Caring for an Elderly Parent

Watching your parents age can bring up a whole host of different emotions. It’s difficult to go from being cared for to being the caregiver, and it’s a role reversal that most of us will face at one time or another. Being a caregiver means different things to different people. It doesn’t matter if your elderly parents are aging in place, living in your home, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. There will be things you’ll have to deal with that are outside of what you have done in the past. But how do you go about caring for an elderly parent? How do you turn the vague feeling of “My parents need help” into an actionable plan? Try not to be overwhelmed. Take things a step at a time and use the resources available to help you along.

Who is responsible for taking care of aging parents?

For some of us, the answer to this question is simple. It’s the responsibility of the adult children, right? Not necessarily. Relationships are complicated, and sometimes making the decision to become a caregiver can be very difficult. From a legal standpoint, whether or not adult children are responsible for their parents’ caregiving varies from state to state. 27 states have what are called Filial Responsibility Laws that require family members to take at least minimal responsibility for aging parents. In other states, children are under no legal requirement to provide senior care. But in general, most of us want to make sure our loved ones are cared for in some fashion.

How do you take care of elderly parents?

Caregiving comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It doesn’t mean that you have to allow your parents to move in with you and your family, although you may absolutely choose to do so. Caregiving simply means making sure the long-term care needs of your loved one are met. Seniors need support in many different ways. Some have health issues that need to be addressed. Some need help finding programs and services that can keep them in their own homes as long as possible. Others may require in-home care or even 24-hour supervision. How you choose to care for your aging parents is a deeply personal decision. What is right for one person may not be feasible for another.

Consider Their Needs

The best way to start caring for aging parents is to take a step back and see what they need help with. Consider what they do on a daily basis. Can they prepare their meals safely? How is their mobility? Do they have a good social support network? Do they have any health care issues that require assistance? Can they take care of their personal hygiene? Make sure to engage them in the conversation about how they feel about living on their own. Pay attention to how their home looks when you visit. You may discover that for the time being, your parents can take care of themselves and stay at home with some added safety precautions and additional care from you or someone else in the family. You can also tap into programs and services that provide some type of home care such as cleaning services or Meals-on-Wheels.

When it’s Time for the Next Step

However, you may find that your parents aren’t able to safely live on their own. If you and your aging parents agree that it’s time to find some extra support, take stock of what you are able and willing to provide. Your first instinct might be to bring them into your home, but caring for elderly parents takes time and commitment. You may find that you can’t provide your seniors with the help and support they need to be safe and healthy. In that case, finding another solution, such as an assisted living facility or a nursing home, may be the only option that will work for all involved.

How do you care for elderly parents at home?

A Teenage Girl with Mother and Grandmother at HomeCaregiving for aging loved ones in your home is a big decision that should be discussed openly and honestly with all involved. Once you have everyone on board, you can get down to the business of actually caregiving. Make sure you know what needs you have to meet to keep your Mom or Dad healthy and safe. Keep a notebook handy to jot down notes of things that you notice during the first few weeks you’re caring for them at home. Create a list of caregiving tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Level of home care may change based on time of day, or on weekends. Decide how much you are able to handle on your own, and find help if you need it.

Taking care of a parent is often made easier by enlisting other family members for assistance, but there are also respite programs, cleaning services and more that can help out when time is a problem. If you work outside the home, try looking into adult daycare services that can watch your parent while at the office. Living with an aging parent has its own set of challenges, so it’s important not to get overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to step back and reassess the situation if need be.

Is there government assistance for caring for elderly parents?

Caregivers may not be aware that there are many government programs available that can help if you are charged with taking care of an aging parent. You probably know that Medicare is available to cover the health care of seniors. Medicare Part A covers hospital care and is usually provided for free. Medicare Part B is additional health coverage and Part D covers prescriptions. Caregivers that discover they can’t meet the needs of their aging parents can get their seniors approved for Medicaid to help pay for a long-term care facility. Another option Medicaid provides is paying for in-home caregivers, and the person who provides that care can often be a family member, or even a spouse. Some states also offer financial assistance to caregivers of aging seniors.

The Administration of Aging has agencies located in each state to help families navigate health insurance questions, legal assistance and help with long-term care if that is something your senior needs. They are a great source of information and can point caregivers in the right direction to help resolve many of the challenges put forth when caregiving.

How do you deal with the stress of caring for an elderly parent?

Caring for aging parents can be a very rewarding experience, but it is also one of the most stressful things you may ever do. Oftentimes, a caregiver is so focused on the care they’re giving that they fail to provide care for themselves. This can lead to caregivers becoming overwhelmed and resentful. It can also have a negative effect on your own health, making you incapable of caring for anyone at all! So how do you deal with the stress?

