Some seniors are opposed to the idea of nursing homes. When this is the case, you have many options to consider for keeping an elderly family member safe and happy. Here are some steps to creating an alternative to a nursing home.
Where to Stay
Staying at home is a great option if your loved one is still fairly independent. If you'd like them to live closer to you without actually moving in, consider at least moving them to your property. An accessory dwelling unit is a small housing unit, either attached to the main home or placed in the backyard; you could build a small unit for the loved one by working with a contractor.
Subsidized senior housing can alleviate some of the financial burden of staying at home, and they typically have senior-accessible and handicap-equipped designs. Assisted living is another great option for those who can afford the move; an assisted living unit allows seniors to live alone while getting some outside support services such as meals and activities. Whichever option you choose, it may be necessary to come up with a care plan that tends to the needs they can no longer fulfill.
Putting Together a Care Plan
Even if the parent is independent, it can be helpful to have community resources on hand. For instance, a meal program that delivers to your loved one's door can simplify travel, shopping and cooking needs. For companionship, consider finding a visitor program that will make regular check-ins with your loved one. Local senior centers may provide social activities, meals, and volunteers to help with daily maintenance tasks.
Making it All Work: Alternative Nursing
Nursing homes provide great access to medical services and emergency care. In order to make any alternative work, it's important to have an on-call health care provider for your loved one. Alternative nursing services are a wonderful solution for providing health care on an as-needed basis.
Alternative nursing services come in a variety of forms. For instance, hospice, skilled nursing, and physical therapy services are available for in-home patients. A nurse can make home visits to monitor health conditions and deliver medications, and provide individualized rehabilitation services. And when needed, they will refer your loved one to a specialized care provider or emergency health care provider. For the best care, choose a nursing service that specifically caters to the elderly; nurses with geriatric experience may have specialized skills for dealing with mental and physical problems that elderly patients face.
Aside from nursing homes, there are many options for the elderly. The viability of these other options depends on your loved one's mental, emotional, and physical condition, and whether they can get the health services they need through an alternate care provider. Fortunately, great support services (such as Alternative Nursing Services) exist to help elderly patients get alternative care.
When you're facing putting your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility, you want to make the best possible choice for your loved one. That can be difficult when you don't know much about the nursing homes in your area, or about what you should be looking for in a nursing home to begin with. It's a good idea to tour as many facilities in your area as possible to get an idea of which ones you like, but you still need to know what the signs of a good or bad nursing home are. I used to work as a kitchen assistant in long term care facilities, and I learned a lot about them during that time. I started this blog to share some of my insights into what makes a nursing home great, and how to spot problems in a facility that you're considering.