It is normal for you to want to keep a frail or senior loved one at home for as long as possible and for as long as you can take care of them. But there are certain circumstances when the best option is to move them into one of the age care residences.
Even if home care services are available, hiring them might not be the wisest alternative for you or the safest for an older adult.
Signs an Older Adult Has to Move to Care Residences
Is your parent or grandparent no longer interested in reaching out and spending time with family and friends? Are they unable to do so, resulting in their isolation and feeling of loneliness?
If you or other family members can’t spend more time with them than you would like, it may be a good idea to move them into a care residence, such as one of the Arcare aged care facilities, so they will be surrounded by other people and have the opportunity to build new relationships.
- Inability to perform basic self-care tasks
If an elderly can no longer maintain their household, cook for themselves, or take a bath on their own, moving them in an environment where round-the-clock assistance and support are available is highly recommended.
A messy home and lack of personal hygiene can be hazardous for an older adult. Accidents can happen and health issues will occur.
This can be caused by the first two signs listed above and other factors. Considering that depression is a critical condition, it must be addressed immediately and aged care experts can help with this.
- Unsafe home environment
If your parents’ home lacks the safety measures necessary for their age and aging needs, such as walk-in showers and grab bars, you should move them in a place designed for the aging population.
- Signs You Need to Let Go
It may be hard to put elderly loved ones in a care residence, but there will come a time when doing so is not only necessary but also the right and practical thing to do.
It will be best to let them go, under the following circumstances:
- You are struggling to provide care at home and compromising your own emotional and physical well-being, in the process.
- A senior loved one needs more skilled care, such as wound care, tube feeding, or intravenous medication.
- An elderly is showing dementia-related behaviors that range from mild to problematic. They become combative and exit-seeking, for example.
- More assistance is needed, especially in moving them or providing incontinence care. Such tasks can be backbreaking for you and should be left to professional aging care providers.
- You feel a sense of inadequacy and failure because the care needs of a loved one are so high you can no longer provide them.
Once you recognize these signs in either you or a senior loved one, you should take steps to prepare for the move.
Planning and Preparing for the Move to Residential Care
- Be in the know
Don’t wait until you are burned out or for a crisis to hit before you formulate a plan. At the first sign of dementia or incontinence, know your options for aged care and what you need to do.
- Discuss your concerns
Have a family meeting and honestly talk about the care needs of an elderly. The care recipient can be present or not during the discussion. Unless you’re the only who needs to make a decision, tackle issues regarding tasks and responsibilities and what needs to be done in the event of a conflict.
- Discuss your limitations
With the care recipient present and able to participate, talk with them about your limitations. Make a list of what you can and cannot do, and the negatives and positives of residential care. This way, you increase your decision making control and a senior loved one will see and understand the value of aged care.
- Talk about financial concerns openly
In Australia, moving into a care residence requires a bond that ranges between $200,000 up to one million dollars. This is why some families have to sell their home to pay for it. There are other expenses involved as well.
It is important that you discuss the cost with the whole family to evaluate the financial situation and explore all available options, such as Medicare.
- Sort out your feelings and emotions
It is a fact that making a decision to move an older parent to a care home is emotionally taxing. This is especially true if you were the caregiver before circumstances changed. You are likely to feel guilt, regret, sadness, grief, uncertainty, and fear.
Your sense of responsibility and love may also cloud your obligation to an elderly, which is to provide them the best care possible, including those that only professionals can provide.