It’s common for senior citizens to get to a point where they might not be able to look after themselves as well as they used to. It could be something as simple as they don’t have the energy or mobility to do simple tasks, or it could be as a result of a health condition that is affecting their daily life. When this happens, it’s important to understand what care options are available but also to approach this subject with sensitivity, as it can be difficult for some people to admit that they need help. If you’re concerned about the welfare of an elderly relative, or you are a senior citizen who is considering looking into care options, below is a brief guide to the types of care that are available.
Retirement Communities and Independent Living
One of the biggest issues senior citizens face is loneliness. This is usually due to the loss of their life partner, as well as other close friends and relatives from their generation that have also passed away. While other family members might do what they can to keep in touch and visit, living alone can be a very isolating experience and often leads to depression. If a senior citizen is still able to look after themselves but is unhappy living alone, a retirement community or independent living facility could be a perfect solution. They are given private accommodation, usually a small apartment or house, but have access to things like social clubs, team sports, and other amenities on-site like hair salons and gyms that they can use. Their new neighbors will be people of a similar age, so they are likely to make new friends easily and be able to have closer companions they can enjoy their retirement with.
When thinking about senior care, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a nursing home. It’s important to understand, however, that nursing homes are a very specific kind of senior care that is based around the medical needs of its residents. Unlike some other live-in facilities, a nursing home is for those who need 24-hour healthcare attention, and there are qualified nurses on-site to administer medications and treatments, as well as doctors from local healthcare centers who come to visit and check up on residents when they are needed. Not all senior citizens require this type of support, so unless you or your relative has a healthcare issue that needs a lot of attention, this won’t be the right place for you.
Assisted living is ideal for senior citizens who are struggling to carry out daily tasks, such as meal preparation, cleaning, or getting dressed and bathing themselves. In an assisted living residence, they will be provided with a private room or sometimes a small apartment, and on-site carers can come to help them with these things. They are arranged activities to keep them entertained throughout the day, whether that’s arts and crafts, book clubs, exercise classes, and so on. The carers can also help with medication management, but they will not be able to provide the same extensive healthcare services that you will find in a nursing home. You can learn more about assisted living at Frontier Management https://frontiermgmt.com as well as a few other care options that they can provide.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are common problems that are faced by senior citizens. It can be a very terrifying and distressing situation to deal with for both the individual and their loved ones. As these problems progress, it can be harder and harder for a person to live independently or for their family to provide the right care for them. Eventually, they might have to move into a specialist memory care residence with trained carers who can look after them and help to make them more comfortable. There are also memory care centers where Alzheimer’s and dementia patients can have day visits during the week if, for any reason, you’re not comfortable with putting your elderly relative into a care home.
For many senior citizens, leaving their homes to move into a residence is something that they aren’t comfortable with. It’s understandable, as most have lived in their homes for years and have many happy memories there. Moving to a new place can be distressing, and they might be resentful at feeling pressured to do so. If you or your relative is insisting that they remain in their home but still require care, another option is to arrange for carers to visit them at home instead. They can help with things like cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc. If you require support with healthcare, you can organize visits from a registered nurse to help with medication and treatments at home as well.
This is similar to home visitations, but rather than carers coming in and out throughout the week, a carer will move into the home for 24-hour support. While this does allow for the patient to remain at home, it is also a bit more intensive. Having a carer move in with you will require an adjustment period, so it’s important to take careful consideration and have discussions about the implications of this before you decide it’s right for you or your relative.
Moving Your Elderly Relative in with You
It can be hard to decide to move your elderly relative into a care home, and a lot of families would prefer to take care of their relative themselves. You can move your senior relative in with you to care for them, but remember that this will change your lifestyle, and you might not be able to offer them specific support that they might need. You can have a nurse or carer come visit during the week to help you out, and this is a good idea because it gives you a bit of a break as well, which is important. Just make sure you think this through before moving ahead with this plan, and always discuss it with other members of your household so they have a say in the decision because it will affect them, too.
There are plenty of senior care options available when and if the time comes, so use this brief guide as a way to help you determine which type of care is right for your situation, whether you’re a senior citizen or a relative.