Staying at home
This is an ideal elder care solution for seniors in good health who require little or no help with the tasks of day-to-day living. Caring for an aging parent in their own home offers a peace and security that just can’t be found in another elder care solution. Surrounded by familiar photographs and happy memories, Mom or Dad can live out their final years surrounded by the people and things they love.
Living with a family member
It’s a big responsibility, but the fact is that inviting a senior loved one into your home is the right answer for many families. It allows your loved one the respect and dignity that come from living out their final months or years surrounded by family. Caring for aging parents in your home also gives the family an opportunity to strengthen their relationships. As a bonus, this elder care solution saves cash by avoiding the cost of a nursing home or the expense of maintaining a loved one’s house.
Independent facilities are an elder care solution designed for seniors who don’t require help with daily tasks but want to live in a community setting. The apartments or townhouses are typically designed with the elderly in mind, from wider doors for wheelchair access to walking paths to encourage exercise. Some offer optional services such as meal preparation or social activities.
Communities for independent living typically don’t offer 24-hour emergency services when caring for aging parents. Because they’re not staffed with medical personnel, if your loved one develops a serious health condition he or she may need to be moved home or to another type of housing, such as an assisted living or nursing home.
Assisted living facilities
These communities are designed for people who require some help with daily tasks but do not require 24-hour-a-day skilled medical care. Many offer apartment-style living as well as some, if not all, meal preparation. Health professionals caring for an aging parent will also monitor medications and offer round-the-clock emergency medical care.
Although there are excellent assisted living communities, many of the services provided by these facilities, such as bathing and food prep, can be done at home by family members. Residents might also be prohibited from keeping a much-loved pet in their room.
This elder care solution offers the most extensive services, from skilled medical care to personal care to social services. In addition, they offer 24-hour emergency care that just can’t be duplicated at home without hiring a fulltime nursing staff. Nursing facilities can be a good choice for those living with advanced dementia or those requiring skilled nursing care day and night.
Despite the advantages, nursing home care is not right for everyone. For example, there’s no guarantee that your loved one will get along with fellow residents or enjoy community-style activities, like playing bridge or making crafts. You and your loved one also have less control over the staff providing the care. Does the staff undergo background checks to ensure Mom’s safety? Will a high staff turnover rate mean Dad won’t know who’s caring for him from one day to the next?
As if those concerns don’t give you enough to worry about, the cost of a nursing home elder care solution is enough to cause anyone to toss and turn. According to some estimates, the average stay in a nursing facility can cost a whopping $70,000 each year.
When it comes to caring for aging parents, finding the right elder care solution isn’t easy. With a little information and some patience, you can find the solution that’s right for your loved one and your family.
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