We all get older, and if you have an aging loved one that you’re responsible for, you may be wondering What is the Best Living Arrangement for Your Aging Loved One?
There is no one perfect solution that will work for everyone, so you’ll have to determine what type of care will be best based on their physical and mental health.
Here are some of the most popular living arrangements for aging senior citizens.
Their Own Home
Also known as aging in place, about 90% of senior citizens choose to stay in their own homes instead of moving into another place.
For elders who still have most of their abilities and aren’t impaired by major mental or physical disabilities, this is one of the best options.
However, some adjustments may need to be made to the home.
Some of the most common home modifications are:
- Bathroom modifications (step-in tub, shower benches, removable shower heads, grab bars and rails, and non-slip mats).
- Bedroom modifications (safety/assist rails on the bed, phone access).
- Kitchen modifications (D-shaped handles that are easy to grab, easy access to cabinets, color-coded edges on countertops to help avoid injury, and appliances that automatically shut off).
- Other modifications (flooring that doesn’t snag on wheels, proper lighting, wider entryways).
In Your Home
Moving in with adult children is another popular option for senior citizens.
This is similar to aging in place, but it gives the adult children more peace of mind since their parent won’t be living alone.
Keep in mind that you may have to make similar adjustments that you would if your parent were aging in place at their home.
Also keep in mind that there may have to be other adjustments made when moving your aging parent into your home.
The key is to make sure that everyone living in your home is safe and that they are as comfortable as possible.
An Assisted Living Facility
An assisted living facility provides similar care to that of a nursing home, except that 24-hour medical care isn’t provided.
This facility is best for your loved one if they have some trouble performing activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing, bathing, bed transfer, etc.
The caregivers assist with these activities when needed, and they also assist with any medications your loved one may need to take on a daily basis.
Assisted living communities are beneficial to senior citizens because they offer a chance for socialization, something that many senior citizens don’t get enough of.
This is another common option when aging in place isn’t a safe option, or if the adult child can’t provide adequate care in their home.
A Nursing Home
Nursing homes are the best option for senior citizens who need around the clock care, due to having physical disabilities or Alzheimer’s disease (or another neurodegenerative disease).
The best nursing home facilities are staffed with skilled nurses who know how to provide the best care possible for your aging loved one.
Proper care is especially necessary for Alzheimer’s patients, because they tend to “wander off”.
Unfortunately, many people are weary of nursing homes because of stories of abuse of Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes, and also of patients suffering from other illnesses.
Many of these stories are true, so it’s important to do some research to find the best facilities if your loved one needs this advanced care to prevent the potential of your loved one suffering at the hands of the staff.
Studies show that aging in place (living in one’s own home) is the best option for senior citizens’ quality of life.
However, this is the best option only if they are able to live safely and comfortably in their own home.
Age-related illnesses can keep certain elders from living safely in their homes, so it may be helpful to have a home health aide or to place them in a care facility.
The bottom line is to choose the option that is the safest for their physical and mental health.