For those with aging parents, it can be difficult to determine how to best care for them. There are numerous variables that need to be considered, including cost, what your parents want, and the risks associated with not having appropriate care. It can be a hard conversation to have with your parents, but it is an essential conversation to have when your parents are declining cognitively or physically. In this article, we cover the signs that your parents might be in need of more consistent care and the options available to them.
Signs That Your Parents Might Benefit from a Care Facility
Decreased cognitive capabilities/disorientation
If your parents are disoriented or showing signs of confusion, this can be a sign that they are in need of more attentive care. While, in some cases, forgetfulness or confusion may be harmless, this isn’t always the case. If they are forgetting medication or forget to turn off the oven, it can result in dangerous consequences.
Decreased mobility can also be a cause for concern. Being able to maneuver through their home safely is essential. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3 million people 65 years and older fall each year, and falls are the most common form of traumatic brain injury. Ensuring that your parents are in a safe environment is of the utmost importance.
Homes can be retrofitted with a variety of features to make them safer, such as ramps, stairclimbers, handrails, and electric hospital beds. The electric hospital beds made by Transfer Master are suitable for both at home or in medical facilities and help to provide users with a safe and secure way to maintain a level of independence.
Inability Or Choosing Not To Perform Daily Tasks
If your parents are neglecting daily tasks such as cooking, house upkeep, or grooming, it can be a sign that they might be happier in a care facility. As people age, these tasks become more challenging, and care facilities can alleviate the burden of day-to-day chores.
Increased isolation can be another sign that your parents might be happier in a care facility. According to a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), nearly one-fourth of adults over 65 are considered socially isolated. Social isolation was associated with a 50% increased risk of dementia, 32% increased risk of stroke, and a 29% increased risk of heart disease. This statistic illustrates the physical risks associated with social isolation.
Care facilities present their residents with opportunities to mingle, socialize, and communicate with each other in a far more accessible environment. This makes assisted living an opportunity not just to improve their physical well-being but also to improve their mental well-being.
The Different Forms of Elder Care
For those who are considering elder care, there are a wide variety of options available. Each presents a different array of benefits, and by choosing the optimal form of care for your parents, you can provide them with the best experience possible.
Independent Living Facilities
Independent living facilities present their residents with a range of freedom and help services while providing safety and socialization opportunities. These facilities are best suited for self-sufficient residents, but they can offer services such as transportation, laundry, or meal delivery.
At-Home Care By a Family Member
At-home care services are most often administered by a loved one and consist of the family member living with the parent or vice versa. While this might be the most economical option in most cases, it can be extremely draining for the family member that is administering full-time care. Evaluate the level of care needed to determine the feasibility of this method.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities offer a mostly independent living solution while providing care as needed. Residents inhabit a room or apartment and are free to do as they please while having access to personal care attendants as needed throughout the day.
Nursing homes provided the most intensive care and the lowest level of independence of the facilities listed above. They provide care that registered nurses and nurse’s aides administer in a room within the facility. They also provide meals, social activities, and more to ensure a safe environment for the residents. This is the ideal solution for patients requiring around-the-clock care. With more than 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S., there are plenty of excellent options from which to choose.
Continuum of Care Facilities
Continuum of care facilities are designed to offer some variety of the services listed above. They are designed to care for residents throughout their aging progression. As the resident ages and their physical and mental capabilities decline, their level of care can then be increased to meet their needs, all within the same facility.
Doing What Is Best For Your Parents
By evaluating your parents’ physical and mental condition and identifying the appropriate facility for their needs, you can offer them the right combination of freedom, independence, safety, and social support. This is the best way to ensure both their safety and happiness.