What type of care facility do my aging parents need?

Though we all know the day will come when we need to provide elder care for our elderly relatives, most of us have unanswered questions and are completely unprepared for it. What’s the difference between an assisted living facility and a retirement home? Are there facilities that specialize in Alzheimer care and dementia care? How can I know when the time is right and what is available for my parent’s or senior family members as I look for senior care facilities that are licensed, appropriate and trustworthy?

How to care for aging parents or family members isn’t something that is taught in school or commonly discussed in the open. Many families feel it is their obligation to care for a loved one at home. With many excellent options available to seniors, and education to families, the consideration to place a family member into a facility is important. They can be around their peers, be with professionals who can give the care necessary as well as enjoy a social, active lifestyle. This allows the family to have quality time during visits and changes the outlook of the future of seniors.

Being prepared and knowledgeable about options is very important should an event occur that would cause you to need immediate placement in a facility. However, you owe it to them and to yourself to be as prepared as possible when the time comes that your parents can no longer do everything for themselves.

As most children of aging parents do, you’ll probably start out caring for them yourself, or perhaps you already are. If you live close by and it doesn’t jeopardize the time you need to spend taking care of your own family needs – both personally and professionally – making good choices will give you piece of mind.

There comes a day for most when it’s clear that our aging parents need the 24-hour attention that only a professional care facility can provide.

When considering the ideal care facility, you have five options. The final decision is ultimately yours, based on the care needs of your parents:

1) Retirement homes are for those who are alert and independently ambulatory. Services include housekeeping, meals, laundry, activities, entertainment, transportation and companionship. (Month-to-month fees)

2) Assisted living facilities are for those who are either ambulatory or non-ambulatory. They offer the same services as provided in retirement homes, as well as assistance with bathing, dressing, medication dispensing and incontinence care. Some facilities have a memory loss section of the facility which can care for residence diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

3) Board and Care RCEE (Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly) services include assistance with bathing, dressing, medication dispensing, incontinence care, walking, feeding, grooming, meals, housekeeping, laundry and other daily activities of daily living. As well as seniors who suffer from memory loss associated with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, or heart disease and the after-effects of stroke.

4) Skilled Nursing facilities are for those who need long-term care after rehabilitation after an illness or injury, as well as those who have severe confusion associated with Alzheimer’s Disease or end stages of life. These facilities can care for a patient that is being tube-fed, may be catheterized, may require invasive medical procedures or is completely bedridden.

5) Alzheimer’s and dementia facilities are for seniors who are living with the long term affects of the disease, who wander, who need more care in a safe and secured environment. These are secured facilities that offer all the same basic daily needs of other care facilities with staffing that understands and is trained to the special needs of the residents.

Knowing what type of facility is appropriate for your aging parents is educating yourself in preparation for the current needs or the future. This is a difficult time for all family members, very painful, confusing, and trying at times. With the right tools, you are not alone; you have assistance available to you. You need not make that decision alone.

What type of care facility do my aging parents need?