Elderly Care: Why a residential home can be the best place
When a loved one’s health deteriorates and they need to receive care services, there are a range of elderly care options available, and often it is up to their family to help decide which one is the best for them.
The population is living longer – the average life expectancy for an American is now 81.1 years for women and 76.1 years for men, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports – and the advances in medicine that have helped to make this possible should be celebrated. However, it does mean that elder people are living for a longer time with more, and often complex, conditions than previous generations have. This can be anything from cancer, to Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s.
This means that caring for an elder person in their own home can get progressively more difficult as their age and conditions advance.
Caring for an elder person in their own home can be difficult for family members. Often, children of elder people will have young children of their own who require looking after, as well as in many cases trying to do a full-time job, so providing care can cause problems for them. While they may love their relative and want to provide care for them, juggling their own responsibilities with caring can be too much.
There are services available where paid caregivers can come in on a regular basis to help an elder person with personal care tasks such as bathing, dressing and providing medication – but again there is only so much they can do in their allotted timeslot. They also often cannot deal with more complex conditions.
Adult day care services are another option. As the name suggests, these look after the needs of adults during the day – and can help to give their family caregiver a break – and provide a variety of activities and health services.
Elderly care in a residential home
However, when a person’s care needs increase, the best option for them can be to move into a residential care home. While the person may not like the idea of moving out of what might have been their home for decades, it may be that it is just simply not safe for them to remain there, or their condition(s) mean they require round-the-clock care.
So, when they do move into a residential home, it is important to know what sort of care they will receive there. Residential care settings have trained professionals on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can provide the sort of medical assistance that is difficult to provide in the community. For example, if the person has dementia, many homes have staff who have received specialist training in ways to care for people with the condition.
At assisted living facilities such as Bright Horizon, there are a range of elderly care services provided by the staff for conditions including diabetes, as well as on-site medical visits from specialists such as a podiatrist, speech therapist or occupational therapist.
But as well as receiving care, residents have other benefits that can boost their well-being – the impact of which cannot be underestimated. For example, often when elder people are receiving care in their own home, or from relatives, it can mean they spend long periods of time on their own, or only see their carers, so loneliness can be a big problem. But in a small facility like Bright Horizon, where there are only a maximum of six residents at any one time, they get to know other residents and caregivers well and form strong friendships.
If you are looking for the most effective and comprehensive form of elderly care, then moving into a residential home might just be the best way to ensure they get their needs met and improve their wellbeing as well.