When it comes to looking after your loved ones, you want to be sure you’re making the right choice for everyone involved. We take a look at 10 realistic options for elderly care that you should consider.
Do you have a loved one who is aging and you’re left wondering how to approach some potentially difficult decisions?
We all want the best for the people we care about most, and that can mean making some changes to their lifestyle to protect their health and ensure their safety.
But you don’t have to jump to a retirement home as your first choice. There are many other options to improve their quality of life and allow them to maintain their independence.
Read on for the top 10 realistic options for elderly care.
Changes to the Home
If your loved one isn’t ready to leave their house, some things can be done to the home itself to make it safer and easier to live in and maintain. There may need to be some slight modifications, and suddenly, your parent can extend their time in that home for years.
Make sure doorways are wide enough for a wheelchair or walker to fit through easily. If there are stairs in the front or the back of the house, consider removing them and installing a ramp for easier access to and from the home.
Check places like the bathroom, which can become slippery when wet and are more likely to cause a fall. You can install handlebars in the shower or bathtub, traction mats, and even a shower chair or stool, so they don’t have to stand at all.
Making some concerted tweaks around the home will give you and your loved one peace of mind and allow them to stay in the home for longer than perhaps anticipated.
Items that Can Help
There are ways to help your loved one continue doing the day-to-day tasks required when living at home. Consider adding extra lights to dark places or swapping out bulbs for brighter voltage.
You can add light sensors that are activated when they walk by. This is especially helpful if they wake during the middle of the night, so they aren’t struggling to find the light switch.
Keep emergency contact numbers written clearly in several areas of the home. You can also enlarge the font on their computer monitors and cell phone screens for easier viewing.
You can assist with any hearing issues by adding volume amplifiers to phone rings and television sets. You can even purchase items that will vibrate and can be worn around the wrist if a sound is detected, so they’re alerted without having to worry about volume.
Food Delivery Services
As people age, the many things to remember and manage while cooking a meal can become problematic. Does your loved one forget to turn the stove off? Perhaps they are too tired at the end of the day to cook themselves dinner and end up eating something that lacks nutrients or even nothing at all.
Hiring a food delivery service will ensure your loved one has fresh, wholesome meals whenever needed. Many services specialize in senior needs. They’ll deliver frozen meals weekly to the home, and they only have to be put into the microwave for a few minutes and then enjoyed.
This also saves your loved one a trip from the grocery store and makes for one less thing they have to worry about.
If your loved one is having trouble bending down, carrying bulky items or just trouble with their agility in general, view here about hiring a service to clean every other week or so.
The chances of injury increase when someone is pushing themselves and engaging in a physical activity they don’t always do. In order to avoid this, take the burden off this person and allow someone to come to take care of the cleaning.
If it hasn’t already happened, at some point, your loved one will need to give up getting behind the wheel. Whether for reasons regarding vision, hearing or dexterity, giving up driving may be difficult for your family member and you don’t want to keep them on house arrest when they do stop.
Several transportation companies specialize in senior care; they can take your parent to and from doctors appointments or on designated routes with other seniors with some regular stops like the grocery store or the movies.
If this isn’t an option financially, ask other family members if they’d be willing to take shifts each week driving your loved one around and where they need and want to go. Just because they can no longer drive, doesn’t mean they can’t accomplish tasks on their own or live a busy, independent life.
This option has become popular as of late. Sometimes referred to as “granny pods,” these MEDCottage’s are a guest house-like structure that is built in your backyard or on the property of another loved one with some room to spare.
The home has a room, kitchen, bathroom, running water and electricity. It acts like a stand-alone studio apartment. They can decorate it as they wish and make it feel like home, but it will only be steps from a family member or friend.
Adult Day Care
Exactly what it sounds like. Seniors can thrive off of socializing and interacting with others and activities can keep their brain stimulated. This can increase their quality of life and even allow them to make new friends.
If your loved one is home most of the day alone, this is a perfect option. Attendees can engage in physical exercises, arts, and crafts, games and more. They’ll also have someone present who can monitor their status and ensure they’re taking any necessary medication.
Home Care Manager
This will be a person who is hired for your loved one. They are typically billed by the hour and come to their house to help out with decisions and day-to-day tasks.
This person can keep doctors appointments in order, make sure there’s food in the fridge, help with bill payments and ensure the home continues to function smoothly and stay in order.
This person will work as a liaison between the senior and their family member or friend and keep them up to date with the status of their loved one and let them know when it’s time for them to move out of the home and into a more hands-on environment.
Independent living is designed exclusively for seniors, giving them the chance to live on their own but reside in a community. Here, the day-to-day chores are handled by the employees which allow your loved one to remain worry-free about meals, cleaning, and laundry.
The set up is much like a college campus and is primed for socializing. They also have group activities much like those offered at the adult day care programs.
This is a more managed living situation for those who require more assistance. Assisted living is for those who can live alone but require some help. Help can include bathing, dressing, administering medication, meals, housekeeping and more.
This allows your loved one to maintain a sense of autonomy but never be alone as care is typically offered 24 hours per day at these facilities.
Consider These Options for Elderly Care
As you can see above, there are many options for elderly care other than a retirement home. It’s important to be realistic about the ability and needs of the person you love and know when to make a change.
Their safety and quality of life are most important, so be sure to offer them some of the options above to see if these ideas can help make their lives easier.
Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more lifestyle and health tips!