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.
One of the first considerations to make is why the care is necessary and whether degenerative conditions may eventually reach a point where in home care is almost impossible.
If so, then it might be worth considering an earlier move to assisted living when the senior in question can have some influence and power over the decision on where to go and services they would like to have provided.
Some of the advantages to in home care for seniors include their familiarity in the environment, the comfort of their belongings and space and the ability to hire nursing staff that can make in-home visits when you’re not available.
There are disadvantages though and these include the limitations on family members who may take on a lot of the regular activities such as cleaning and cooking. There are costs associated with hiring nursing staff and limits to when they are available to come into the home. If there are no family members nearby then it can be difficult to ensure adequate care is taken and that the senior is remaining able to care for themselves when alone.
There is also the problem-what if the in home care person gets sick, quits or just doesn’t show up one day?
Using assisted living options is an alternative if it is not appropriate to continue in-home care. There are a range of levels of care offered, from very minimal up to full care. If family is located away from the senior then assisted living options offer an immediate advantage in that there is always some level of care and protection being provided to the senior without the need for family carers to become involved.
In retirement villages, care is often quite minimal but the units offer a senior some back up in case of acute health issues. Most come with panic buttons in the main areas like bathroom and living areas, and offer social activities while providing a sense of privacy. However it is possible for this lifestyle to become quite insular, with the senior becoming less likely to venture outside the village. It’s a really good first step in care but it has to be appropriate.
If your senior needs more specialized or regular attention then high level assisted living may be the option for them. This involves living within rooms which may be single or shared depending on the facility, and offer 24 hour nursing staff with doctors on call.
Overall you need to look at the immediate and expected future needs, and decide what options are going to work both now and in the future. Often families will employ in home care to begin with for a period of time until it is no longer appropriate but it can be important to have plans in place before the time comes to increase supervision and access to medical care.