In Western cultures, we’re quite youth-centric. We value independence, individuality, and work. Identity is tied up with our jobs.
The result is we’re blinded about elder care options even though we don’t have to be. Our elders are sent to nursing homes and care facilities rather than staying at home or being cared for by family like in other cultures. And they often feel alone.
Meanwhile, other cultures venerate their elders. In China and France, laws insist that adult children look out for parents. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures practice filial piety and families tend to elders. In Korea, old age is celebrated at 60th and 70th birthday parties.
Even in Ancient Rome, they honored wisdom if someone made it past the usual age of 30 to age 70.
The good news is that we too have wonderful options for elderly care that allow us to care for our seniors in their homes or with loved ones.
But what are these senior housing options, you ask?
To help, we’ve put together this senior home care guide. Keep reading for options that allow elders to continue to live with joy and connection. Then, get started with the right option for your loved one.
First, let’s take a brief look at all the options just so you know what’s out there. Then, we’ll go over the basics of how to asses what your loved one needs.
This is the goal! Most people want to keep living in their homes even after they retire and own their wise elder status. And their second choice is often to live with family.
But, as we know, often our elders begin to need help with daily tasks, companionship, or various levels of supervision. And often, family members have work and other family members to take care of too and can’t dedicate themselves full-time, or even part-time all the time, to these tasks.
Enter in-home care in it’s many versions to the rescue. Living at home with added care usually gives seniors a better quality of life, lower medical, convenience, higher longevity, and less risk of falling.
Home care is available round the clock or part-time or just for certain life events, like illness or recovery after an injury. You have flexibility.
Generally, you’ll be hiring a home care aide, a skilled nurse, or a companion/helper. Let’s take a closer look at the options you should know are out there waiting to help you with your loved ones.
This is the type of care that is considered non-medical care. This includes health and personal care aides and companions that help with daily tasks.
Examples of daily tasks include:
They also can take your loved one shopping, traveling, and visiting. They can offer conversation and do fun activities, like playing board games, going to the movies, or going for a stroll at the park on a sunny day.
Non-medical home care also includes dementia home care and Alzheimer’s home care. These home care professionals provide the same type of help and companionship but are trained and have experience caring for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s and the increased amount of help they need.
This is care that’s under the guidance of a physician. It’s usually for a specific injury or illness that requires that extra supervision of skilled professional care temporarily. If someone has Alzheimer’s, for example, he or she will be under a doctor’s care but at home will just need non-medical supervision and help with daily tasks.
Medical care at home usually involves skilled home-health nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and sometimes physicians themselves.
To give you some examples, a nurse might come in to dress and care for a wound until it heals, a physical therapist may help someone get their mobility back after a fall or injury, and an occupational therapist might help someone learn to talk to eat after a stroke.
Active senior living communities are for seniors that can live independently. They’re usually condos or townhouses. Usually, there are activities and events for the people that live in the community.
Independent living communities, or retirement homes, are similar in that they give older adults the chance to be around others.
Seniors can buy or rent an apartment or unit within the community and meals and housecleaning are often included. This option gives a bit more help to seniors that are still very independent.
Since seniors own their homes, if they later need more care, they can look to in-home care options in their homes in the community.
Sometimes it’s just not possible to keep elders living at home. If that’s the case, here are a few options to know about. It’s always the first choice to try home health care but you can keep these in your back pocket.
Like independent living communities, seniors have their own place but the residence can help them with daily care tasks like bathing and dressing. This works for seniors with a bit of dementia.
These are larger residential campuses that offer the full range of options, from independent living to assisted living to nursing care. Seniors can get what they need at different stages.
These are residences that offer medical supervision and nursing care. Professionals are there around the clock.
Now, let’s take a quick look at how to get the in-home care you need. There is plenty of help out there to guide you through this process. That’s what we do, and we hope you’ll reach out to us because we understand how hard this transition can be and can offer that emotional and motivational support you might need as well.
The first step is to assess what your loved one needs. You’ll look at how independent they are and their physical, mental, and emotional health. You’ll look at the options available to pay for care. You can come up with short and long-term needs.
Next, you’ll look at options available in your area to meet the current needs. You’ll asses care levels offered and cost. You’ll decide if you want to hire home health care through an agency or privately.
The person you hire to help should be vetted by someone or a group you trust.
Next, you’ll interview candidates. Ideally, your loved one will be there too so you can get a sense of how they get along.
Once, you find the right person, you can give it a go. Again, we’re here to help with all of these steps.
As you can see, there are wonderful elder care options that allow your loved one to live a happy life connected to family and friends rather than in isolation. And now, you’re ready to find the right fit for you.
Feel free to give us a call so that we can answer questions and meet with you to put the right plan into action. There’s no cost for us to give you this helpful assessment. We want you to be able to give your elder the care she or he deserves.