Do you have an aging parent that still lives in his own home, but needs more assistance? You're not alone. Up to 25 percent of many older Americans need some form of additional help with their ADLs or activities of daily living, suggests Harvard Medical School; this may include things like meal prep, personal care, and transportation to and from medical appointments. For other seniors, they may need more assistance and are unable to properly care for themselves independently. In these cases, a skilled nursing facility or assisted living care center may be a good option. Here are a few factors that you might want to think about:
Help With A Serious Medical Problem
One of the biggest issues with seniors who are ill or frail, is caring for them at home properly. If you decide to move your parent into your home, and they have suffered a stroke, have mental impairment, or have some form of limited ability, it can be challenging to care for them on your own. If you can financially afford to care for them, while not working so you can commit to being a full-time caregiver, you may be able to get by. If you do work, or have other responsibilities outside the home, you may want to consider skilled nursing care. A nursing home is similar to hospital care, in which there are nurses on staff to monitor patients who need medical attention. At reputable nursing homes, doctors may also be on staff, on call, or be in attendance several times a day. There are also nursing aids and other staff members available to assist with vital monitoring, reporting medical changes, and keeping your loved one clean and dry around the clock.
Assistance With Daily Life Tasks
If your loved one is fairly self-sufficient, but still needs some help with daily tasks such as meal preparation, shopping, and administering medications, an assisted living facility may be a good option. This is similar to a nursing home, except it promotes more independent living. Patients have their own rooms, and in some cases their own apartments or condos, which promotes self-sufficiency and a sense of home. Assisted living may be a wise downsize option if your parent currently lives in a large home which is not handicap accessible or difficult to maintain.
Proper Nutrition And Socialization
Making sure that your parent gets the right nutrition is helpful in treating any medical condition that they may have. It also helps keep them healthy no matter what their physical health and well-being happens to be. Both skilled nursing homes and assisted living centers offer patient-focused nutrition guidelines, and they also monitor the meals that your parent eats. Both assisted living and nursing facilities offer a lot of interaction with staff and promote socialization among residents. This can be a positive improvement for a senior who was otherwise homebound and living in isolation throughout the day.
Taking Your Budget Into Consideration
With all of the options available to aging seniors, one of the biggest things to take into consideration is budget. Your parent's health insurance, cash availability, and assets must be accounted for and configured into what he or she can afford. Many assisted living facilities are not covered under health insurance, so you will be responsible for out-of-pocket costs.
Looking at finances, your loved one's health, and what their overall basic needs are, are the first steps in deciding what you should do when caring for your aging parent.