It can be an emotional time when you learn that your elderly loved one needs help with everyday tasks. The most challenging part of the process is finding the best solution for your family. Two of the most common options are 1) becoming the sole caregiver or 2) moving them into an assisted living community. With so many factors at play, it can be difficult to decide which one is best.
There are benefits to both that you should take into consideration before making your final decision.
Benefits of Being a Sole Caretaker
Spend Quality Time Together – As the primary caregiver, you will be responsible for helping with everyday tasks, including meal prep and daily hygiene. However, you’ll also be there to spend quality time with your elderly loved one. This is a great benefit, especially if you have a close relationship with them. You’ll be able to talk about your favorite memories and record them to reflect back on at a later date. You’ll also provide a constant sense of love and comfort, letting them know that you are always nearby to give them a helping hand.
The Comforts of Home – The majority of family caregivers move their elderly loved ones into their own homes, or they move in with their family member who needs help. Being near familiar surroundings will give them peace of mind knowing that they are in a place they recognize with loved ones who have their best interest in mind. In turn, this will help them maintain a sense of normalcy they might not get if they move somewhere unfamiliar or away from family.
Affordable Option – When finances are tight, caring for your loved one at home may be the best option. You’ll be able to save money by caring for them yourself. If you do hire a nurse or certified nursing assistant to come a couple of times a week, it’s typically still cheaper than moving them into an assisted living or another senior care center.
Ease of Transition – It can be challenging for seniors to adjust to having help with their daily routine. Having a family member that they are comfortable with caring for them can make the process easier to accept assistance and ensure they will ask for help when it’s needed most.
Benefits of an Assisted Living Community
24/7 Safety & Care – One of the main reasons that seniors move into an assisted living community is to provide them with extra care that they might not be able to get at home. They will have access to daily help with tasks such as getting dressed, showering, and going to the bathroom. Staff members are available to assist them day or night and check in on each resident frequently.
Socialization – When seniors live at home, many times they are living alone or with their immediate family. They aren’t able to go out much, and it can be very lonely sitting alone all day. Living in an assisted living community provides them the ability to meet new people their age and make new friends they can visit with every day.
Increased Activity – Assisted living communities provide their residents with daily activities to encourage them to leave their rooms during the day and to keep busy. Whether it be crafts, making a special treat, or movie night, they’ll be able to stay occupied and have something to look forward to.
Freshly Prepared Meals – The elderly must get proper nutrition to keep them healthy and strong. Assisted living communities provide their residents with freshly prepared meals and will happily accommodate any dietary restrictions that they may have. Which can be difficult if they are living at home alone.
Deciding What’s Best For Your Family Member
There are many more benefits to both assisted living communities and taking care of your loved one at home that are not discussed in this post. Take into consideration if your elderly family member needs help 24/7 or if they could get by at home and have you there to help before and after work. Also consider any professional medial advice you have been given. Every family is different, and it’s important to remember that no matter what decision you make, you’re doing everything in your power to give your loved one the best care.