Choosing the right care for your Loved One
Mom or Dad needs more care than you can provide, you live far away or perhaps the help you have arranged is not enough anymore –
does this sound familiar?
Caregivers constantly worry if they are doing the right thing.
Is mom safe? Is dad eating or taking his medicine properly? Do they have access to get out and socialize or stay home and watch TV all day?
When you first have that feeling that you need something more or something different – don’t ignore your gut!
Start to explore your options. It is important to ask the right questions, learn as much as you can so that you are comfortable with your decision.
Some things to consider:
What exactly do they need help with now and what do you see in the not too distant future? With some people it is more about mobility while it may be more cognitive with others, or it could be both.
What is the intensity level of their needs? Weekly, daily, hourly?
What level of involvement can you or do you want to have? Can you be there every week; will you be the one taking them to doctor’s appointments?
What resources do they have? Long term care insurance, Veteran’s benefits, pension or retirement plan, sale of their home?
What to look for?
Staffing – One of the major benefits of an Assisted Living Community is that there are trained professionals around the clock to assist your loved one. If you don’t need around the clock just yet, perhaps a Day Center that provides medical as well as social care will suit your needs.
Care – It is important that your loved one receive physical as well as emotional care that matches their needs. As you inquire about options, ask about how they handle increasing care needs and if they offer a tiered care package. What options will be available if my loved one needs skilled nursing care?
Physical Environment – Moving is a big deal! Most likely your loved one will be leaving a home they have lived in for a long time and there may be some feelings of loss. You will want a community that feels homey, comfortable and easy to navigate. As about their gathering spaces where residents can spend time outside of their own homes. Is there a secure outdoor space or a wander guard system in place to monitor wanderers?
Social Opportunities – Keeping socially engaged is one way to make the transition to a new living environment as easy as possible. How will your loved one meet new people and find others with common interests? What formal and informal activities are planned, ask to see previous activity calendars, or better yet ask if you can attend one.