Although aging is a natural part of life, the struggle that comes with caring for an elderly family member can come as a surprise when the time comes. Taking care of a senior family member can become even more challenging if they are suffering from serious health issues like dementia or Parkinson’s disease.
Elderly care is something people don’t always prepare for due to different reasons:
- Their loved one is healthy and is expected to remain so well into late adulthood.
- They think family is available to take turns caring for the elderly loved one.
- Old age is still far off, so there’s no need to think about it now.
Taking care of an elderly loved one requires patience, dedication, and compassion. But when you add serious medical conditions into the mix, it’s normal to question whether you can give your loved one the best care they deserve.
This is the time when you might begin looking into elderly care services and resources for caregivers. If you’re interested in finding the best care services for your family member, then keep reading.
Why Elderly Care Is Important
Elderly care is usually overlooked until you realize that your loved one has reached an age where they need more care and attention.
The thought of growing old comes with certain fears and uncertainties, and when one is actually old, these stressors can increase. To bring comfort and peace of mind to your elderly loved one, you need to reassure them that you are there, care is available, and they don’t need to worry.
Moreover, aging comes with physiological changes that could lead to mobility issues, memory impairment, poor eyesight and hearing, appetite loss, and others.
By taking steps to provide the needs of your loved one, you are helping set them up for a life of ease as they advance in years. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as by providing for all their daily needs, taking them on holidays, making time for conversation, and arranging for elderly care services to ease their daily or weekly routine.
Convincing your elderly parents or loved one to accept home care and family support from a stranger – no matter how experienced and well-trained – may not be so easy. So, be patient and talk to them about the benefits of elderly care assistance.
Tell them that with trained family caregivers, they will have more time to pursue new interests or hobbies. Let them understand how getting the help of professional private caregivers can significantly reduce their stress and yours. Reassure them that you’ll be present and available, and that you’re not relinquishing your role as their primary caretaker. Let them know you love them.
Types of Elderly Care Services
Elderly care (aka eldercare or aged care) refers to services that address the needs and requirements of elderly persons or senior citizens. It comes in different forms, such as nutrition programs, assisted living, long-term care, nursing homes, virtual companion care, hospice care, and home care.
Choosing the best elderly care services for your loved one depends on their needs. This is why it’s crucial to conduct a lifestyle and needs assessment specific to the situation and health status of your loved one.
Some elderly individuals may only require assistance with physically taxing tasks like gardening, grocery shopping, and house cleaning. Others may need help with a lot of things, like getting around, taking medication, and maintaining personal hygiene.
Of the different types of elderly care services available, at-home care and care facilities are among the most common.
In home or family-provided care, the elderly loved ones mayloved may be staying in their own home, or with their family or loved ones. While the family remains the primary caregiver in this arrangement, they would usually hire professional caregivers to assist them or fill in when they need to go to work or be away.
At-home care can take the form of healthcare or nonmedical home care services. Home healthcare includes certain medical services required by the elderly loved one. These can include rehabilitative services, medication assistance, and nursing services. Nonmedical home care may involve housekeeping, cooking, driving, providing companionship, and other household tasks.
The types of services and level of care provided are based on the health status and needs of the elderly loved one – usually with the recommendation or approval of their physician.
Residential care facilities for the elderly are establishments that provide accommodation and meals, as well as care and supervision tailored to each client’s needs.
The different types of facilities include nursing homes, independent living apartments, continuing care retirement communities, and enriched housing. The variety of housing options and levels of care provided in these facilities ensure the elderly have access to services that match their housing and lifestyle needs perfectly.
How to Get the Proper Care and Support for Your Loved One
Before enlisting any elderly care services, it’s important to assess the needs of your loved one first. Once your loved one’s requirements are clearly established, you can start checking for the appropriate caregiver resources and services, including which types are available in your neighborhood or community.
Go over all your shortlisted services and start making your inquiries with reputable elderly care organizations. Making inquiries is bound to be time-consuming, so dedicate time to do this. Make sure you keep a file of every inquiry you make and the responses you receive. Also, be prepared to provide specific information about your loved one, such as their diagnostic information, physician’s name, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and social security numbers.
Be straightforward and assertive, and be very specific about the needs of your loved one. Also, ask for rate sheets so you know the fees right away. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to probe further, as you and your senior family member will be using the information they provide in making a long-term, life-changing decision.
Before making your selection, compare notes and discuss your final choices with your elderly family member. Use this time to come up with a mutual decision, as whichever elderly care services you choose will ultimately impact your lives.
Improve Your Family Member’s Quality of Life
Elderly care services are designed to ease your elderly family member’s or loved one’s quality of life. Through the careful selection of services, you can help reduce their fears and anxieties, support their lifestyle, improve their health, and keep them happy.
Of course, when you know they’re happy and comfortable, you’ll also experience a sense of fulfillment that comes with knowing you’re giving them the best care possible.
If you need further assistance with identifying the best care services or facilities for your elderly family member, please contact Care Weavers at (704) 577-2096.
You may also check our resources page for more information.