Countries around the world are having more and more older people, thanks to improvements in the standard of living and medical care. While this isn’t inherently bad, it could bring a challenge for many people as regards how to take proper care of their elderly loved ones. This even makes some of such persons view older people as burdens.
However, taking care of your elderly needs not be that gloomy. Your older loved ones don’t have to have the feeling that they constitute an annoyance. With a proper understanding of how to approach this, plus the options available, you should have little or no problem doing this effectively.
Caring at Home
Evidence suggests that many elderly people prefer to be cared for in their homes. Nearly 90 percent of older people that took part in a survey carried out by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) indicated this. Respondents that would choose to live in the home of a relative were just four percent.
Experts also advise that you should endeavor to keep the care of your elderly loved ones at home as much as possible. Sending them elsewhere might suggest that they’re no longer needed, and you probably don’t want that.
There are many useful resources online if you choose the option of caring for your loved ones at home. For example, you can get lots of those from the AARP.
Some Tips for Elderly Care at Home
There are several things you have to give special thoughts to or accord adequate consideration when taking care of your elderly loved ones at home. Below are a few pieces of advice to help you be as efficient as possible while doing that:
Learn – Perhaps, the most important first step is to find out what it takes to care for the elderly at home. Become familiar with best practices and endeavor to keep up with the latest, useful ideas.
Keep your home elderly-friendly – Older people are more prone to being involved in accidents around the home. A significant proportion of them slips and fall, with this often leading to a serious injury such as fractures. Your elderly one should feel sufficiently safe and encouraged to live independently.
Show they’re relevant – Old age isn’t a disease, so don’t make your elderly loved ones feel ostracized. Don’t leave them in isolation – that’s not a great place to be. Give them as much opportunity as possible to be involved in activities around your home and your community. Some older people can actually still work on certain jobs even after retiring, helping to make them feel relevant.
Explore insurance – Without a doubt, a major reason – and, perhaps, the most prominent one – people feel burdened by the elderly is finance-related. But there may be insurance options that can help lighten the “burden”; explore those. The National Institute of Aging, a part of America’s National Institutes of Health, has a useful guide on how to pay for long-term care. In Australia, the federal government pays a part of the costs, although there is an increasing demand for private insurance.
Care for yourself – Yes, do not forget yourself while trying to care for your elderly. Things can become rather stressful and, without taking necessary precautions, undesirable consequences could follow. Take a break at intervals to relax and relieve stress. Also, it can help to have support networks, even if it’s online.
If caring for your elderly at home seems like too much work, you could have a care provider come around to help.
Facility Care for the Elderly
There are different options to consider when looking for a facility where you’d want your loved one cared for. They include:
Assisted living residences – These are facilities in which elderly people are assisted with their everyday tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, and movement. They are usually built with the people who need more than basic assistance in mind. Assisted living is more suitable for older persons that can still care for themselves to a significant extent.
Board and care homes – You may think of these as small assisted-living facilities usually housing no more than 20 residents. The elderly people here live in private or shared rooms.
Residential care or nursing homes – These facilities provide a greater degree of care, including medical care. They help the elderly get dressed and provide rehabilitation services, such as physical or occupational therapy. Nursing homes are, perhaps, the best option for older people with mental health issues, including Alzheimer’s.
How to Determine a Good Elderly Care Facility
When it comes to choosing a facility for your loved ones, take note that it is not a case of one-fits-all. The best choice depends on the individual.
Professionals recommend that the ability of an older person to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL) should inform the most suitable place for them. These include:
- Eating – Are they able to eat on their own with minimal assistance or will they need someone to help them?
- Mobility – Can your loved ones move around easily unassisted or do they need help with mobility?
- Hygiene – You should consider how well your aged one can perform activities such as bathing and grooming. Do you usually assist with those and so will they need someone to continue doing so?
- Continence – Do your elderly loved ones still have good enough control over their toileting habits? Or do they have continence issues making them need more help?
The foregoing are just some of those things to put into consideration when determining an ideal facility for your older loved ones. Assisted living residences might be the better option if they need minimal help with the ADL.
You could also speak with their physicians to know the extent of care that would be needed.
Quality Elderly Care Facility Examples
Systems of how older people are taken care of vary across countries around the world. However, Western countries have some of the best facilities anywhere in the world.
Among those great aged care facilities are those by Arcare in Australia. This elderly care establishment, which has been around for more than four decades, offers “5-star residential communities” in Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales. It boasts well-trained, qualified Registered Nurses, plus other clinical support professionals. Arcare offers palliative care and respite care as well as sensitive care for older people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
In the U.S., Hughes Health and Rehabilitation is one of the best-rated facilities. The winner of the 2017 Women’s Choice Award for Best Extended Care reportedly places a high value on the safety of residents.
With a capacity of 216, The Village of Winston Park is a highly-rated senior care facility in Canada. It provides palliative care, respite care, and private home care. Guest stays are also supported. There are a variety of activities on offer to make living enjoyable and fulfilling for the residents.
Tutnall Hall Nursing Home ranks among the best elderly care facilities in the UK. A winner of the Gold Standard Framework (GSF), the nursing home has an excellent reputation for the quality of care it provides.
The foregoing are just some examples in case you need recommendations. However, you still need to consider the ADL among other things to choose the best facility for your aged loved ones. You should endeavor to visit before settling for one.