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3 Reasonable Alternatives to Nursing Homes for Your Aging Loved One

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.

How To Handle the Stress of Being a Long-Term Caregiver

The rewards of helping someone every day are endless—so much so that you might forget about your own health and well-being. Explore how to handle the stress of being a long-term caregiver for advice on caring for yourself.

Recognize the Signs of Stress

Caregivers can sometimes become so consumed with their work that they’re unaware of how much it takes a toll on them. Signs of stress include feels of depression, irregular sleeping habits, quickness to anger, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, getting back on track can be as simple as doing a momentary self-check-in so that you don’t end up ignoring your feelings. Stress and anxiety will only get worse if you leave them unaddressed.

Maintain Personal Health

Your health is as important as anyone else’s, so you must take care of yourself as well. If you’re spending most of your day inside, find reasons to go outside and exercise. Exercise creates endorphins in the body. Try to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep, too. Finding the time for healthy living can be hard, but you’ll be more rested and fit to take care of your patient if you can work it in.

Find Respite Care

Finding time for yourself is essential. Caregivers—especially unpaid ones—often let caregiving become their lifestyle. That means 24-7 care for 365 days out of the year. Over time, that schedule becomes impossible to maintain, as you’ll naturally start to wear down from the daily grind, leading to caregiver burnout. As hard as it may be, you have to find a life outside of caring, which is why respite care is so helpful. Respite will give you a temporary rest from care for a few hours or weeks, depending on your needs. That way, you can enjoy your time without having to worry.

Have a Support System

Remembering you aren’t alone will also help. Across the world, people are going through the same struggles as you, so you shouldn’t bottle up your feelings. Instead, find a caregiver support group where you can vent about your day or ask for help when you need it. If there isn’t a physical support group in your city, consider starting one or looking online for the countless message boards and social media groups where caregivers gather.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to handle the stress of being a long-term caregiver, you can help yourself to better help your patient.

Dallas County Offers New Emergency Housing Assistance Program

Dallas County Health and Human Services is offering an emergency housing assistance program (EHAP), funded through the CARES Act, to provide short-term rental, mortgage, and utility assistance to low income Dallas County residents living outside of the City of Dallas econimically affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Applications are processed through a lottery system and are due by July 9th.

To be eligible, you must
* Reside outside the city of Dallas but within Dallas County
* Currently not be receiving housing assistance through another entity
* Have a household income less than 80% of AMI
* Have suffered an economic impact due to COVID-19

To learn more or apply, call 214-819-1968 or visit www.dallascounty.org/ehap.

 

The Keys to Living 90+

90Years

 

Men and women above the age of 90 are now the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.  There are currently nearly 2 million nonagenarians in the U.S. and that number is projected to quadruple by 2050.  A research study launched in 2003 by UC Irvine and the National Institute of Health set out to learn more about the “oldest old” Americans and determine the factors associated with longevity.

After surveying more than 1600 participants, the 90+Study revealed:

  • People who drink moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee live longer than those who don’t.
  • People who are moderately over weight in their 70s live longer than normal-weight or underweight individuals.
  • People who exercise definitely live longer than people who don’t exercise. As little as 15 minutes a day on average made a difference, with 45 minutes being the ideal.
  • Socialization and engaging in non-physical activities (book clubs, board games, etc.) all contribute to living longer.
  • Taking vitamins and supplements did not show to have an effect on longevity.
  • More than 40% of people aged 90 andover suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in men than women.
  • The risk of developing dementia doubles every 5 years starting at the age of 65, and it keeps on doubling, even past age 90.
  •  People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.

Researchers believe that understanding more about the over 90 crowd will help 60- and 70-year-olds not just learn how to become 90, but how do it with style and fun. So go ahead and enjoy that slice of pie, that cup of coffee, and that glass of wine. Just remember to keep socializing and exercising while you’re at it!