Senior Care With Dignity

September 15, 2015

The following is a guest post from Ash Stevens. 

Nursing homes. We all cringe at the thought of putting friends and family into a home away from  home. Nobody wants to do it, but sometimes the demands of work, caregiving, and normal life have us struggling to keep our head above water. We just want for everyone to be happy, and perfecting that balance is a juggling act. Fortunately, times have changed and Senior Care has taken on new approaches that make our juggling easier than ever, and there’s more than one ways to pull it off.

Home Care
Work and daily life can create conflict with our ability to act as caregivers. Our older loved ones are still very capable, but they need help for certain things that we can’t always be there for. If this sounds like your situation, then Home Care may be the solution that fits everyone’s needs.Home care aides are able to help seniors with everyday tasks and activities like grocery shopping, showering, cooking, and socializing. They may also offer professionals able to address medical needs. Home Care is available as a regular option, but it can also be turned to for respite service to help lighten a busy schedule. If you’re finding the extra tasks and errands of caregiving burdensome, this provides an alternative that can keep you and your senior happy.  

How would you like to live in a neighborhood full of friendly neighbors and helpful family? People everywhere have been creating their own developments known as Co-housing neighborhoods, and people of all ages are benefitting from this communal style of living. Co-housing neighborhoods are created by the residents themselves, and they take quite a lot of planning, but that allows everything to be designed with ease, simplicity, function, and community in mind. The layout puts co-housing relationships at the forefront with shared outdoor space, a commons house, and other group-minded amenities. Meals can be eaten in a group kitchen, movies watched in the shared media room, and guests can stay in the guest room in the commons. The residents of the community are the ones in charge, so rules will vary. Some are built for seniors only, but others welcome young children as well as aging adults. Creating a co-housing community can take a lot planning and work, but the amazing benefits are worth every dollar. Residents are immersed in a friendly, community-minded neighborhood that allows them to receive help as well as to provide their own helping hands. It can take years to form and build this sort of community but co-housing is on the rise. There are already over one hundred communities completed, with plenty of projects underway.

Adult Day Care
Taking on the daily needs of another can take up a lot of time. If we’re piling this onto a regular work schedule, then we’re going to be feeling exhausted in no time. We want to be able to juggle everything as gracefully as possible. We also want to be able to give our loved ones pleasant days. If you don’t have the time to provide your loved one with the attention and activity that they desire, then your solution may lie in the structure and opportunity of a day care center.Senior Day Care is a great option for our families. Caregivers can take a break from the needs of caregiving while seniors are able to have companionship, creative outlets, and engaging activities. Most centers will provide meals and snacks for their seniors. They’ll also provide our seniors the opportunity to use their skills and abilities with activities like crafts, games, book discussions, and more. The cost of adult day cares across America averages out to about $64 a day, which is much easier for us to budget. Many centers also allow us flexible scheduling, so we can benefit from their services without the big investment of long-term commitments. The real profit lies in what such centers provide though. We get the time we need to tend to our duties and well-being, and our loved ones get time to make new friends and engage in activities.  

Continuing Care Communities
Being the caregiver for your loved senior isn’t always the best option. Aging family members often worry about being a burden or being looked at differently because of their needs. Other times we’re too busy to be proper caregivers, or our older family members are most comfortable not aging around family. These are situations that make Continuing Care Retirement Communities a great solution for our loved ones. CCRC’s are a wonderful option because they provide our loved ones with the aid and friendship of a community while offering services that address every stage of aging. Changes in health and abilities means a change in needs, and Continuing Care provides the staff, resources, and centers required for independent living, assisted living, as well as nursing care CCRC’s provide a community of seniors with an easy transition into the demands of aging, but this does come at a high cost to us. Because it’s expected that this will be the last move for residents, so they usually want a pretty large chunk of change upfront. On top of this, we still have to budget out regular monthly fees, so getting into a community can be an enormous investment. As accommodating as Continuing Care may be, it won’t be an option for many of us.

When it comes to caregiving, the support of friends and family is number one. There are community groups out there proving that people are ready and waiting to make a difference, so it’s only ever a matter of reaching out. Whether you need help with meals, finding sit-ins, or creating social opportunities, it can happen. Community groups like Lotsa Helping Hands make it easy to organize, inform, and schedule whatever help you need. Community is free, and that’s an enormous advantage, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about creating a union of real people who really care, doing little things that make a world of difference. People care, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

There are many options available to us with various pro’s and costs, so now let’s hear what people have to add from experience. Do you or anyone you know have firsthand experience with the options above? Tell us your story in the comments and offer your own tips and advice.

Thanks for reading!

Ash Stevens

About the Author:
Ash Stevens is a mother, daughter, and granddaughter learning how to juggle everything while keeping everyone happy. She’s also a writer who focuses on finding simple and natural approaches to all aspects of life.

Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter to make a new friend and learn more.

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