As your senior family members age, it’s important to make sure they have the appropriate care for their needs. There are many different types of senior care, ranging from elder homes to at-home care to community center programs. As seniors transition from middle age and working life to retirement, they take on new needs that they may not be aware of. It’s important to address your senior’s physical, emotional, and mental needs so they can live a happy and healthy life. Here’s what you should consider when searching for care for the seniors in your life.
1. Is your senior getting enough social interaction?
Many seniors struggle to get enough social interaction in their lives, particularly if they’ve lost a partner or if their children have moved away from home. However, it’s still very important that they get regular social interaction. Social interaction is very important for physical and emotional health. Not only do social encounters naturally boost seniors’ moods, but they also help seniors get out and about in a natural, non-stressful way. There are many different types of senior care that encourage social interaction. If your senior is still healthy but is just looking to get more involved with other people around them, there are many community centers, workout studios, museums, and other entities that offer programs for seniors. If your senior needs medical care as well, you may want to consider a retirement community where they can receive care and also interact with other people on a regular basis. Many retirement homes offer activities for seniors on a regular basis to create natural social interaction. Your senior might find they make very close friends living in a retirement community.
2. How much supervision and help does your senior need?
According to Equinoxe LifeCare, a healthcare management company, Some seniors just need a little bit of aid with a few tasks, while other seniors need near-constant care to stay healthy. Luckily, there are so many different options for senior medical care that can be customized to suit your needs. At-home care can be customized to suit your senior’s exact needs, whether they just need help with grocery shopping and cleaning the house or they need complete supervision for tasks like eating and bathing. Retirement homes also offer a few different tiers of supervision as well. There are many retirement communities that allow seniors to live in an accessible space while still maintaining their independence, and then they can transition into part- or full-time care as needed.
3. Does your senior have any specialized medical needs?
If your senior is struggling with a chronic condition, it’s important that they have the care they need to stay healthy. Not all senior homes will have the capability to take care of every chronic condition, so it’s important to confirm that your senior can get the care they need before committing to a specific form of care. If you aren’t sure where to find the most appropriate care for your senior, talk to a doctor. They will be able to recommend the best specialists in your area for their needs.
4. Do you want your senior close to home?
A big decision that many families have to make is whether they want their loved ones to be close to home or whether they’re comfortable with their senior being further away from them to get the care they need. For many families, there are emotional benefits to keeping their senior at home, so it makes the most sense to bring in a nurse or caregiver. Ideally, the senior should still have some space that’s their own so they can maintain some sense of independence. For families that are okay with moving their seniors further away, it’s very important to find a place that still feels homey. It’s important that they can personalize their space and bring in items they’ve loved throughout their life.
5. How much can you afford to spend on senior care?
Senior care can unfortunately be very expensive, so it’s important to be realistic about your budget when planning for the future. In addition to determining how much you can afford right now, you’ll also need to take into account any future expenses that may come up relating to your senior’s health. Don’t be afraid to talk to a variety of different services and caregivers until you find a place that fits your needs and your budget. Senior care is a long-term investment, not a one-time purchase, and the amount you spend should reflect that.
6. Does your senior need memory-related care?
Memory care is much more complex than other types of senior care, and it’s very important that your senior receives the services they need. Specialized care is essential to make sure that seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia don’t injure themselves or wander off during the day. Although memory care is often more expensive than other types of health or senior care, it’s a worthwhile investment because it saves money on trips to the doctor and care for injuries. Memory care providers should be experienced and certified in this type of specialized care, so don’t be afraid to ask for credentials when searching for a provider.
When interviewing potential senior care homes, it’s very important to take your time. This isn’t a decision to make lightly, and you want to make sure you’re completely comfortable with the people who are taking care of your loved ones. The ideal senior home or care service should be very receptive and helpful with any questions you have, regardless of what they are. It’s very important to trust your gut when searching for senior living help – if something feels off, it probably is, and that’s a good sign to look somewhere else. It’s also important to note that there’s no real ‘right’ type of senior care. Different solutions work for different people, and if one type of care doesn’t feel like a good fit, it’s okay to spend your time searching for other options.