As people age they often require increased assistance in everyday activities. Decisions on what is the best type of care for a senior can be difficult and often complicated. Here is help on how to decide between assisted living or senior care in their home.
The choices between assisted living professionally at a nursing home or relying on care in the home can be an agonizing choice for the family of a senior. There are pros and cons to both options and they should be carefully considered before an arrangement is in place.
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As our grandparents and parents grow older, we need to decide how to care for them. None of us would want to place them in a health care facility, under the care of others. However, our hectic schedules, time for kids or our health problems may leave us with no choice but to put them in senior care.
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are also referred to as senior care communities. When you need to place your aging relatives in a senior care community, you'd better make sure that they get the best possible care. Read further to learn some aspects that you should consider before deciding to let your loved ones stay in an assisted living facility.
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When you visit a facility, see how it looks. If it looks uninviting, with its dirt and clutter, just walk away. Use a restroom to see if the toilets, sinks or floor are clean or not. If the toilet is dirty, there is tendency for the other restrooms to be filthy, as well.
If possible, try to have lunch at the cafeteria. Try to observe the way the food tastes, the manner in which service is given and the atmosphere, as a whole. Whatever you feel about the cafeteria indicates how resident seniors also feel.
Lastly, speak with the staff directly to know how the facility is being maintained. It is normal to feel skeptical if any people from the staff act in a rude and unprofessional manner, or if they are not familiar with the facility.
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"My sisters/brothers don't lift a finger; I do everything for dad!" and "My mother's become my child!" Common cries among adult children caring for elderly parents at home. I ask in return, "Why are you the caregiver?" It's an admirable job; after all they raised you and loved you as you were growing up; now it's your turn. Or is It? Why only you and not your siblings? Is there another way to care for them and still show your love? There is a high incidence of caregivers' health failing before their loved one goes.
It is a stressful job. It's often a 10 hr/day, 7 day/wk job, if not 24/7, without breaks, days off, vacations, or even pay. It is one that involves chef and shopper, chauffeur, self-care manager, social events and appointment scheduler, bath aide, nursing attendant, laundress, companion, financial manager, and.... Then mom complains because you don't do right. And that's just your job with her. What about your own life?
6. Reduce the risk for falls: modify the house for safety by using a room-by-room safety checklist (see a comprehensive one in the book Dad's Home Alone); provide grab bars, shower seat, and a high toilet or raised toilet seat, for bathroom safety. Don't forget a medical alert pendant or wristband. In case of a fall help is just a press-of-the button away. Falls can't be prevented. Gravity is the same whether in a nursing home, at home, or standing next to a loved one.
Remember, elderly people, just like you and me, want to remain as independent as possible. Respect who they are and make sure your parent weighs in on the decisions. But also, know that they may not be as realistic about their safety and care needs. You are there as their safety net, not their "parent".