About 120,000 seniors live in South Dakota, a relatively low increase of nearly 10% since 2000. However, 11% of those seniors are living in poverty, and that is a significant number. South Dakota?s Division of Adult Services and Aging (ASA) is charged with changing that ? ?The focus of this division is to enable these South Dakotans to live independent, meaningful and dignified lives while maintaining close family and community ties.?
ASA provides programs and services to seniors, including:
-- Adult Day Services: Regular care and supervision outside of the home for part of the day.
-- Adult Foster Care: Placing a senior who does not require nursing care into a family home.
-- Adult Protective Services: Protecting seniors from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
-- Caregiver Services: Support for those who dedicate their lives to care for a senior.
-- Chore Services: Volunteers will come to the homes of seniors and performs household chores for them.
-- Homemaker Services: Covering such things are shopping, light housekeeping, personal hygiene and meal preparation.
-- Nursing Services: For seniors living at home who need their health status monitored.
-- Prescription Assistance: Helping to pay for prescription drugs.
-- Senior Meals: Meals delivered to the houses of seniors who are homebound or served in a group setting at a community or senior center.
-- Transportation: Helping seniors who can no longer drive their own cars get to such things as medical appointments, shopping and adult day care.
It is recommended that all seniors who live alone or with a spouse obtain a medical alert system. Such a system has been proven to keep seniors living in their own homes for as long as possible, delaying or outright eliminating having to move into a long-term care facility.
At first glance all medical alert companies seem to offer the same services, but there are indeed differences. To compare the services from more than a dozen top companies, all of which operate in South Dakota, check out this link.
South Dakota has an interesting program called Telehealth Technology, in which a senior’s health is monitored remotely.
It is “a home based health monitoring system which monitors an individual's clinical data daily; such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature, weight and can be a medication reminder depending on the unit available.” The data is transmitted to health professionals who can respond if needed.
Just like a medical alert system, this can give a senior living alone the peace of mind that someone is watching over them.
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