Is It Time to Consider Other Care Options?

By on February 12, 2015
Is it time to consider ther care options

By M.E. Simpson –

One of the challenges many of us face as we enter our fifties and sixties is caring for aging parents. Even without added complications such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or stroke, caring for an aging parent whose physical and cognitive faculties are declining –also wears on us mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s definitely a commitment that requires a full realization of just how much time, commitment and mental strength it requires.

For those who are still not retired and work full time, constant care for a parent who has dementia or physical set-backs from a stroke poses a problem.

My mother needs 24 hour care – how can I possibly keep up with it?

You don’t want to hand your mother or father off to strangers that make them more distressed or confused. You want them to maintain their dignity and sense of independence. You can’t imagine putting either one in a full-blown nursing home. And yet, you have your own responsibilities that can’t be abandoned.

You may be unable to care for your aging parent completely by yourself, or even with the help of other family members – and few people can, so don’t beat yourself up if this is the case. Even those who have large families and can provide supervision and care-giving in shifts, still need to bring in outside help from skilled nursing and non-medical caregiving services.

Nursing Home Alternatives and Caregiving Options

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Many of us may think that leaving our parents or grandparents in nursing homes means constantly surrounded by unfamiliar faces, until absolutely forced to. The familiar, comfortable environment of home is reassuring and comforting to those with dementia or any other disease that affects cognitive abilities. It’s worth knowing that it is possible to find a care home that creates an alternative to staying at home that both you and your relative will be comfortable with; it just takes some research and a bit of time.

 

1. Respite Care
This is one of the best solutions to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed as your parent’s caregiver. Respite care workers can either relieve you in shifts, or they can take a more dominant role in caregiving while you can focus on quality time spent with your parent. It also frees up time to take care of things like finances and bill payment or upkeep of the property.

In-home respite care – Provides non-medical caregiving and skilled nursing. Someone with dementia probably needs both. These services can be arranged for a few hours or all night, which makes in-home respite care very convenient for maintaining your parent’s residence in his or her home. This also helps to sustain their sense of independence and the mental and emotional comfort of being at home.

Out-of-home respite care – This includes services like adult daycare programs and residential respite care. Adult day programs can be good for stimulating the mind and body, while also providing constant supervision when you cannot. Plus, your parent goes home at the end of the day.

Residential respite care offers temporary stays at provided facilities, which allow family caregivers 24 hour relief. The short stays may be necessary when family caregivers have to be away for short periods of time or just need a break.

2. Assisted Living  
Some assisted living and short-stay respite home programs allow for trial stays, which can really help determine if it’s right for your parent or loved one. If so, take advantage of this. It is important your parent maintains a feeling of independence and dignity and still feels safe and reassured – no matter where they live.

When diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia advance, remaining at home may no longer be an option. Those with dementia often tend to wander in the middle of night, putting themselves in danger. Assisted living provides your parent or loved one with the much needed sense of independence, but also puts them in a safe environment where they can be more closely monitored than at home.

Some assisted living and short-stay respite home programs allow for trial stays, which can really help determine if it’s right for your parent or loved one. If so, take advantage of this. It is important your parent maintains a feeling of independence and dignity and still feels safe and reassured – no matter where they live.

M.E. Simpson is a freelance writer and content marketing professional, who writes for numerous online and print publications. She currently resides in south-central PA and enjoys Zumba and playing the piano.

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Is It Time to Consider Other Care Options?