As your loved ones get older, you might worry about how to help them and how to get them the help they need. Some seniors struggle to care for themselves and do daily tasks around the house. When that happens, it’s time to start exploring your options, and there may be more of those than you realize. Consider some of the following care options for your senior family members so that they can find the best situations for their health and happiness.
If your loved ones are determined to remain in their own home but still need extra help, consider in-home health care. Caregivers will come right into seniors’ homes to provide assistance with personal care tasks like bathing and grooming. They will also make meals, perform light housekeeping, do the laundry and sometimes provide transportation. Some home care providers also offer medication management.
For seniors who need more complex medical care, look for providers that offer caregivers licensed to monitor vital signs, create care plans and help with chronic conditions like diabetes and incontinence. You might even consider hiring a private nurse if your loved ones require IV therapy.
Don’t neglect in-home therapy options either. Physical therapists can help your loved ones gain strength, flexibility and greater mobility. Occupational therapists assist them with the skills of daily living, and speech therapists help with communication and swallowing issues.
A Senior Community
Perhaps your loved ones are feeling rather isolated and ready to move into a community where they can socialize and participate in activities. In that case, a senior community might be just right. If they don’t need much assistance, they can live independently in an apartment the right size for them. They may be able to access meals and housekeeping help right on-site either included in the package or for an extra fee, and in many communities, there is always an option to move up to assisted living when the time comes.
Assisted living allows seniors to create a care plan that blends the help they need with the independence they want. Most assisted living communities work closely with residents to determine the right care level and services. Seniors might get some help with daily living activities, housekeeping and laundry. They usually receive three meals per day and often snacks, too. At higher levels of care, staff members may provide medication management, assistance with diabetes control and mobility aid.
Assisted living communities typically provide a full calendar of activities so that seniors never have to be bored. Many of them offer exercise sessions, games, music, social hours and movies on a regular basis. Seniors can take classes, work on crafts and go on group outings as well. There is always someone to talk to and always something to do.
Unfortunately, some seniors develop problems with memory loss, and this can add another level of complexity to their care. Over time, these seniors can become more and more confused and exhibit erratic behavior. There comes a point when they are no longer safe in their homes, and it can be difficult for loved ones to care for them. Under these circumstances, a memory care community may be a good choice.
Memory care communities exist either as stand-alone facilities or as part of larger seniors living communities. In either case, memory care is fully secure so that residents cannot wander. Caregivers are specially trained to work with people experiencing memory loss and to offer the guidance and support they need. Services are usually similar to those of assisted living programs, but they may offer adaptations to reduce confusion. Activities, too, are geared toward residents’ abilities and interests, and they usually promote cognitive function and meaningful connections.
A Nursing Home
Finally, when seniors have serious medical issues, they may need nursing home care. Nursing homes are designed for people who need continual medical monitoring and full care. Caregivers often assist residents with transfers from beds to wheelchairs and back, feed them and handle all their basic needs. Nursing homes usually have some activities as well to keep residents busy and engaged.
Choosing the right care option for your senior loved ones can certainly be difficult, but it is necessary if they’re going to be as healthy and happy as possible with all the help they need.