Caring for the Elderly – Housing Options for Our Aging Population

group of elderly people drinking coffee

If you have an elderly relative, you’ll understand only too well the stresses associated with knowing they live independently – particularly if they live alone, for example, following the death of a spouse. 

Populations in developed countries around the world are increasingly living longer, and most experts agree the problems associated with solitary living among the elderly are expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Even those fortunate enough to still live together as a couple often endure considerable pressures taking on a care role for their partner

Problems experienced by solitary seniors

While many older adults wish to stay in their homes for longer than is practicable, there comes a time when, inevitably, they will be forced to leave. As a relative, you will likely want this to happen sooner rather than later. A solitary life isn’t just dangerous in terms of accidents as we get older; it can also pose significant health problems. Moreover, there is the constant worry that a relative might take a fall or suffer a similar injury or accident and find themselves unable to call for help. 

Also, considerable research has shown that people living alone are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression caused by isolation which can bring on the early onset of other, more serious medical conditions. Not only that, older adults are less firm on their feet and can also suffer mental or memory conditions making them considerably more prone to accidents. It has also been found that developing problems such as sight, hearing and cognitive issues can go largely unnoticed and untreated without daily social contact. Due to the obstacles that can occur when senior citizens begin living alone, it is important that loved ones find senior care in some form before relatives have an accident or injury.

Alternative options open to the elderly living alone

In general, there are four alternative housing solutions open to families with elderly relatives:

Move your relative to assisted living: For most older adults, assisted living provides the best halfway-house solution between total independence and full nursing care. Living in an assisted care home like the facilities provided by Atria senior housing or assisted living in North Carolina, Charlotte will allow your relative almost complete autonomy but with a support network available if they need it. 

Professional care givers in assisted living facilities like the Fairfield East aged care home can provide the elderly assistance with tasks such as preparing meals or washing clothes – yet still leave them with a sense of independence allowing them to become part of a larger community, go on organized excursions and socialize with their peers. For the majority of older people, it is by far the preferred option to living alone or going into full-time care. 

Move your relation to accommodation near you: Living nearby an aging relative can let them keep their independence – but also allows you to keep a close eye and check-in with them regularly. However, this approach will be of little use preventing them from having accidents and will require you to make frequent visits to make sure everything is ok. If you are unable to commit the time required to visit for whatever reason, you could arrange for someone like this home care sydney service to come in and look after your relative. You can make this as frequent, or as infrequent, as you need to in order to ensure that your relative can manage with their days and, of course, you can still go round and see them whenever you are able to without having to worry that they won’t have been able to cope without you. 

Invite your relative to live with you: Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to accommodate your relative in your home – perhaps giving them a room in your house or building an annex/extension to still allow them their independence.

Nursing home care: The focus in senior care Brooklyn is very much on care provided by skilled nurses. Residents have very little independence, fewer activities and less social integration. Nursing home care is usually reserved for patients with developed physical or mental problems which preclude them from living a more typical life of independence. In many instances, it is also used to provide end-of-life care to the individual.

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