For one thing, it’s extremely important for you to check in with yourself on a daily basis. Be sure you get enough sleep, exercise and downtime. Lean on family members to help with certain tasks. Make time for activities that you enjoyed prior to taking on your caregiving duties. There are caregiver support groups available in-person or online to help you navigate the new emotions and challenges that come with caregiving. Most important, try to remember that you can’t be everything to everyone. At the end of the day, you will know that you did the best you could to support your loved one as they take on their senior years.

If you’re looking for senior care and senior living options in Minnesota, our staff at Mary T will be happy to help. Contact us when you’re ready.

Healthy Tips for Seniors

You don’t have to let your old age prevent you from enjoying life. By eating healthy food and staying active, your body will get the care it needs for better longevity. Try these tips for seniors and discover the secret to aging well.

Maintaining Good Health in Old Age

As you get older, your goal should be to stay healthy. By following these tips for older adults, you’ll find that you benefit from them in more ways than one. Not only will your loved ones be happy to see that you are working to improve your health, but you’ll have more energy to do the things you love.

What Activities Are Good for Seniors?

The type and amount of physical activity you can perform depends on your overall health. That said, don’t think that you can’t get regular physical exercise if you’ve lost most of your mobility. There are still plenty of activities and health tips you can implement into your daily routine that will help keep you feeling healthy.

Finding a hobby that you enjoy, such as knitting or playing a musical instrument, will go a long way in staying healthy. If you don’t have a hobby or routine that consists of physical activity, it’s never too late to learn something new. Many independent living and 55+ communities also host activities and events to help keep their residents active and healthy.

Even if you’re confined to sitting, there are plenty of exercises specifically designed for people in your situation. Staying active and eating a healthy diet is key to a positive attitude. If you live alone, it’s understandable that you feel down from time to time. But filling in those empty moments with activity will allow you to grow older with character.

Regardless of your abilities, developing healthy habits will ensure healthy aging.

What is the Healthiest Diet for Seniors?

You experience a lot of changes as you grow older. As such, you may need to make some important adjustments to your lifestyle to ensure healthy aging. One of those changes is eating better food. Healthy eating and regular exercise can ensure good health, regardless of your age.

What’s more, you can effectively work toward preventing certain health conditions when you choose to eat good foods. Some of the best foods you can implement into your diet include:

Whole Grains

Thanks to foods like bread and cereals, your body can get the nutrients it needs for improved quality of life. Other foods with whole grains, such as beans, fruit, and green beans, play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin D

Try drinking low-fat or fat-free milk that is vitamin D-fortified to give your bones the boost they need for added strength and support. As you get older, it’s completely natural for your bones to become fragile. As such, you need to take steps to combat this, with vitamin D and calcium playing essential roles in doing so.

Fruits and Vegetables

You’ve been told to eat your fruits and veggies since you were a kid and the need for these healthy foods hasn’t changed. both are an excellent way of combating type-2 diabetes. What’s more, some fruits, such as bananas and apricots, can help lower your high blood pressure.

Fluids

The importance of fluids cannot be overstated. While it’s sometimes natural to not feel as thirsty as you used to, your body needs plenty of fluids every day. When you drink lots of water on a daily basis, you can look forward to better bladder function and energy.

If you’re not sure what a sufficient amount of fluids is, make sure that you speak with your doctor. They can tell you what a healthy amount is based on your age, overall health, and any current medical conditions.

Tips for Seniors: What is the Secret to Aging Well?

Happy senior couple at breakfastWhile it may not seem like it, many older adults actually enjoy better health than many younger people. The secret to aging well has a lot to do with prevention, such as healthy eating and staying active.

Being able to manage your stress levels will work wonders for your overall health and quality of life. In doing so, you have a much better chance of lowering the risk of chronic disease. For the best results, have your doctor help you with some exercise tips for seniors.

They can tell you what is safest in your quest to stay active. And don’t forget to eat healthy food. Beneficial food and plenty of exercise go hand-in-hand. When you eat well and keep active, you can look forward to an improved immune system, balanced weight, quality sleep, and better quality of life.

Strategies That Can Improve Health Status and Fitness in Older Adults

When you implement an exercise regimen into your daily activities, you want to start by setting realistic goals. Don’t try taking on more than you can handle. You run the risk of injuring yourself by doing so.

Instead, start out with the bare minimum and work your way up. Over time, you will develop the strength needed to take on more extensive exercise. By improving your endurance and strengthening your muscles, you will begin noticing that your body is capable of doing new things.

You’ll have more energy throughout the day, which will play a hand in allowing you to try new activities and hobbies. Not only that, but you’ll be able to stick with them, as well.

According to the National Institute on Aging tips for seniors, the most important exercises older adults can do for their overall health are endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

What Do Seniors Want Most?

When seniors were polled on what they want most out of life, staying connected with friends and family was the top choice. Whereas other age groups might want money and success, seniors just want to stay in touch with those important in their life.

If you have a loved one who is in their later years, find the time to show them you care. Stay connected to them, and you may find it to help improve their overall health, happiness, and quality of life.

© 2021. All rights reserved.

Fall Facts: The Importance of Fall Protection for Seniors

Did you know that almost 3 million older adults suffer fall-related injuries every year? According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fall facts, nearly 1 million of those falls results in hospitalization, while over 25,000 are fatal.

Other fall facts tell us that physical harm isn’t the only thing that comes from falling. There are high monetary costs, as well. For example, in 2015, $50 billion went toward fall injuries, with Medicaid and Medicare covering 75% of that amount.

Fast-forward to today, and we see the cost of falls continuing to rise. As a matter of public health and safety, and due to the rising statistics related to falls, seniors need more protection than ever. If you are an older adult or you have a loved one who is elderly, this guide will help you reduce fall risk, so you can prevent injuries.

Fall Facts: How common are falls in the elderly?

Studies show that falls are quite common among the older adult community. In fact, every one in four adults aged 65 and older experience a fall each year. What’s more, seniors are treated in emergency departments every 11 seconds as a result of falls.

Falls are responsible for fatal injuries in older Americans every 19 minutes, making the risk of falling potentially deadly. With falls being so common among older adults, the need for prevention is an absolute must.

How many falls happen at home?

For every 10 falls that occur, six of them happen at home, meaning a third of older adults living at home will fall at least once a year. This number increases among elderly adults living in nursing homes, which is nearly half.

Even more compelling is the fact that once a person has a fall, they are more likely to do it again. As the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, there is a serious need for fall prevention and improved safety for the elderly.

What is the most common cause of falls in the elderly?

There are many reasons why falls occur among elderly adults. The leading cause is aging and the conditions that accompany it, such as poor eyesight and hearing. Additional common causes include illnesses or anything that affects a person’s physical condition.

Moreover, the layout of an older adult’s home and how they have it set up can also play a role in falls. Inefficient lighting can interfere with balance or cause accidental tripping and falling.

Even medication affects the number of falls among elderly adults. Some drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, can cause drowsiness, thus increasing the likelihood of falls each year in adults. Studies have also revealed that older people taking four or more medications is more likely to suffer a fall.

Why is falling so dangerous for the elderly?

Due to the fragility of older adults’ bones, a fall could result in a hip fracture or other breakage. If an elderly person suffers broken bones in the right places, it could prevent them from moving to get help. As we age, our health deteriorates and our bones become fragile. This is why many older adults fear falling.

What percentage of falls result in fracture?

Fortunately, the majority of fall are non fatal. What’s more, they don’t even result in injury. That said, 31% of all falls do result in injury that requires medical care. Of all fall injuries, most necessitate restricted activity for at least one day.

These types of falls are typically injuries affecting minor tissue. However, between 10 and 15% of falls result in fracture. As mentioned, falls are the leading cause of accidental death. While severe trauma certainly comes into play, we can’t rule out other factors, like a hip injury.

If a senior breaks a hip, for example, it could prevent them from seeking help and getting the medical care they need. As such, broken bones caused by falling sometimes contributes to fatal injuries.

How can we prevent falls?

One of the best things older people can do is fall-proof their homes. Because such a large percentage of falls occur in the home each year, reducing the risk of falls can go a long way in preventing injury among older people.

Adding handrails throughout the house will help reduce the risk of falls among older adults. Extra caution must be taken on and around stairs. If you have trouble with mobility, don’t try carrying things while walking up and down steps. People with balance issues should use their hands to hold tightly to the handrails at all times.

Reduce Falls With Lighting

Since prevention starts at home, be sure to improve your lighting conditions. In doing so, you will be able to better see where you’re going and what kind of obstacles are in your way. Again, always make use of handrails any time they are available.

You may want to consider having handrails installed throughout your home, such as in hallways and in the bathroom. It’s also a good idea to do away with throw rugs if you currently have any in your house. These put you at risk of falling and are one of the many factors that contribute to falls at home each year.

Work to eliminate any tripping hazards throughout your residence. These include things like electrical cords and clothing. You may have to make some changes to your decor, but it will go a long way in preventing falls and unnecessary visits to your doctor.

Invest in an Emergency Response System

Depending on your age and health, you may need a medical emergency response system, such as those that are worn around the neck. If you have an accidental fall, you can simply press a button on your emergency response necklace to send a call to the national 911 hotline.

