions, and dementia.
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