It can feel very daunting when you speak to your loved one about moving to a care-based environment.
It can be particularly stressful and complex if the person is fiercely independent but struggling to care for themselves. They might be battling with moving into a different stage of their life where they require part or full-time care.
But there are things you can do to make the transition easier.
Do your research
Your first step is deciding what type of care your loved one needs. There are different types of care settings to meet various needs:
- Care home: when your loved one requires full-time, 24/7 care. They may have a debilitating cognitive or physical condition that makes survival impossible without support and care.
- Assisted living: when your loved one is generally in good health and still active but has reached a stage where they need more support. Assisted living villages allow someone to receive care whenever needed and maintain some independence.
- At-home care: when your loved one doesn’t need full-time care yet, but benefits from having someone come into their home a few times a week, or even daily, to help with day-to-day tasks.
- Palliative care: when a loved one is at the end of their life, they might need support focused on making them comfortable and peaceful. It’s all about their comfort and pain relief.
Once you’ve considered the type of care home your family member needs, you can move to the next stage of research, which involves considering facilities, medical care, paying a visit, and cost.
Ask friends for recommendations
Do you know someone who has a relative in a care home or assisted living environment? Asking for their thoughts when they have been through the process already can provide you with a lot of peace of mind.
Plus, when you know that there are happy residents, that’s worth a lot. It can also be good for your well-being to have somebody to share your process with, as it can feel incredibly overwhelming and emotional at times.
If you don’t know anybody in your personal life, you could speak to a professional such as your GP. They might be able to help with guiding you in the right direction or providing recommendations themselves.
Read the inspection reports
This is something that seems obvious but is often easily missed. The focus can often be on how the environment feels, but it’s critical to look at inspection reports to get an honest insight into the quality of care. You could find a beautiful home that has some issues raised, which might mean you don’t want to send your relative there.
This is one of the tricky parts of moving a loved one into care. At this stage, you might be worrying about how you will afford this support for your family member, but know there are options out there that can fit into your budget. It just requires patience and research.
American Health Care Association’s report shows that a nursing care home is approximately double the cost of an assisted-living residence. So, if money is a concern, you can start by looking at whether something like Creve Coeur assisted living is a viable option for your loved one.
Due to the differing nature of care settings, there are different options available to suit the needs of your loved one.
For example, in an assisted living environment, residents will enjoy meals in a spacious dining room, have various room types to choose from, have a variety of activities to do throughout the day, and the opportunity to go for days out or visit loved ones. This sort of environment would suit an active, sociable person.
If your loved one has dementia, they will need full-time nursing. They will still have access to a quality bedroom and activities, but they will be tailored to each resident’s ability. In many care homes, there is a focus on holistic therapy, listening to their favorite songs, or animal therapy where they can pet a dog or small animal.
Does your loved one have cultural, personal, or religious needs? Finding a care home that respects these needs is another significant factor to consider when looking for a care home.
By researching on the internet, you can explore whether any faith-based care facilities incorporate heritage, culture, and religion into their care.
Faith-centered care options might be harder to find, especially within your local radar, but don’t give up if you can’t find something suitable. A lot of homes have places of worship available within their grounds. If you find a suitable home or assisted living environment, you can speak to them about their cultural or religious services.
If your loved one is determined to maintain their independence, and it is feasible for them to do so, then you could look into at-home care. This is a significant first step into the care world and allows your relatives to feel secure in their own home.
This is also a cost-effective option, especially if you split the caring responsibilities between the qualified health professional and family members. Your relative can have all their care needs to be met, including socialization, but avoid (or at least delay) a permanent move to a retirement village or care home.