So many elderly people would love to continue to live at home or with a family member but are unable to due to the safety risks of being unsupervised. The reality though is many cannot afford full time care. So why not offer flexible day care?

Australia's population is aging.

We all know this.

We also know that so many individuals would prefer to live in their own residence or with their families than move to a facility that offers full time care such as a nursing home.

The reality though is that for many this is not possible due to the sheer cost of full time care or the fact that many elderly people can no longer be left “unsupervised” alone in the family home while family members go off to work and university due to safety concerns.

My idea is to create “flexible day care” centres for the elderly in the same way you would for children.

Much like day cares that exist now for children, the centres could open from 7:00am – 7:00pm in suburban neighbourhoods or in inner city areas and for a fee (less than that of full time nursing home care) an individual may attend for a full day, half day or flexible day depending on their care needs. At the end of the day the individuals are collected by a relative or carer and they may go “home” with their families to enjoy the perks of family dinners and family conversations in the evenings and still retain their independence to a certain extent.

The idea would enable elderly people to have that all important socialisation with other individuals throughout the day. It could provide meal options and would have health care professionals on site. The centre would offer activities such as music, art, IT sessions, guest speakers and excursions but also offer quiet spaces for reading and napping. The centre could also allow individuals to contribute to community projects or to volunteer/partner with other organisations such as wrapped with love which collects handmade knitted blankets to distribute to poor people around the world. It would also allow the families of individuals who require aged care to network with each other and build a sense of community.

Finally the solution would address the affordability and flexibility issues as the costs would be less than “full time” aged care and would be flexible in the sense that some individuals would only require it 2 or 3 days a week.

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