People with older parents often find that their roles are reversed, and they are responsible for their parents’ safety and well-being. As the caregivers, they must now help their parents make decisions about their homes, health and safety. Many older seniors may need specialized care for serious or chronic health problems like diabetes, Alzheimer’s or heart disease. In many cases, such care can only be provided in nursing homes.
Care for aging parents
For most people who have aging parents, the role reversal can come as a surprise. Now they find themselves responsible for their parents’ safety and welfare, worrying if they’re eating healthy and being well looked after. It can be especially hard to do this from a distance. For most people, it can be difficult to relocate to be with their parents, and they must rely on specialized caregivers to watch over their loved ones.
One major decision concerns whether the elderly can stay in their homes as they age or if they will be safer and better cared for in a specialized care facility. If they are in overall good health, many people are choosing to “age in place”, staying on in the homes and communities that are familiar to them. But perhaps more often, they choose to move to a nursing home, which have the necessary facilities for medical and other kinds of care.
The need for long term care
Even for people who are able to live at home with their parents, caring for the elderly with medical issues can be a huge burden in terms of time and worry. As many as 15 million Americans act as caregivers for family members with Alzheimer’s or some other form of memory loss. This can be very stressful, because of the high potential for dangerous accidents within and outside the home.
Caring for the elderly at home can also be very time consuming. It was estimated in 2016 that caregivers invested 18.2 billion hours in caring for family members. This was unpaid work, but would have a value of $230 million. For most people, sustaining this level of care can be difficult, and comes with a high cost in both financial and emotional terms.
Assisted living facilities provide specialized care
For older people with serious health concerns like diabetes, Alzheimer’s or heart disease, moving into an assisted living home with memory care and other medical facilities can be the best choice. Chronic conditions like these affect a large number of seniors. There are around 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the U.S.
Special memory care units provide round the clock, 24-hour care for residents, giving family members peace of mind, knowing that their relatives will be cared for. They also often have access to specialized medical care onsite. This makes them a safer place for seniors with serious health problems, even more so than their own homes.
For seniors with health problems, or special needs, nursing homes provide round the clock care which can ensure their safety and well being. This can take the burden of caring for the elderly off their families. At the same time, they can be sure their parents or relatives are being given the best care possible.