Whether you’re are a senior citizen who is thinking about their future, or you have an elderly parent who is showing signs that they might need some help, looking into senior care options is important. Even if it feels as though the need for this might be some way off yet, preparing for the possibility sooner rather than later will be useful. Various care options cater to different needs, all of which come at differing costs. Investigating what the options are will help you manage your finances so you can afford this care if necessary, at a later date, and find out which type of care is better suited to you and/or your elderly parent. So, what are the options for senior care?
Independent living or retirement communities are designed for senior citizens who can still look after themselves. These residential facilities are more for those who are perhaps lonely after the death or a partner and do not live close to other friends or family. At a retirement community, they will have a private room or apartment and access to things like a gym, swimming pool, hair salon, libraries, as well as a range of organized activities to enjoy. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to live with people of a similar age to form new relationships.
For senior citizens who are struggling to look after themselves properly at home, an assisted living residence might be a better option. It’s not uncommon for elderly people to find it difficult to carry out daily tasks, such as bathing, getting dressed, or preparing meals. This might be due to conditions such as arthritis that can be very painful, making it difficult to move in certain ways. Or it might be due to limited mobility because they use a wheelchair or are struggling with their mental health. Like a retirement home, residents will have a private room and access to fitness classes, social clubs, etc., but they will also have care givers on site who can help them with the daily tasks they are struggling with. They will also have help with any medication management they might need. Living in a facility like this will allow them to live more comfortably and safely, giving their relatives peace of mind.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are other common conditions that affect the senior community. They can both be very difficult to deal with and often leave the patient and their loved ones feeling distressed if they are going through a particularly bad patch with it. While there are medications and treatments now that can help to ease the symptoms, specialist care will also be required. Memory care communities are similar to the above, but they have trained professionals who understand the complexities of these conditions and how to deal with patients properly. You can see an example of the kind of thing to expect from these residential communities at memory care Medford. You can also visit memory care day centers if you’re not ready to put your parent into full-time care or have decided to be their primary care giver.
A nursing home is different from the above, although it can be commonly mistaken for some of them. This type of senior care is for individuals who have healthcare problems that need to be monitored regularly and their treatments managed by professional nurses. For some, this might be the last stop before end-of-life care, but that isn’t always necessarily the case. They will have nurses onsite 24/7, and doctors from local hospitals and healthcare centers will visit the home regularly to offer the nurses support. They will also have specialist equipment to help them administer and monitor treatments and a patient’s health, similar to in a hospital setting but less clinical.
If your parent doesn’t want to leave their home and move into a care facility, this might be the perfect compromise. You can hire a care giver to come and live with your parent full-time to provide the same assisted living services in the comfort of their home. If they do have certain healthcare issues, you might need to get a private nurse to visit with them at their home as well to monitor their health and administer the relevant treatments.
A Hybrid Care Plan
This option can combine a variety of different care options to best suit the needs of your parent at the time. As their health declines, they might begin to need more hands-on care than they had previously, so it’s smart to prepare for this eventuality by creating a hybrid care plan that you can change as and when you need to. For example, if they have recently had an operation and need someone to help them more frequently in the early stages of recovery, but then less intensive care later, you can adjust between live-in care and home visitations. Or if they at first needed assisted living, but as their healthcare needs increase, moving into a nursing home might be more appropriate.
Move Them in with You
Some people prefer to become the primary caregiver for their elderly parents, but it’s important to give this careful consideration before you move forward with any plans. You must make sure everyone else in your household is comfortable with this if you don’t live alone, and you may also have to make some modifications to your home to accommodate your elderly parents’ needs. It can also be very physically and emotionally demanding, so you need to make sure you are prepared to take on such a big responsibility.
Palliative care, also known as end-of-life care, is for those who are dealing with a terminal illness. Hopefully, this is not something you will need to think about for your parent any time soon, but if they do need this, it will make them more comfortable in their final months and weeks. They will be given medicines to help manage any pain they might be in and give emotional support throughout this difficult time.
It might be hard to imagine your parent needing care, but it’s very common for senior citizens to need some extra help as they move into their later years. Make sure you explore the various options available to get the right fit for your parent.