Living alone can present health and safety hazards for the elderly. There is a high risk of falling down and injury due to poor eyesight or balance. Alternatives are available for those who do not wish to move to assisted living facilities.
As people age, there are some things that become difficult to do without help. With aging come health concerns, such as loss of vision, poor balance, and memory loss, among others, making it necessary to ensure that our elderly loved ones are cared for properly. While there are certainly plenty of great assisted living facilities, some may feel hesitant to explore senior care in these kinds of facilities for any number of reasons. There are some seniors who simply prefer to live at home rather than be “placed in a home” and may feel resistant to the idea of nursing homes and other such facilities.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to assisted living which can provide the same high quality of living, safety and day-to-day adult care that your elderly loved one may need.
Most people, if given a choice, would rather remain in the comfort of their own homes, where everything is familiar and where they feel the safest. In-home caregivers or home aids are a great alternative to assisted living in this case. Home aids are trained as nurses (RN), certified nurse assistants (CNA) or other medical professionals, and are qualified to assist the elderly with basic medical needs such as administering medications, applying IV, physical therapy, or other similar services. Having a home aid ensures that your aging loved one will be given one-on-one, personalized attention by the medical professional, unlike in an assisted living facility which may have one nurse to 20 residents or more.
Seniors, just like everyone, like to hold on to their independence – and there are cases in which an older adult does not need constant, skilled care. Rather, they only require assistance with a few day-to-day activities. In this case, companion care can be a fantastic alternative to being in an assisted living facility. The role of companion caregivers or elder companions may be as simple as helping with meal preparation, diet monitoring once a week, or assisting seniors with errands. Other services they can provide include hygiene assistance and light housekeeping. Depending on the level of care required by your aging loved one, companion care can be provided on an as-needed basis, temporary or long term, from as often as hourly, daily, to weekly or monthly visits. You can choose to have them live-in, live-out or sleep-over, and during the weekends or holidays. Companion caregivers also provide respite care, which allows primary caregivers time away from their loved one when necessary.
These are communities designed for seniors giving them a sense of independence while still taking care of their basic needs. In retirement communities, seniors are provided with meals, transportation, housekeeping, and other social activities to assist them with day-to-day tasks. Other relevant services and assistance are also available as the seniors’ needs increase. There are also Continuing Care Retirement Communities which offer independent, skilled nursing and memory care.