Is physical care different from emotional care in Assisted Living or any Senior Care Setting?

senior man alone in front of window

Is physical care different from emotional care in Assisted Living or any Senior Care Setting?

In fact, there is a significant difference between doing the physical task of giving a shower and then giving a shower combined with a friendly discussion of recent events, recent visitors, or activities both caregiver and resident have experienced in the day-to-day life. That later is emotional health and goes a long way to change physical care inot caring and maximize emotional health for both caregiver and resident.
We believe this is a small part of starting to explain the power of relationships, the humanism needed for and involved within the care and caring.
This distinction applies to “care” in all care settings Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Home Care, Hospice Care, Medical Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, Memory Care,  Elder Care, Respite Care, Hospital Care, Residential Care, and all of the care settings.

What is “skilled” care vs custodial care.

Doctor, Nurse, Caregiver, or Mother

Insurance companies constantly try to define custodial care as something less, of lower value, lower price than “skilled” care. In fact, people pay more attention to the caregiver than the insurance defined skilled views of the nurse or doctor. the reason for that is trust and continuity of care. When, not just if, something happens in the day to day life of a frail senior who needs assistance the only skills that will matter are the skills of the person the resident can get and that in general is of the caregiver. The caregivers interpersonal skills, compassion, caring are used every minute of every day to provide feeling good, comfort, redirection and to help empower the senior to remain positive, active, productive and feeling good. That in fact is a skill. Call it patience, compassion, good family values, faith in God, but whatever you call it that is indeed what the senior needs and wants.


Mothers, What is the “Value” of not getting “care” from the controlling Caregiver?  How can a senior who needs assistance really monitor and protect against this?  Care Setting and the leadership being hands on, day and and day out, from top levels of ownership down to the caregiver is essential and the only way to provide care with caring?

abusive woman pointing finger Cost to the Senior of a Controlling  Caregiver?     abused man in wheelchair

Patience, interpersonal skills, and familiarity with dealing with a person who is older and has many complex medical issues that are unlikely to resolve is a skill. Unlike dealing with a child where cure is likely and possible in this case cure and getting younger is much less likely. Seniors know that but no one including the senior will say that. It is ego-dystonic, to say you want to die or accept getting old even though we all do it every day. God or a higher being can play a role and does increasingly play a role as we get older and more disabled. As humans, we need things to believe in and God and the best interpersonal skills you can find are the first-line treatments for all that ales you.

All disease is expressed in not feeling good.

No matter what the label Alzheimer’s, Chronic Pain, CHF Congestive Heart Failure, Arthritis the end result will be I don’t feel good.  Doctor  are trained to look only at the physical part but the many levels of social and emotional therapies are often overlooked or discounted.    Be it due to physical pain, depression, fear of the future all diseases are expressed the same way. You feel bad. Doctors can’t describe it, define it, or study it but we all feel it and can understand it.   Indeed, your doctor is uniquely positioned to help you balance cost, effect, side effects, incidental social and implementation, and even financial consequences of all the physical and emotional or social choices that are available to you.  If you were a doctor you would know the physical stuff and if he were you he would know the social stuff but when both of you have a relationship and know each other continuity of care, caring and the best outcome are possible.  That outcome is feeling the best you can given your unique, individual, set of physical, social, and financial illnesses.  While many try to be “case managers”  including elder law attorney, social workers, nurses in fact there are only two real choices for you since you are the most aware of your social and emotional health or how you feel and / or “your doctor”.  I use the term “your Doctor” going back to a time when continuity of care was the standard.  Hopefully, this blog and your examples can help others value people in our lives.

People some say are less valued or skilled.

-A mother who works all day to care for the kids and husband and arranges the social system. Not easy, but not valued by dollars.
-a Teacher who listens stays after class to help someone who is behind so they are not embarrassed to catch up or get ahead.
-a caregiver who calls and visits when you go to the hospital. or is available to look after your kids and your grandmother because she can it helps the bigger system out.
-a doctor or lawyer who goes beyond the standard description to help you understand the system and potential related costs.
All of those examples are things that are “not needed”, not valued in dollars, but are often provided to take physical, “less skilled” care to the highest level of care and include caring.
Comment to help others see the value of people in their lives.

By Shawn McGivney

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