It’s an all-too-common refrain expressed by aging parents: “Please don’t put me in a nursing home.”
Those words are packed with emotion. For senior citizens, it’s fear of uprooting their lives and moving to an unfamiliar place. For children, it’s dread or shame that they can no longer care for mom or dad alone. For all, it’s a stressful topic that tests the resolve of the family unit.
But it doesn’t have to be. Depending on an individual’s needs and wants, new options may allow seniors to receive customized care in the comfort of their own homes.
Asking these six questions can help aging parents and their children decide what kind of care makes the most sense for their family:
What level of service should I expect?
Every patient is different and finding accommodations that meet their unique needs is paramount. There are independent, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities, all offering different resident experiences and levels of service.
In-home care providers like Spirit execute personalized care plans based on a patient’s lifestyle. This option is not intended for those requiring extensive medical assistance but may be perfect for those who need help with medication reminders, laundry, light housework, running errands or maintaining good hygiene.
Will I receive enough staff attention?
Knowing the ratio of staff to patients is fundamental to understanding how personal a facility’s care will be. Will they know a resident’s name by heart? Can they act swiftly if you or a loved one requires immediate assistance?
At Spirit, that ratio is always the same – 1:1. Our caregivers exclusively provide one-on-one assistance so patients never worry if their needs will be met.
Can I see myself living there?
The settings of senior living facilities vary widely. Some are located in rural areas, others in urban city centers. Some offer individual rooms within a single building, others full apartments. Some are extravagant and lavish, while others are simpler and more understated.
When working with Spirit Home Care, the answer to this one is easy. Not only can you see yourself living there, you already do!
Can I keep my pets?
Studies have shown enormous benefits for senior pet owners. Pet policies will differ between living facilities, with some imposing extra fees or breed restrictions.
With in-home care agencies, though, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Caregivers can provide assistance to both the patient and their four-legged friends, if needed.
How will I remain active and entertained?
There’s no shortage of programming at senior living facilities. Game nights, book clubs, painting classes and fitness routines are all great examples of what one can expect. Asking to see a current schedule of activities will be helpful in determining if the community is a good fit.
Spirit caregivers can not only provide the companionship aging seniors may be seeking, but transportation to the various entertainment spots a patient already knows and enjoys. They can attend their church, their gym, their local parks and museums. And because care is tailored to the individual patient, these activities can be scheduled whenever they like.
Do others enjoy the care accommodations?
Glossy brochures and community tours may provide a glimpse into life at a facility, but discussing a community’s pros and cons with an actual resident or their family is the best way to evaluate senior accommodations. Be wary if such an opportunity is not made available to you.
Spirit Home Care has 25 years of experience bettering life for our patients and we’re happy to provide references so you can feel confident in our services. Take it from a current patient, Frances:
“Words are really not adequate to describe the wonderful care I have received from my Spirit caregivers. These two ladies are wonderful and have taken such good care of me. I am so blessed they are a part of my day.”
These six questions only begin to scratch the surface of considerations aging seniors and their families should and likely will have for their care providers. Evaluating your options against their location, services and amenities offered is critical, but just as important is doing so early. Making a plan in advance may just help families avoid the fear and dread that often accompanies conversations about long-term care.
We hope Spirit Home Care is a part of that conversation.