It can be difficult to know what is best for your parents and other loved ones as they age. There are many different facilities out there to choose from, such as nursing homes and assisted living. But many people may not understand the differences among all these options and, therefore, run the risk of placing their loved ones in a place that does not meet their specific needs. Often times the term "senior center" or "nursing home" is lumped under a huge umbrella as though all of them mean the same and can be used for any individual over the age of seventy-five. This is not the case. Everyone should know their options and understand what is best for their aging loved ones, no matter their current competence.
First, it is important to know the abilities and needs of your loved one. In order to better understand this, it is important to ask yourself some questions about the individual you are helping to place in a living facility.
- What can he or she do on her own? For example, is the individual able to take care of basic hygiene, such as toileting and bathing? Can he or she still drive or go grocery shopping alone?
- What does he or she need assistance doing? Is the individual unable to keep track of daily medication? Can he or she still remember the names of children or close friends?
When you've been able to talk with your loved and decide the answers to such questions (don't just assume you know), it is then time to look at different living options that may be best. Here is a basic look at what is available and who they accommodate.
- Nursing Home: There are many different kinds of nursing homes, but this kind of living is for those that are unable to take care of basic needs and are likely cognitively impaired.
- Assisted Living: This is for those that are still able to do most things, but need some assistance taking medication or bathing. It is a good option for those wanting to be in a home-like environment with a sense of independence, yet can still receive help they need.
- Adult Day Care: This is often a good choice for those that have beginning stages of Alzheimer's or other needs and for caregivers need a break during certain hours of the day.
- Congregate Housing: This is a good option for older adults that can still take care of themselves but may need social interaction, such as shared meals. This is also a great option for low income families.
In the end, the most important thing to remember is fit. In other words, is this living place right for my loved one? Are they thriving and happy or showing negative behavior and depression? Remember. if the facility demands too much or too little, your loved one is not in the right place. Their abilities and the demands of the facility must coincide for the best fit possible and greater happiness to ensue. For more informaiton, talk to a professional like Orchard Park.