Senior Adult Care
Adult Care Choices
Adult care and eldercare are growing problems today: In general, people are living longer, and when they get to the point that they can no longer live alone, they often have to leave their homes and their families are faced with some tough decisions. Fortunately, today there are several choices in adult care and eldercare: Each type of senior living has its advantages and disadvantages.
If your senior citizen doesn’t require specialized medical care, he might be able to stay in his own home. There are many agencies that provide adult care. If the eldercare agency is reputable, they do a thorough background check on the adult care givers they employ. You make an agreement with the agency for them to send someone to your senior’s home. Depending on the specific eldercare agency, the caregivers might do laundry, cleaning, and cooking. If the caregiver doesn’t work out for some reason, most adult care agencies will allow you to try a different one.
Another option to in-home adult care is to hire a private sitter: Some of these adult caregivers are unskilled, while others might be LPNs or even registered nurses. Of course, the more skilled the adult caregivers are, the more they charge. If your senior citizen just needs someone to help with bathing or running errands, you don’t need to pay the extra cost of a skilled adult care giver.
Before you hire any type of in-home adult care, you need to assess the needs of your senior realistically. What can he do for himself? What can family members help with? Do you want 24-7 adult care, or would just a few hours a day of eldercare suffice?
Assisted Living Facilities
Another choice in adult care is assisted living facilities: Some of these are very nice. Someone I know was in one for two years, and it was beautiful. It looked like a large plantation home, and it was situated on a small lake. The grounds were landscaped, and there were outdoor sitting areas.
The inside was furnished with antiques and quality reproductions. Senior citizens had the choice of a room or suite. The rooms had a bedroom, a bathroom, and a small kitchen. The suites had a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen: Many assisted living facilities offer these same options.
With most assisted living facilities, residents are allowed to use their own furniture. This makes their new room feel homey and provides a sense of familiarity. Most senior citizens are happier when they can keep their most precious belongings, and a big part of adult care should be about the happiness of the recipient.
The better assisted living facilities provide regular entertainment for their residents. These might include games, live music, special speakers, and arts and crafts. Some assisted living facilities even take the residents on day trips. Activities are important in keeping senior citizens involved and stimulated. In some assisted living facilities, guests can have their own automobiles and even keep a pet.
Most assisted living facilities have a common dining room, where meals and snacks are served. If a patron is ill or doesn’t feel well, he can have his meal in his room. Some assisted living facilities also provide a private dining room where patrons can entertain guests, which is a nice place for family members and friends to share a meal with them when visiting: Visitors are usually charged a small fee for a meal.
The disadvantage of assisted living facilities is mainly cost: They are expensive, and they’re not covered by most insurance policies. Assisted living facilities are not covered by Medicaid, either. Prices for assisted living facilities in my area average about $3,000 per month, depending on how much assistance your senior needs.
Another disadvantage with assisted living facilities is that they do not provide nursing care. They’ll help with bathing, dressing, feeding, medication monitoring, and some other aspects of senior living, but they’re not nursing homes. If your senior needs more adult care than that, assisted living is probably not an option.
My mom had Alzheimer’s, and once she began trying to escape her assisted living quarters, she had to be moved. They could not take the responsibility for her safety any longer. We had to find another place for eldercare. We found a wonderful assisting living home that included an Alzheimer’s wing. The unit was locked down, so Mom could no longer escape. She didn’t require medical adult care, so this was a good option for us. This assisted living home was just down the street from me, so it was easy for me to make regular visits.
Another choice for adult care and eldercare is nursing homes. Typical nursing homes are bare-bones adult care, as far as any luxuries are concerned. Nursing homes do, however, provide medical care: If your senior citizen needs more care than assisted living facilities provide, nursing homes might be your only choice.
Nursing homes often get a bad rap, but some are well run and well staffed. My grandmother was in one that was run by the Presbyterian Church, and we were always impressed with the care she received. On the other hand, my nurse-daughter has worked in a couple of nursing homes that were terrible. Patients were often neglected, and some were over-medicated.
If you feel that your senior needs medical adult care, visit several nursing homes before making a decision. Nursing homes near your residence would be convenient for you, but is it the best choice for your senior citizen? Don’t let location be your only criterion for choosing nursing homes. When visiting prospective nursing homes, observe the patients. Do they appear well kempt? Are they kept active? Are entertainment programs provided?
The disadvantages of nursing homes has been covered. Advantages of nursing homes include round-the-clock medical care. Another advantage of nursing homes is that they’re covered by Medicaid.
Choose Adult Care Carefully!
Adult care is something we might all have to face sooner or later: Before making a choice in eldercare, weigh your options carefully. Where would your loved one be happiest and best cared for? It’s prudent to investigate any adult care givers, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes, thoroughly.