In Parts I & II of this series, I explained the general levels of senior care available, between in-home care and residential care. With so many options available to a family, it can be hard to know which is right for your unique situation. It is easy to be persuaded by your network, culture, and marketing, but each family should take serious consideration into selecting what would be the ideal caring situation for your senior loved one. The advantage of having so many options available is that you can essentially design your own care plan, and easily find the service you require.
Go through the following questions, and with your family’s answers clearly laid out, you should be able to see the best solution.
- How much can you, your family, and close friends, commit to personally caring for your senior loved one? Is there someone who is fully capable of committing to care – full or part time? If you all live far apart, this may not be possible without serious life changes.
- What has your senior loved one indicated in their living will? What wishes have they expressed to you?
- Are there existing medical conditions? What are the needs regarding them?
- What financial resources are available for your parent/senior loved one?
- Is there current living situation ideal for senior living? Think about surrounding community, accessibility to medical care, home safety for reduced mobility, etc.
In many family situations care will progress in stages. Most often, your senior loved one would prefer to stay home as long as possible. This may mean part time care, which may progress to full time and eventually a residential care facility. Remember that the solution you choose is not final, and you will always be able to do what is best for your family and your senior loved one.