Tag Archives: Home Care

Home Options for Older People: Should You Accept Assisted Living or Modify Your Existing Home

Getting older and wiser while watching the awe-inspiring growth of your family and friends, knowing you have lived a full life, is a gift not all of us are able to appreciate. For those lucky enough to see past retirement, becoming older brings about a host of new life perspectives, concerns, and needs. Often, many of these new challenges are related to health problems which naturally increase in frequency as we age. Because of these trends, it can be very helpful for the elderly to either receive in-home care or to be transferred into an assisted living residence once their health problems become too complicated to take care of themselves or with the help of family. These services and facilities can help the elderly maintain their normal schedules, stay healthy, and live longer, albeit catering to different sorts of clients. How can you decide whether assisted living or in-home care is the right solution for you and your family?

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted Living facilities sometimes receive bad press in the media as depressing homes or communities where people go to spend their last days. In fact, there are a variety off available assisted living facilities that offer different levels of services depending on the needs of their clients. Assisted living homes are great for the elderly who have intensive, daily medical needs and that should be under constant supervision or who are extremely restricted in their possible activities or movements because of their state of health. These facilities usually have a nurse on call at all times and can easily schedule medical appointments with specialists for more serious concerns. By always having at least one set of watchful eyes around, assisted living facilities can make you and your family feel safer about the well-being of your elderly loved one.

Assisted living facilities are also great for combating the loneliness that can often accompany old age. By gathering many people together who face the same sorts of daily challenges and tend to enjoy similar forms of socializing and enjoyment, assisted living facilities provide a welcoming community to the elderly that they are unlikely to get elsewhere. This socialization has been shown to improve the elderly’s psychological state and resultantly their health. In addition, a serious concern for a majority of the elderly is the significant cost of medical and daily care. Because of the grouping of resources, assisted living facilities are actually usually cheaper than hiring full-time in-home staff with the bonus of offering a welcoming community.

In-Home Care

In-home care usually entails working with an agency to find a suitable nurse or caregiver to come to your home for an agreed upon number of hours every week. For people who only need help sparingly or a few times a week to clean up the home or make sure that the bills are paid and other household necessities are taken care of, hiring an in-home aide is probably the best option. Nurses can also be scheduled to visit the home as frequently as necessary to help maintain health and administer medications. Unfortunately, because such hired help is normally paid by the hour, using intensive in-home care can be more expensive than simply transferring to an assisted living facility. For pricing information, see SeniorHousingNet.com.

Receiving in-home assistance may not be the best choice for those seniors who have little contact with their peers or whose family lives far away. In these cases, its possible that the elderly person’s lack of socialization may actually be making him/her more sick and moving into an assisted living facility may be a better idea. If in-home care is an option, it can also be beneficial to make the home as comfortable as possible for the elderly. Home improvements that make it easier to get up and down stairs, reach an emergency number, or automatically shut off electricity and gas can transform a home into the perfect, personal care-giving facility. Companies like Encasa Experts can remove much of the hassle of organization by helping you find in-home care and install home improvements.

Deciding how to live best in old age is a difficult decision complicated by factors like medical needs and budget concerns. Understanding your needs will help you identify which type of elderly care is best for you and your loved ones.

Choosing the Right Retirement Home For a Loved One

When your loved ones reach a certain age it might become necessary to choose a retirement home for them. This may include your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or in-laws. Regardless, you want the people you love the most to have the best care in their retirement home, which means you need to do your research and choose the perfect home for the people you love. There are many different aspects to consider, all of which will help you make the best decision for your family.

Location, Location, Location

Choosing a retirement home is no different than choosing a new house to purchase or apartment to rent. You want to make sure that the location of the retirement home is somewhere safe and nearby. The neighborhood in which the retirement community is located in should have a police presence, a fire department, and the home itself should be gated. You don’t want to choose a retirement community in a bad or dangerous neighborhood.

Additionally, one of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing a retirement home is not choosing one close enough to their own home. People of a certain age thrive when they have frequent contact with their friends and family members. You want to be able to visit your loved ones on a regular basis, so they home should be close to where your loved ones already live, or at least close to where you live. Furthermore, the quality of care that your loved ones receive in a retirement home is largely dependent on how many visitors they get. Retirement homes want you to know that your loved ones are being cared for, and if they know you can be there at any given time, any moment of any day, they are going to make sure your loved ones are getting the best possible care.

Consider the Staff

There are several things you need to do to make sure the staff at the retirement home you choose is what you’re looking for. For one, you need to make sure that all the people who work at the home are experienced working in retirement homes. You can absolutely ask nurses what their education and qualifications consist of. Additionally, you need to make sure there is enough staff for each resident. The ratio between the staff and the patients is critical in choosing the home where your loved ones will receive the best possible care.

Ask the staff some questions. Get to know them a little. You can do this by asking about their educational and working background. Ask them what they’d do if there was an unexpected disaster such as a fire, tornado, or power outage at the home. The answers the staff provides helps you to determine whether or not they know their jobs and are willing to take the time to care for your loved ones. Additionally, you can get to know them a little and decide whether or not they are personable and friendly.

Visit the Home

Before you commit your loved ones to living in any retirement home, ask to visit. A good home will allow you to visit anytime you want, without notice. Beware of any retirement home that wants you to book a time frame in advance and turns you away from visiting without an appointment. This may indicate that the quality of care the residents are receiving is not up to par. While you are at the home, take note of the interaction between patients and staff. Do they seem friendly and likable? Are the patients happy and smiling or do they seem unhappy? Is the atmosphere relaxed and inviting or cold and intimidating? Talk to some of the residents and ask for recommendations and references.

Ask to join the residents for a meal. You’ll be able to chat with them about their experience in the retirement home and see how the food is.

Check Out the Details

Are there activities for your loved ones to enjoy? Are they free to take walks around the home, play games with friends, have their grandchildren to visit, and are there activities they can participate in? All of these things are essential to knowing whether or not your loved ones will be happy in their new home.

Knowing that your loved ones are happy and well treated makes choosing a retirement home an easy process. However, before you commit to choosing a home for them, bring them to visit. Your opinion is important, but their opinion is more important. After all, they are the people who will consider this place home for what is likely the rest of their lives. Make sure they enjoy the space, the community, and the staff. It’s imperative when choosing a retirement home.

(information referenced some by personal experience as well as from

Nisha is a freelance writer currently helping to represent the charity