Talking about, looking and planning for senior care does not have to be such a taboo subject anymore. Taking control of living arrangements and the arrangements of your family members is perfectly reasonable and acceptable. There are lots of types of care on offer and knowing which one is right for your circumstances, or your family members’ situation and circumstances can be difficult, especially if you do not know where to start. There can be an overwhelming amount of information to dissect, and it can be hard to see clearly especially when you are dealing with the matter so close to home. It is important that you seek specialist advice and guidance wherever you can to ensure you make the right care choices both now and for the future.
Assessing The Situation
Before you can start investing any time into finding care providers, you need to assess what type of care you or a family member needs. If care is required around the clock and is currently being given by family or trained professionals and it is still not enough – then you will probably need to look at full time residency within a residential home or a care home. If the situation is not that bad and only assistance is currently required then you might be better looking at assisted living, whereby the person requiring help or assistance can live as independently as possible. If you are struggling to assess the situation yourself then do not hesitate to contact local providers of care or service agencies.
Carers In The Home
If care is required in the home and it is only required for specific tasks on an ad hoc basis such as grocery shopping or meal preparation then you may look at getting carers involved. Carers typically visit a house for anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour to conduct a welfare check and to ensure that the person is happy and safe. There are different types of care you can get, for example, you can get personal care which is assistance bathing or washing, or you can get home help which is assistance around the house, perhaps with the cleaning or with the laundry. If care and assistance is only needed a couple of times a week then this may work effectively. If more is needed then you are best to start looking at assisted living.
When getting carers in to any home you need to screen potential applicants to ensure that they are trustworthy individuals. Background checks should be performed and references should be checked. It is important to ensure that you know who will be coming into your house, or the house of a loved one as unfortunately not everyone has the best intentions. You can hire carers yourself privately, or you can use an agency that will take away the worry and stress. Carers can vary in price and cheap is not always cheerful. Trained carers who have experience in personal care will always cost more than untrained carers and they will also be in higher demand, so, keep this in mind if you are seeking urgent care or assistance.
Living independently while accessing support and health is possible. There are fantastic communities and villages all across the country, including the assisted living San Diego village in California which is just like a hotel. Assisted living is all about helping individuals to live as independently as possible. It is not about giving care or help when it is not needed, it is about ensuring that those services are available for any time that they may be needed by the user. With assisted living individuals (or couples in certain villages/communities) continue to live in their own self-contained residence or studio. They can leave, travel and go out on excursions as and when they please, the only difference is that they have support and back up there for times when it may be needed. Help and support can be in the shape of anything from personal care and hygiene to help with laundry.
Most villages or communities have their own restaurants and chefs ensuring that residents can always have access to freshly prepared nutritious meals. When finding a suitable assisted living location it is wise to take your time and do your research. Speaking to people that are living within villages or communities can help, as can reading independent reports. Moving into assisted living is a big step and one that you will want to get right so take your time and do not rush any decision.
Nursing Home / Care Home
This is where care is given around the clock and where a person cannot leave freely as and when they please. Care homes or nursing homes are necessary when all other options have been exhausted, and when a person’s care becomes too much for ad hoc or sporadic visits from carers and other helpers. Quite often, those within residential settings will have underlying health issues that may be deteriorating over time, such as Alzheimer’s. Within a care home setting a person’s needs are fulfilled by a team of round the clock carers and helpers. Activities are usually organized within the home and there are usually outings planned throughout the year.
When looking at residential homes or care homes, it is wise to visit several before making any decisions. Try and visit at different times of the day to assess if the level of care is consistent throughout the day. Within nursing homes you will often find that day care is better than night care – day care is a lot more interactive and personalized. As care can vary so much, in addition to visiting and asking questions it is also wise that you read recent care reports. When establishments have been visited and checked a report will be produced, and the information contained within this report will tell you everything you need to know about how well the care home/nursing home is run. From how often dressings and bedding is changed, to how well trained staff are, care reports feature every piece of information you could need to make an informed decision.