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When it comes to caring for your aging loved one, often decisions have to be made that are difficult and can be upsetting for all concerned. How do you choose between the myriad of options available for elder care? It all depends on your loved one’s needs and the range of services that are offered in your community.

Are nursing homes the best option for my loved one?

Nursing homes provide long term care for patients with various medical needs. In choosing whether or not to place your loved one in a nursing home will largely depend on their health and general well-being. These facilities provide around the clock care for your loved one and have doctors on staff that will do checkups on patients and provide medical care such as medications, prosthetics, and physical therapy if needed. Nursing homes are sometimes viewed with a certain amount of disdain but you can rest assured that regulations are in place and the facilities are checked for compliance.

What is Assisted Living and is this the right choice?

Assisted living as the name implies is a type of long term care for your loved one who is able to do most things on their own. If your loved one is fairly active you may want to look into an assisted living facility. These types of facilities do provide care for your loved one and also provides other activities that may be of interest. There is also assisted living outside of a facility setting that can be done right in your loved one’s home. Home care is on the rise as more and more medical practitioners are finding active elders who would prefer to stay at home rather than in a facility. Mobile nurses provide medical attention in the home if it is needed and will consult with the doctor on your loved one’s needs. Assisted living is also provided by a caregiver who comes in the home on a regular basis to assist your loved one with activities of daily living.

What Type of Services Do Caregivers provide?

Caregivers are often not licensed medical personal. A caregiver can by yourself or a friend who comes into the home to help your loved one perform everyday activities such as bathing, grooming, dressing, household chores, and running errands. A caregiver is also there to provide moral support for you loved one and recreational activities. If your loved one just needs help around the house you may want to consider this option to provide for their needs.

What is Home Care and How Do I Get It?

If your loved one has some medical issues that do not require around the clock care, you may want to look into home care. Home care is when your loved one is able to stay at home but needs some conditions monitored by a medical care provider. A mobile nurse will come in on a certain schedule and check your loved one’s condition and report the results to the doctor. This does not replace regular checkups with the doctor however. Home care can be found by talking with your doctor about your need for services; often the doctor will recommend home care as an option for you if they want frequent reports on your loved one. These services can also be found in the phone book under home health care.

Is Senior Housing Affordable?

Sometimes your loved one may not be able to afford the cost of soaring rent prices and may need to find senior housing. This is housing that is made affordable for seniors on a fixed income and will rent to them according to that income. It is an option that you may want to consider if your loved one is living in a home that they can no longer afford. Senior housing is for all seniors who either live on their own or are cared for by a caregiver. Ask your local community housing department for applications and instructions on how to get senior housing.

Is Independent Living A Viable Option?

Again, this will depend on your loved one’s health status both physically and mentally. Independent Living can be a community where seniors live and associate and there can be an on-call medical staff person on the grounds to provide for their needs. Some independent living facilities have emergency call buttons installed that are easy to reach for seniors who may have fallen down or need assistance in some way. These facilities allow the senior to live independently but with the assurance that help is always available if they need it any time day or night. These independent living facilities are good for senior morale and provide you with the peace of mind needed in knowing that your loved one is not completely alone and can get help even if you are away.

These are just some tips and advice on getting your senior the right services that may be needed for them and give you some idea of what to expect from each one. These tips will give you a sort of road map in the vast arena of elder care. More and more options are becoming available each day as senior care is on the rise as the baby boomer generation is coming of age. The options available are many, it is just a matter of choosing which ones will work for your loved one and you. It is more about your senior’s quality of life and you want to provide them with the best options that are available. Do your due diligence and research the facility and type of care that you need before you place your loved one. Also consult with your doctor on which type of facility or option is best in case you are confused or having trouble providing for your loved one’s needs.