The first thing to do when considering care options for an elderly relative is to talk to them about what their needs are and how best to go about meeting them.
Ideally, this conversation should take place before care needs become urgent, as it’s a painful topic, and it may take several conversations before you can get as far as making a constructive plan. Be sensitive, listen carefully, and be sure to allow enough time to explore all of the available options.
An option that a lot of families explore as the preferred option is keeping their elderly relative at home for as long as possible. The benefits of this option are that your loved one can remain in the home that they feel comfortable in, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that you are organizing the care.
The downside of this option is that it can quickly become time-consuming and draining on the caregiver, and it can be difficult to maintain alongside other commitments. It’s important to plan carefully if you intend to care for your loved one in the home to ensure that your own wellbeing won’t be too greatly impacted as a result.
Take the time to assess the needs of your loved one and realistically calculate how much care is needed. Over the course of a couple of months, create a list of daily, weekly, and monthly to-do’s, and then divide these tasks out over willing family members and paid help such as cleaners or meal providers or medical help such as nurses or home care assistants.
Be sure that you don’t overload yourself. You need to be able to maintain the level of care over a long period of time, and this won’t be sustainable if you are exhausting yourself in the process. It’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t handle.
It’s also important to calculate the costs and do your research on whether you are eligible for any grants to help with the cost of healthcare.
If you decide to care for your loved one yourself, this is a big job that is both physically and mentally draining.
Respite care is designed to give people caring for loved ones a break. Respite carers can come to your or your loved one’s home and take care of your loved one for an agreed amount of time while you take some time for yourself. There are also respite care facilities available away from home, such as day centers. This can be a great opportunity for you to take a break and for your loved one to get the opportunity to socialize with some new people and see somewhere outside of their usual routine.
Some people also get unofficial respite care by asking for other family members to take over the caring responsibilities for a short time.
Independent living communities
Independent living communities are designed for seniors who have a good level of autonomy and independence so that they can keep it that way.
Usually, the seniors will get their own room or apartment within a community setting, which allows them to socialize with other people of a similar background and with similar interests. Independent living communities will usually have staff on hand in case there is a problem, but generally, residents will live their own independent and autonomous lives.
The community will usually provide meals in a shared dining hall and put on community events to help people integrate and make new friends.
These types of communities are designed to promote well-being and to help people to live longer and happier lives.
Assisted living communities
Assisted living communities are usually quite similar to independent living communities, only with a greater level of personalized care.
People living in assisted living communities may have health issues that they require help managing, or they may require assistance with dressing and personal care. Whatever it is, they will have help on hand while still living with as much independence as possible and being encouraged to socialize and be part of a community.
Frontier Management offers both independent and assisted living communities; if you would like to learn more, then go to https://frontiermgmt.com/.
Nursing homes provide either short or long-term care for older adults who have serious physical or mental health difficulties.
The point of a nursing home is that there are trained medical professionals on hand 24/7 to help with any issues that may arise. This differs from assisted living and independent living communities because their staff are not usually medical professionals; however, they are highly trained in care.
People might stay in a nursing home for rehabilitation for a period of time after surgery or an accident, after which they will return home or back to another type of care facility. Alternatively, if their condition is chronic, they may stay in a nursing home for a longer period of time.
Hospice and palliative care
Hospice and palliative care are slightly different things, but in both types of care, patient comfort is prioritized along with ensuring that the patient’s wishes are respected and their dignity maintained.
Palliative care is provided to patients who are seriously ill. The aim of palliative care is to treat symptoms to keep the patient comfortable as possible and is usually provided alongside curative treatment.
Hospice care is provided to patients who are terminally ill. As with palliative care, the aim is to treat symptoms and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. However, there is no curative treatment provided alongside hospice care.
In both palliative and hospice care, a multidisciplinary team will work to provide medical care, but also social and emotional care. The care team will consist of medical professionals, but also people like social workers, nutritionists, and chaplains.
Care may be provided in a nursing home, hospital, assisted living facility, or at home. In the case of hospice care, the care may be provided at a specialist hospice facility.