As some people age, they may find themselves in need of help with daily activities, such as getting dressed or climbing out of bed. If you’ve been injured or are suffering from an illness, you may need more complicated care that only a skilled health care professional can offer. Whatever your needs, there are facilities that exist to help you live a healthier, fuller life. Nearly 70 percent of people over 65 need some form of long-term care, whether it is getting dressed in the morning or administering a drug using an IV. So remember, as you move forward, you’re not alone.
Of course, this isn’t always an easy process. After all, moving into a facility means leaving home, and this can, understandably, feel like a loss of independence. That’s why it’s always better to start having these discussions sooner rather than later. That way, when the time comes, you’re more prepared to take the plunge. And once you do, you might just find that your quality of life is far better than before.
There are a number of different facilities for you to consider, and which one you choose will depend on a number of factors. To that end, it’s a good idea to start keeping a detailed list of your day-to-day activities. Take note of the tasks that are difficult to accomplish without someone’s help. In some cases, you may be able to complete a task, but not without great stress. Include these in your list. And of course, you want to notate the tasks that are literally impossible to accomplish. Perhaps you have trouble getting around, in the house or on the street. These are key to making a determination about the facility that’s best for you.
Once you have a sense of your needs, you can start to narrow down your search. The following are some of the basic types of facilities available to you: independent senior living facilities, assisted senior living facilities, nursing home facilities or continuing care retirement communities. Each of these provides a different level of care.
Independent senior living facilities, for instance, provide elderly people, who no longer have the energy to maintain and own a home, with a residence specifically designed for aging folks. Thus, in such a place, you would have more time to focus on your own wellbeing, while meeting people who are at similar stages in their own lives. This is a great place to find a community.
Assisted senior living facilities are similar to the latter, except they offer more help with daily activities, such as getting dressed, organizing medications and moving around. This type of facility, however, does not generally offer nursing services, so if you have health problems that need looking after, this may not be the place for you.
Instead, you may want to take a gander at a nursing home, or if you want, a continuing care retirement community. Both of these places can provide round-the-clock health care, offering licensed nurses and health care professionals who can make you feel more comfortable as you work on recovering from an illness or injury. Generally speaking, a continuing care retirement community offers a full package, with a lot of the amenities offered in the facilities above.
Once you decide which type of facility best suits your needs, you want to do thorough research to help pinpoint the best possible facility in your area. To that end, you want to do a background check, making sure the facility is properly registered and that it follows the appropriate rules and regulations. You can go to medicare.gov to run this check. You also should make sure the facility has a clean record, specifically looking for a history of reprimands or license revocations. Nursing home abuse is more rampant than we’d like to think, so make sure your research is thorough. This also means visiting the facility, if you can, to meet the staff and get a sense of the other residents. Do they look happy? Are they taken care of?
In some cases, you can schedule a trial stay at the facility (sometimes for free). In the end, you want to be absolutely sure the facility is right for you. To help you finalize your decision, you might want to think about hiring an advisor, someone who understands the process and can help ease your stress as you make a final choice.