For more information call: (614) 448-4055 or email

Introduction to Elder Care

Kathryn Patricelli, MA

elderly folks image by Anthony Easton (lic)One of the biggest decisions a family may have to make is to determine how to provide care for elderly parents or relatives (e.g. elders) when those elders are no longer able to live independently. Families resolve this complex and emotionally charged issue in a variety of ways. Some families find ways to provide elders with sufficient assistance such that they are able to safely remain in their own homes. Other families move their elders in with them so as to personally provide care. Still other families find that placing their elder into a care facility is the best solution for all involved.

Finding appropriate and affordable elder care and assistance is challenging. Determining exactly what type of care will best fit elders' needs is a time consuming process that often requires consultation with medical and eldercare professionals. Locating affordable appropriate and reliable care options is also time consuming. Different types of care are available in different places, while costs and quality vary widely. Identifying and locating appropriate and affordable local elder care resources can become a full time job that is stressful for all participants. Even employers and coworkers can be affected when the strain of eldercare planning makes caregivers less effective at their workplace.

This document is designed as a guide to help families sort through the various issues involved in selecting and locating appropriate eldercare services. The document begins by describing different issues that might cause an elder to require care. It goes on to discuss guidelines for selecting an appropriate level of care suited to a given elder's needs. Next, the various types of generally available elder care are described, followed by a discussion of characteristics that should be considered when evaluating care facilities or in-home care providers. The document ends with a discussion of issues that can arise for families and for elders during the transition into eldercare.


Reader Comments

home care - Sally - Oct 15th 2011

Taking care of elders is not an easy task I think it's much more complex than caring for a child  because with elders you have to consider their health as they aged... Looking for home care is the best option I would say, that way your elders are well taking care of and at the same time you can do your daily life as it is... although frequent visit is a must to make them feel you care.


Alternative to nursing homes - Terry Shaw - Apr 14th 2008

there are sometimes other options to keep the elderly out of a nursing home. While placing the elderly in a skilled nursing facility is the first thing that pops into our minds for their utmost safety and care, we as caregivers are not always informed and aware that we have other options. Personal Emergency Alarms like ResponseLINK Emergency Alert is one of those options. They provide 24/7 emergency alerts, voice to voice response, meal and prescription reminders and they are more affordable than nursing facilities. Sometimes a little extra peace of mind is all it takes to keep the elderly in their own home or at home with family and out of nursing care. A lot of times the elderly is put in to nursing care too early in age, and can increase in bad health afterwards simply from depression and isolation. These systems are readily available and affordable, if more people were aware, there would be less unjust admittance to these facilities to early. here is the link: