Choosing Between Assisted Living and In-home Care Can Be an Emotional Decision

As our parents age, we worry about their safety, their health and their overall well being. It’s difficult, however, to provide all of the care they need ourselves. Though it’s a tough decision to make, in-home care and assisted living are two options you may be considering to ensure your parent is getting the care they need.

In-Home Care

If your parent needs assistance with personal care, housekeeping, or meals, an in-home health aide is a good option. An aide can come in as often as needed, run errands, and help with the day-to-day tasks.

There are different kinds of aides. If you need someone to perform medical tasks, an RN (registered nurse) or LPN (licensed practical nurse) is a better choice than a CNA (certified nurse’s aide) because a CNA can’t dispense medication or draw blood. For personal care or for checking vitals, a CNA may be a better choice.

In-home care will allow your parent to maintain independence for as long as possible. There are a variety of agencies nationwide that provide aides. For a referral, reach out to your local social services office.

Some might prefer to hire an individual rather than go through an agency. This gives the family more flexibility in what they ask of the aide. If you’re thinking of hiring an individual aide, always be sure to conduct a complete background and criminal check.

Assisted Living

While the decision to put your parent in an assisted living facility can be a difficult one, this option is a good fit for the parent who can’t stay at home on his or her own. If your parent that is falling, has the onset of dementia, or has a serious medical condition, assisted living can provide peace of mind. And many allow personal furniture to be brought in, which helps create a sense of home.

And assisted living facilities are not the nursing homes of the past. Your parent’s social life may even improve. Because there are other seniors to socialize with, your parent may not feel as isolated as he or she may have at home. Many have a community room, where residents can join in activities, as well as trips to special events and attractions.

Some communities may have apartments with their own kitchens, if your parent is still able to cook. If not, there are facilities where residents are provided three meals a day in a community dining room. Aides within the assisted living facility will be in charge of providing any medications, assist with daily bathing and other personal care needs.

When considering this option, there are some things to keep in mind. First, without making an appointment, stop by the center. Are seniors interacting with each other? Does the home look clean? Are the aides checking in on residents? A non-scheduled walk-in can give a pretty good idea of the day-to-day feel.

And always make sure the facility is properly licensed by your state.

Both of these choices are good options for the parent who can no longer remain safely at home without some form of help and supervision. By choosing one of these options, you can rest assured that your parent will be taken care of, and they can enjoy their golden years safely and comfortably.

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