What Should Seniors Look for in a Care Home?

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Choosing a care home for seniors is not an easy decision. Like any major decision, it takes considerable research and planning to make the best choice. Senior care homes are diverse and come with a plethora of services. Different homes offer different levels of care to match the needs of seniors. Following are some guidelines to help you choose the right care home for your loved ones.

All seniors need to be involved in the choice of home. No one should decide on their behalf without their consent. What are the considerations in choosing a care home?

1) Level of Independence

How independent are you or the senior in question? Are you looking for a facility where you can lead an independent life while knowing there is support available if needed? Or are you looking for a facility with more dependent care?

2) Level of Care

Are you looking for a facility that offers just companionship and supervision or one that provides greater medical and health care needs? Do you need a facility that provides extensive Alzheimer’s or Dementia care? Do you need a facility with round-the-clock professional medical services? 

3) Type of Care Provided By the Home in Question

Are there specific types of care that may be required, such as long-term acute medical care facilities, assisted living facilities, or nursing facilities? Which type of home would best suit your needs in terms of the type of care needed. Catholiccarecenter.org provides details on many of the services a good home provides.

Once you have answered these questions you can start to identify the services needed. 

Memory Care

Memory Care may be recommended for seniors who have Alzheimer’s and Dementia and for individuals who have medical concerns which need to be closely monitored. Trained professional health care workers will ensure their residents have a good quality of life. This may include:

  • Assistance with daily activities
  • Catering services
  • 24/7 nursing
  • Cleaning and laundry services

Medication Management Services

Medication management is a specialised form of care that offers assistance in knowing what medication to give and when. In some cases, seniors may have medications that they prefer to take over others which are prescribed. This can be particularly helpful if their doctor has discontinued the use of a medication that is important to the patient, or if they have been prescribed a new medication with which they are not familiar.

Respite Care

Respite care is short-term senior home care which allows seniors to enjoy some time away from their homes, giving their carers a short break. This gives them a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Respite care facilities aim to provide a comfortable, temporary residence where seniors can receive personal care and attention along with the services they require, such as 24-hour supervision, medication management services and specialised medical treatment. 

Long-Term Residential Care Facilities

Long-term residential care facilities are intended for long-term nursing needs or complex geriatric care. If a senior requires extensive medical and geriatric care, a long-term residential care facility may be their best option. This type of facility offers round-the-clock medical services that cannot be provided at the home where the senior resides. Additionally, long-term care facilities provide medical services that may be needed to ensure seniors enjoy comfort and quality of life.

Catering Services

If a senior is unable to move around freely, their nutrition and eating habits may decline. The right care home can offer in-room dining services to ensure seniors are provided with nutritious meals. 

Cleaning Services

A clean home environment is essential to ensuring a senior’s health and well-being. Cleaning services will ensure residents living at the care home have their living areas cleaned thoroughly regularly. This service will also ensure the safety of all residents. Additionally, professional cleaners are available for an additional fee for deeper cleaning of certain areas and surfaces such as grout or tiling, etc.

Personal Hygiene and Grooming Facilities

A senior’s hygiene and grooming services will vary from home to home. However, the right care home will offer a bathroom with water that is safe for bathing and a hair dryer or hair colouring facilities. Additionally, personal care such as manicures and pedicures can be arranged at the facility.

Personal and Laundry Care Services

Some seniors may need assistance with personal care and laundry. Personal care services will provide for a senior’s daily needs including showers, dressing, and bathing. Additionally, personal care services can assist seniors with household tasks such as cooking meals for themselves and their loved ones. Laundry services are simple to arrange by visiting the home office area where staff members will provide personal laundry items.

Exercise and Wellness Facilities

The right care home will offer a fitness centre where seniors can freely work out. A fitness centre will also allow seniors to socialise and enjoy time out of their homes. Regular activity and social interaction can help create a feeling of independence to enrich a senior’s life.

Social Interactions

Social interactions can be an integral part of the senior’s life. The right care home will plan social activities with seniors and their loved ones to allow them to enjoy a sense of purpose in life. These social interactions will help seniors feel connected at a deeper level.

Intellectual and Vocational Services

If a senior can take on simple tasks such as cooking or cleaning, this may help maintain independence and avoid caregiver intervention. If these services are not available, this may result in caregiver dependency as an increasing senior needs assistance with household tasks. Seniors may also require assistance through computers or other technology-based devices that help develop abilities that make seniors feel more independent.

Depending on the circumstances and individual needs of seniors, each senior home will have different features that are unique to its community. Before choosing a care home, consider your specific needs and preferences to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Senior residence may also be referred to as “geriatric care” or “care home”. Some establishments may be licensed for short-term nursing care, whereas some are licensed for long-term nursing care. The nursing facilities within these establishments can be in a separate ward that is located within the building or may take place in an adjoining building.

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