Choosing where to spend the remainder of your golden years can be a weighty decision. But as medical concerns mount and daily tasks become more difficult to complete, finding assistance in day-to-day life becomes more and more important.
Many options are available to people needing care assistance, and navigating the choices can be difficult. In 2012, 1.3 million Americans lived in a nursing facility, while 65 percent of older adults needing care sought help from loved ones. Whether you are making the decision for yourself or a family member, here are some options to consider:
Long-term care options are designed to support people who need a higher level of medical assistance. Different facilities may offer a variety of services, such as skilled nursing, meals and personal care. Therapy services may also be available for individuals who need rehabilitation. These facilities can care for people for the remainder of their lives or short time periods until they are able to live at home again.
“A long-term care facility may be the right choice if a person is unable to care for themselves and does not have someone who can take care of them at home,” says Amy Santo, administrator at Smith Ranch Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “If your loved one needs daily assistance with hygiene and nutrition and needs support for medical conditions, long-term care is a good option to consider.”
For people who do not need full-time medical care, an assisted living facility may be a good option. These facilities offer a more independent living situation for individuals who can care for themselves but may need assistance with personal care, medication or nutrition. Some assisted living locations may have activities for residents and transportation assistance.
Living at home
Growing older does not always necessitate a change in living arrangements. Many people may wish to remain in their homes or finances might not support moving into a facility. Family members often care for elderly relatives, whether their relative moves in or remains in their home. Living at home can be an excellent option, but changes may need to take place for it to happen. Ensure your home is safe by removing tripping hazards and making other home modifications. Consider hiring home health services for help with therapy or personal care for seniors. Adult day care facilities also can provide regular care and recreation to give seniors the opportunity to get out of the house and socialize.
Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic no doubt complicates this decision for many people. Where are elderly family members safest during this uncertain time? While the answer is different for every individual, it is important to protect seniors whether they are aging at home or at an assisted living or long-term care facility. Care facilities have worked diligently to enhance safety measures to keep residents safe. Following CDC guidelines, whether at a facility or at home, is essential to seniors’ health during the pandemic.
Elderly people needing help with day-to-day activities or medical care may need to consider finding new living arrangements or getting assistance to stay at home. Many options are available that can suit a variety of needs to help you or your loved one live comfortably and get the right care. Whether it means moving out or making home just a little more accommodating, find the right solution for your situation.
A version of this article was published by The Daily Herald. It has been republished here with permission.