Understanding Options for Elder Care
When it comes to caring for your aging loved ones, there are several options open to you. From home health care designed to allow seniors to stay at home to skilled nursing facilities, choosing the right level of care is important. Here are some guidelines to help you determine what level is appropriate.
Full Comprehensive Care
The most expensive option of elder care, full comprehensive services care for people who have serious health issues or mobility challenges. With this level, patients receive help with bathing, dressing and feeding themselves. Their dietary, nursing, medical and exercise needs are carefully monitored to ensure that all their physical needs are met. The CDC reports that there are currently 1.4 million seniors residing in nursing homes, and there is an entire industry dedicated to meeting their needs.
Appropriate for seniors who are completely bed bound or suffering from severe dementia, these programs are designed to keep them safe and healthy. The cost can run more than $2,800 a month, depending on your location and the level of nursing care required. However, the psychosocial care available at skilled care facilities ensures that seniors are as physically, mentally and emotionally healthy as possible. The social isolation of being home alone is eliminated, physical problems are caught and treated in a timely manner, and the regular contact with other people maintains higher brain and memory function.
Another form of institutional care, assisted living is available for seniors who have reasonable mobility and just need a little extra care. These centers provide for their dietary needs, monitor medications and other health concerns while providing them with stimulating activities to keep them mentally alert. Like nursing homes, they provide assistance with dressing, bathing and other daily activities. The cost of assisted living depends on how many social services the facility provides. An excellent transition between the comforts of home and the benefits of skilled care facilities, these intermediary centers provide a valuable service.
In-Home Health Care
The most attractive option for reasonably healthy seniors, in-home health care is surprisingly affordable. Skilled caregivers enter the home at set times throughout the day to help with personal hygiene, household chores and meals. They may wash clothes, feed pets and even drive your aging parent to appointments. One of the most popular choices, the National Association for Home Care & Hospices reports that 7.6 million individuals are currently receiving in-home services to assist them with illnesses, health conditions or other disabilities.
While in-home health care is not appropriate for seniors with severe medical issues, it can be the perfect solution for one who just needs a little extra assistance. The regular contact with people is vital for their mental and psychological health. Having someone else come in to handle the regular chores means that you can return to your role as child and spend your time simply visiting with your loved one.
Monitoring the Situation
With any level of senior care, there is always the possibility that your loved one will have to move to a more skilled facility at some point. Trained professionals in the field will monitor their overall health and help you determine what level of care is needed at any given time. Many seniors want to stay in their own home as long as possible, but there may come a point when they will have to move to a skilled care facility. With proper monitoring, you will know when it’s time to make the move to ensure your loved one receives the necessary care.
Knowing what level of care is right for your aging parents can be difficult. It’s important that the seniors in your life receive proper medical care and assistance, but determining what the right level is can be difficult for people outside the field. Talk with long-term health care professionals to determine what type of care is appropriate for your loved one. With the right placement, the aging senior in your life will remain healthy for years to come.