It’s not always easy making the right choices for your loved one’s care in their old age. It isn’t always clear what the right choice is, whether that is modifying their home, getting a live-in carer, or looking into a care home. There are a few indicators that will without a doubt tell you that you need to look into a care home. For example, if your loved one is struggling on their own, and are suffering even with the help of friends and relatives. If your loved one suffers a fall and needs to go to the hospital, this is another clear indicator that you need to look into a care home where they can be closely monitored and cared for. There are other indicators to look out for that will also help you decide what sort of care home you need, falling into three categories;
- If they need help with personal care such as general supervision, washing, using the toilet or getting dressed
- If they need help with medical care from a nursing professional
- Or if they need assistance with both and perhaps have more specialist health needs
Signs they need help with their personal care may come about as a result of deterioration of a pre-existing health condition, damage to their physical health due to illness or a fall, or a general reduction in their mobility. Other signs include a noticeable decline in their mental health which seriously impedes their ability to function and stay safe in their own home. You should become aware of the signs of advancing dementia, as this is another clear sign a care home may be the best place for your loved one. The loss of a partner or another member of their support network may also indicate the need for further care in a home, as are signs of loneliness, isolation and depression
A residential care home, which is a home without nursing care, may be appropriate for those who need help with personal care but don’t have a serious health condition. However, if a friend or family member can assist with personal care, a home may not be necessary. If your loved one is vulnerable on their own and hasn’t got anyone to help them with getting up in the morning or going to bed, or help with preparing meals and going to the toilet then they may need more support.
However, if your loved one doesn’t want to go to a care home you could look into other options. For example, home care services, extra care housing, or having your loved one move in with you or another family member or friend. If this is the route you wish to take, you should first book a needs assessment with the local authority. Make sure you discuss all options with your loved one and that they are involved in the conversation.
If you loved one has difficulties leaving their bed or needs specialised medical attention, then a nursing home is most likely the best option, as other options simply won’t provide the level of care needed.
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