By some estimates, New York City’s nearly half-a-million seniors from other countries account for 1 in 10 immigrant seniors in the United States, and some of these groups show very low rates of English language fluency. Among seniors who came from Poland, Italy, and Puerto Rico, two-thirds have difficulty communicating in English, while over 90% of older adults from Russia and other former USSR countries, China, and South Korea had a low proficiency with English. Many families have discovered that it can be difficult to find eldercare services that work for their elderly parents because of communication issues.
That’s where new NYC home health care services can help fill the gap as new agencies emerge that seek to match their aides to their clients’ needs, including language. Clear communication between older adults and caregivers is absolutely essential, not just for seniors’ health and safety, but also for their happiness, dignity, and quality of life. One of the most important tasks undertaken by caregivers is providing medication reminders to older adults who may not be able to keep track of increasingly complex pill regimens. In fact, polypharmacy (having to take many different medications in a single day) is one of the leading causes of hospitalization in senior citizens. Caregivers provide these reminders to help their patients keep track of potentially dozens of pills, and language barriers are only going to compound likelihood of a mistake.
A new agency in New York City called Mavencare offers eldercare made to fit its clients, and with such a diversity of PSWs working in the city, that includes finding people who can provide top quality care in the language your older loved one speaks. They represent a push toward change in the eldercare industry that’s moving out of long term facilities and focusing instead on care at home, while also giving families more control over how much help they get and what kind of assistance their loved one receives.
Today, aging seniors can receive a full gamut of help in their own homes, including:
- companionship for adults with some mobility issues who need a bit of help with chores and getting out
- specialized care for adults with medical conditions like heart disease, arthritis, cancer, depression, or arthritis, or who are recovering from a stroke
- nursing help for individuals recovering from a surgery
- palliative care for people with terminal conditions approaching the ends of their lives, who want to pass in the comfort of their own homes
- help from a live in caregiver for older adults who need assistance all day long but are relatively stable and have room in their home or apartment
- 24/7 services for advanced Alzheimer’s sufferers who need round-the-clock monitoring, often because they may wander at night. If you work with an agency like Mavencare, they arrange everything to make sure that there is also a caregiver at your home and on duty, whereas a live in PSW must still have time off.
All of these services are available in New York even for seniors who are not proficient in English now that home care is more accessible than ever before. When your older relative needs help, don’t underestimate the importance of communication.