At a certain age, many senior citizens (those over the age of 65) can no longer properly care for themselves in their own homes. For this reason, many people choose to put their aging loved ones in a nursing home. Nursing homes are facilities that offer round-the-clock care for the elderly and also those who need medical attention 24/7. However, many families would prefer not to put their aging loved one in a nursing home and wonder if there are any suitable alternatives.
#1: Assisted Living Communities
These days, assisted living communities are apartment-style living quarters for senior citizens who can no longer perform certain daily activities on their own. Residents of an assisted living community still get to maintain a certain level of privacy, but also have access to a community of peers and doctors when desired/needed. Some things to be aware of about assisted living communities include:
- Assisted living is not intended for those who need extensive medical care.
- Monthly costs can easily total $5,000— especially in larger cities.
This is considered to be one of the best options for seniors who can no longer live in their own homes safely, but do not require extensive medical care.
#2: Home Care
The majority of senior citizens would prefer to stay in their own homes with family, if possible. The former is known as “aging in place” and provides seniors with a sense of familiarity, while the latter provides them with a sense of community.
Aging in Place Plus Home Care
If your aging loved one is able to remain in their own home, but you’re still worried, you can arrange for them to receive assistance right there in their home. They can receive care daily, weekly, etc., and they can also receive care during certain times of the day, such as in the morning, in the evening, or during a more specific time period. These home care providers can assist them with daily activities, medications, cooking, cleaning, and running errands.
Whether your aging loved one has a home aide or not, it’s important to make sure that their home is safe for them to continue living in, and this may require certain home renovations. Specifically, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous places for the elderly, as the majority of senior falls occur in this room of the home. Shower chairs, grab bars, and maybe even a walk-in tub may have to be installed to lessen their risk of falling.
Moving in With Family
Another option that keeps them in a home setting is to have them move in with another family member. Ideally, this would be with a member of the family who has enough space for everyone to live comfortably, but more importantly it should be someone willing and equipped to take on this role. Having your aging loved one can be a big change for both parties, and it may take some time for everyone to adjust.
Additionally, certain home renovations may have to be made in this circumstance as well. Not only do bathrooms need to be made safer, but there are other cosmetic changes that need to be made throughout the home. For example, throw rugs are a tripping hazard for the elderly and they can snag the wheels on walkers and wheelchairs.
#3: Retirement Homes that Offer Continuing Care
Also known as continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), this type of assisted living facility is tailored to each resident’s needs and the care evolves as their needs change. For example, your loved one may start out only needing minor assistance, such as help with cleaning and cooking, but as they age they may require more help and more medical attention. Some individuals may even start out living independently and maybe have certain illnesses that run in the family and receive help later in life at the same facility.
This is a great alternative to moving from an assisted living community to a nursing home later when your aging loved one becomes in need of more assistance. Being able to stay in the same environment is good for their mental health. Care like this may also reduce the incidence of abuse to elders that can occur in facilities like nursing homes. If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of abuse, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.
Above all, you should aim to choose the best option for your aging loved one. If they’re physically and mentally capable of remaining in their own homes, allow them to do so. If they need some assistance, consider a home health aide or an assisted living community. The goal is to make sure that they are well taken care of.