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When you have an aging loved one, you need to make plans for their care. Even if they do not currently require extra care, you ensure a smooth transition into senior care by exploring your options.
Much of the choice you make will be dependent on their assistance needs, preferences, and available resources. We’ll discuss the main options for senior care so you and your loved one can choose the best fit for you both.
The Various Senior Care Options
We’ll begin by discussing the meanings of different care options and then discuss the individuals they’re best suited to:
Hospice care is intensive in facility care. Those in hospice care are monitored extensively and receive very regular medical attention. While hospice care can take place within the individual or a family member’s home, it is more commonly offered in a specialized facility.
Hospice care is best suited for:
Hospice care is best suited for seniors with extreme health issues. They are typically considered to have terminal health issues. The main goal of hospice care is to make individuals comfortable in their remaining time.
Nursing homes are a community of seniors living in individual rooms or apartments, often within the same building or a grouping of buildings. Meals are cooked for and provided to all seniors living there.
They are also provided a variety of medical staff or assistance, along with general housekeeping. Nursing homes often provide staff to assist seniors that need support with daily activities such as bathing, grooming and toileting.
Nursing homes are well suited for:
Seniors that have significant mobility issues, and require intense daily activity support can benefit from nursing home placement. Individuals that need medical monitoring benefit from the provided medical staff. While nursing homes can be costly or have waiting lists, some will charge on a sliding scale.
Assisted living residences
Assisted living facilities are less intensive than nursing homes, but offer many of the same benefits. The main purpose of assisted living is to provide light support while helping seniors maintain a sense of independence. Community activities and meals are provided by staff, sometimes with light housekeeping duties.
Assisted living is suitable for:
Assisted living can benefit seniors that want to maintain some independence while getting moderate support. Seniors that need some light to moderate medical monitoring will benefit from having staff to check in on them without feeling like their privacy is invaded.
Retirement/ senior living communities
Retirement communities are much like a gated neighbourhood for seniors only. Seniors live in a home within the community and are free to have visitors just as they would at home. Retirement communities offer seniors peers to interact with, and plenty of activities for an active lifestyle. Some communities provide security, housekeeping, and amenities such as a pool or clubhouse.
These communities suit more active seniors:
Seniors that are amenable to moving will appreciate the sense of community and camaraderie that retirement communities offer. While it does require them to relocate, these communities offer simplified independence. Many seniors enjoy the opportunity to be surrounded by similarly active peers.
Home care is often the preferred option of aging seniors. Home care allows them to continue living comfortably in their own home, while receiving support they require. This type of care is highly individualized and variable according to the senior’s needs.
In this support scenario, a private care service provides staff to attend to their needs, whether light or more intense. In home care can include assistance with personal grooming, mobility, errands, meals and cleaning.
Services interview the family and senior to determine the level of support they require. A care plan for the individual is then formulated and approved by all parties.
Seniors that benefit from home care:
Many seniors are strictly set on aging in their own home and in-home care allows for that. It can give you peace of mind that your aging loved one has their needs met when you can’t be there.
This type of support will take into consideration the difficulties of the individual and ensure qualified staff are there to assist. Some in-home care is directed to individuals with minimal health concerns, while others are more medically focused.
The real core benefit is that it offers independence with a fully personalized care plan. It also benefits family members that may have financial responsibility for the senior: a common misconception is that home care is expensive and difficult to afford. Often home care frees up resources that are quickly depleted in other care scenarios.
Choosing to put your aging loved one in a supported care system is a decision many people grapple with for a long time. An easier, more agreeable transition is facilitated by good communication.
Having an open, honest talk with your loved one is essential to determining their needs and required level of support. While your main concern may be their health, their main concern may be maintaining independence, an active lifestyle, a social life or any other of many things.
It’s important for both parties to take into consideration the concerns of the other. While it does affect the entire family, the senior must be allowed autonomy and choice over their care. A health provider may be able to offer you both advice about concerns they may have about your loves one’s health and lifestyle.