The decision to sign a loved one up for an assisted living is never an easy choice. You don’t want to make them feel like their freedom is being taken away from them, but you want to make sure that they are healthy and safe–something that might not be guaranteed if they’re living on their own, caring for themselves.
Still, you might be hesitant to move them to an elder care facility so quickly, especially if you’ve heard that nearly 95% of senior citizens in the United States have either witnessed or experienced abuse and neglect behind the closed doors of nursing homes. Still, it’s important that your loved one’s needs are being met. Here are some things to consider before placing your loved one in a nursing home.
The biggest factor in deciding whether or not to place your loved one in an elder care facility is their own capability to care for themselves. Some senior citizens are able to live on their own and care for themselves even into their 90s, maintaining a full range of motion and strong cognitive function that allows them to remain independent. Some seniors might still have quick minds but struggle with coordination.
If this is the case, you could safety-proof their homes, by adding anti-slip mats and grab bars in showers to lower the risk of serious injury from falls, acoording to NursingHomeLawCenter.org. You could also install a stair-lift to minimize the potential for your loved one to trip going up or down the stairs. It would also be wise to set up an emergency system in the house and have your loved one wear a Life Alert at all times in the event that they experience a fall or other medical emergency and can’t reach a phone.
If you think that your loved one’s cognitive abilities are declining as they age, then the best option might be to place them in an elder care facility. If left to care for themselves, your loved one might not be able to care for their basic, essential needs like bathing, eating, or taking their medication. While it might make you nervous to leave the care of your loved one in the hands of strangers, the alternative could prove potentially fatal. Nursing homes have plenty of trained healthcare workers who will make sure that your loved one is well taken care of.
Putting a loved one in nursing can benefit more than just their physical health. For our brains to stay healthy and sharp as we age, it’s important that they continue to be engaged. An easy way to do this is through socializing with others. So, even if your loved one still seems to be both mentally and physically well, being in a nursing home could prevent their mental health and wellness from declining as quickly.
Nursing homes also offer plenty of activities to help keep residents engaged. These activities range from board game evenings to arts and crafts or even light physical recreation and sports. Seniors in assisted living frequently build ties with other residents in addition to strong interactions with staff. These friendships can help seniors avoid isolation and boost their probability of participating in interesting activities.
Placing a loved one in a nursing home, where they will experience constant supervision, will both ensure that their needs are being met and keep them from experiencing tragedy. While there are ways to install emergency call buttons in your loved one’s home and provide them with ways to contact help if they suffer from a fall or other accident, it could still take a while for help to actually arrive and it could end up being too late.
In a nursing home, a trained medical professional will always be present, doing their best to prevent falls and medical emergencies, but still ready to spring into action immediately if something does happen. Nursing home workers will always be looking after your loved ones, helping them move from place to place if they struggle with coordination, and watching them during meals to be sure that they don’t choke. Your loved ones are safe in the hands of their caregivers.
How we care for our beloved seniors is one of the most challenging responsibilities we confront as people living in a society. But, there may come a time when a senior cannot live on their own, and as members of their families, we must make tough decisions about how to manage this circumstance.
If your loved one has been engaged in security and safety difficulties such as a catastrophic accident or a fire due to forgetfulness, allowing them to fend for themselves is no longer an option, especially because their condition may only worsen with the passage of time. It’s also worth noting that, while forgetfulness is a natural aspect of aging, it may be dangerous.
Something you might not have considered is the target that is slowly painted on your loved one’s back the older they get. This is especially the case if your older loved one life on their own. Robberies make up nearly 40% of violent crimes against older people. Older people who live on their own are common targets because of their increased vulnerability. However, in a nursing home, robberies are not something that your loved one will have to worry about. Nursing homes have very specific rules about who they let on the premises and when and have security measures in place to protect residents.
If caring for an elderly loved one has made it difficult to achieve balance in your life, assisted living may be of assistance. Taking a proactive approach to locating qualified, caring, around-the-clock care through assisted living will let you concentrate on your connection with your senior loved one without the stress of continuously being alert to their needs.