As loved ones get older, many families must face a tough decision — when to start looking at senior living facilities, whether it’s an independent living arrangement, senior retirement communities, assisted living, or nursing homes. Although many seniors want to continue to live in their homes independently, it can often become unsafe for them to do so. They may not be able to carry out functions like cooking, bathing, driving, and home/yard maintenance like they used to, which can put them at risk of being malnourished or living in unhygienic or dangerous environments. Furthermore, if they’re frail and living alone, a fall or other such accident could be life threatening, particularly if no one is checking up on them regularly. It can be an emotional and stressful decision to look into senior living facilities, but finding one that offers high quality care can wind up alleviating the anxiety of everyone involved.
What Should I Know About Senior Living Facilities?
These facilities can range in independence levels from senior independent living to nursing homes, which provide 24 hour healthcare.
Independent living is best for those who only need a little assistance when it comes to going about one’s regular day. Residents are provided with dining, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation services, as well as activities and events with their peers.
Assisted living is an intermediate option, between independent living and a nursing home. Residents here need a bit more assistance than those in independent living when it comes to carrying out daily activities, but they don’t need round-the-clock care.
Nursing homes cater to those who do need full-time care. Often the very elderly, disabled, or terminally ill will reside at a nursing home, and some nursing homes do grant more independence than others, while still providing them with the medical care the resident needs. The average age that a person enters a nursing home at is 79, though people can be admitted at any age.
Many nurses who work at nursing homes are especially trained in elderly care, which equips them to adequately care for patients at a special skill level.
What are the Benefits of Senior Care, Such as Assisted Living Care?
One of the main benefits of senior care is the increased safety and quality of life for your loved one. Regardless of what type of senior care they enter, they’re surrounded by people looking out for their well-being — both physical and emotional. Being around their peers may make them more engaged and help them discover new hobbies or pick up an old hobby they let lapse. If there’s a medical emergency, staff are always on hand to take immediate action. And they’ll be provided with three square meals a day and be kept in a clean and comfortable living environment.
The access to medical care is also a huge bonus with senior care. Medical professionals are always on hand and can care for your loved one with the experience and expertise that you may not have. Caring for an ailing parent can be tough emotionally, for both parents and children, and senior care helps relieve that stress for both.
What Should I Look For In Senior Living Facilities?
You want to make sure of course, that the facility is clean, bright, cheerful, and has competent staff. The facility should offer an array of activities, outings, and events to keep residents active and engaged. Observe how staff treats patients and see if you can talk to other families who have loved ones in the facility to see how they feel about it.
In terms of medical care, the best nursing homes have care teams that can provide a large swath of healthcare services. Looking into nursing homes that may also be covered by Medicare can also help ease some of the financial strain. Costs tend to vary and so it’s worth inquiring to see if you fit the conditions to have Medicare cover even part of them.
Improve the quality of your loved one’s life by discussing senior care facilities with him or her, especially if you feel that he or she is declining in health or independence levels.