Knowing that a loved one needs more care than you can provide is a lot to take in, but the real challenge for residents of Encino and elsewhere is to decide what the best next step should be.
Every situation is different but some people may benefit from home healthcare, either a 24-hour caregiver or health professionals who come to check on them regularly. The other common choice is relocating to a residential care facility where they will receive round-the-clock care and also be around others in similar health needs.
The team at Accredited Home Care is happy to share the variety of compassionate services we can offer our clients who want to remain in their homes, but we also understand that in some cases, a residential care facility might be a better option.
Of course, none of these options are necessarily permanent. Perhaps someone will be willing to try to live independently but then realize that they may need more care especially if their mental or physical condition changes in the future. Or the opposite may be true – they may need to receive specialized care for a temporary basis, such as for rehabilitation, and then be able to learn necessary skills so they can return home.
Making this choice can involve recommendations from the person themselves, trusted friends and family members, health care providers.
These discussions do have the possibility of being frustrating and emotionally difficult since either choice can be disruptive and there may be different opinions on what the best choice should be. In some cases, these discussions may take place when a decision is needed quickly, such as after someone may have fallen, had an accident, or otherwise indicated that a higher level of care may be needed quickly. This urgency can also add to everyone’s potential stress.
But taking the time for a decision can give everyone more time to discuss the pros and cons of a particular situation, visit local facilities to learn about their offerings, or meet in-home care providers in your area.
Residential pros and cons
This type of environment can be beneficial for people who might need higher levels of care than they might find at home, even with a caregiver or caregivers.
Even though people may enjoy their independence they (or their family members) may worry about the home environment, including potential hazards or what to do if help is needed and no one is around to respond quickly.
Some people with dementia also may not feel as comfortable being at home by themselves when they could be at a facility where they are monitored, can access assistance anytime, or even have tasks like meals or laundry taken care of.
Others may like the social atmosphere that a residential community can offer, rather than being at home all day, except for the occasional visitor. Residential communities also may offer activities or fitness options, which also might be missing if someone lives by themselves.
Facilities designed especially for dementia or memory care also put extra emphasis on security and creating a calm atmosphere, which is something that family members can find especially reassuring.
One downside though is that there may be more rules, which some people used to living by themselves may not appreciate – even if they don’t plan on breaking any of them, it still can feel restrictive to be under someone else’s roof.
Home health care pros and cons
One of the bigger advantages of staying at home is minimal disruption and that they can continue living in the same space with their same daily activities.
People who need to relocate often have to downsize to a much smaller location, which means either selling their home or at least moving out. These both can be quite stressful options especially if someone has lived in the same place for years and accumulated all sorts of possessions and memories.
Instead, in-home care may allow them to stay in their own living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, although some modifications might be needed such as handles, railings or other safety equipment.
They will receive regular visits from a nurse unless they have an in-home caregiver.
Some home health care agencies even provide options beyond basic nursing services – aides can come by to help with tasks such as light housework, laundry, or errands. Accredited Home Care also provides access to a variety of skilled therapists including massage therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
These professionals can come over on a regular basis to teach you useful skills such as moving around your home safely or improving your balance or other abilities that may have been diminished by an accident or a medical event.
Another consideration in our modern world is a potential infection, especially in the days of COVID-19. Although a residential facility will likely take plenty of steps to sanitize the area regularly and protect residents and staff as much as possible, there will still be a lot of people coming and going, including potentially infected people in common spaces.
Someone at home has to worry less about these things, and can also be choosy about who they allow in.
Deciding between a residential facility and in-home care can require a good deal of thought. We’re always happy to share our perspective to aid in your discussions.