Don’t risk suffering from falls. Practice routine prevention in your daily activities to ensure your health and safety. You should also speak with your doctor and request any available resources to improve the prevention of falls. If the risk of falling is still high, there are plenty of senior living and in-home care options that can help you feel more secure than living alone.

Home Safety Tips for Seniors

Almost everyone loves to be home. Home is familiar and comfortable. It’s a special place filled with memories that make up who we are. Home is where we have loved, lost, laughed, fought, and perhaps even grieved. Living on our own gives us a sense of independence and privacy. So it’s no wonder that even as we age, our goal is to stay in our homes for as long as possible.

That being said, all of us will have to face that at some point, some tasks will not be as easy for us to accomplish as they once were. However, there are a number of home safety tips you can put into practice to make living at home safer for aging adults. Allowing them to remain in the home they have loved for so many years.

Why is geriatric home safety important?

Being proactive when it comes to home safety for seniors is essential to their wellbeing. Tens of millions of people each year are afflicted by preventable at-home injuries. And the risk of experiencing one only goes up as people grow older. Creating a safe environment for your senior loved one will give both of you peace of mind while enhancing their quality of life. There are certain areas that are most crucial when you address home safety. As well as a plethora of technological tools that can help the family monitor the situation and even call for help if needed.

How do I protect my senior loved one at home?

Aging in place is quite doable for many older adults. As long as precautions are taken to avoid the most common dangers. Small changes make a big difference.

Prevent Falls

Safety grab bar in bathroomAccording to the CDC, falls are the number one cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in those 65 years of age or older. The older we get, the more fragile our skin and bones become, making us much more susceptible to nasty cuts and broken bones. It also takes us much longer to heal from a fall if we do get injured.

One of the easiest things to do is go through the house and remove any trip hazards such as area rugs and electric cords you find. Electrical cords can be tucked away under furniture, and if possible remove throw rugs from the floor altogether as they tend to bunch up and pose a risk. If there are pets in the house, ensure their toys are picked up and stored away.

Falls are especially likely in the bathroom. So install grab bars they can use to make getting in and out of the tub or shower easier. You can also add non-slip or non-skid strips on the shower or tub floor to reduce the chance of falling, and provide a shower stool to make it easier for seniors to bathe themselves. The bathroom isn’t the only place grab bars are useful. You can install them in entryways and near thresholds to help seniors move from room to room more safely. Putting these simple fall-prevention measures into place will make living independently much easier and safer.

Security and Maintenance Help

Keeping up with regular maintenance is another important part of home safety. Seniors may not be capable of remembering or completing the routine maintenance required to keep things safe and secure. It may help you to create a checklist of items to review on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.

For example, carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms should be inspected at least once a month to ensure sure they are working properly. Check that every room in the house has adequate lighting and that all bulbs are in good working order. Check grab bars, towel racks, and other mounted items to makes sure things are secure. Inspect the clothes dryer for signs of lint buildup, and give appliances a once-over to make sure cords are not frayed or damaged. Each time you visit, watch out for any buildup of trash and visit the bathroom to make sure the toilets are clean and functioning properly. Making sure these things are done properly and on a regular basis will keep your senior living in a safe and secure home.

Other Miscellaneous Home Safety Tips for Seniors

There are a few other home safety tips that can help seniors stay safe inside their homes. Turn the hot water heater down to 120 degrees to prevent burns. Place a bench near the front door so they have a safe place to put on and take off their shoes. You can install bed rails if your loved one is in danger of falling out of bed during the night. Replacing doorknobs with lever handles makes it easier for seniors with arthritis to open and close doors. In the kitchen, move frequently used items to a place where they are easily accessible.

Post emergency numbers near all phones, including 911, poison control, important doctors, and the names of nearby family members they can call who are available to come help whenever necessary. Anything you can do to help keep things easily accessible may make a difference.

Use Technology to your advantage.

Senior Woman Sitting On Stair Lift At HomeThere are technologies out there that can have a huge impact on the care of someone who is aging in place. Medical alert devices have been around a long time and will bring emergency help with the push of a button. Often you can even add fall detection to these services. Voice-activated smart devices can help seniors set reminders, timers, and even make emergency calls for you. They also provide entertainment such as music and audiobooks. Invest in a cell phone and teach your senior how to use it to call you in case of an emergency.

Change light switches to a smart sensor that will automatically turn lights on and off when you enter or leave a room. These are especially great for when you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. There’s no doubt that these devices allow aging adults to stay in their homes much longer than they could even 25 years ago.

Home safety for seniors with dementia.

Senior care for those with dementia can be a little more complicated. But it’s still doable. Once a senior starts showing signs of dementia, they should be supervised at all times. But there are tips that can help you take care of your loved one at home. In the kitchen, keep knives and cleaning supplies locked up and put finger guards on the garbage disposal if you have one. Choose appliances with automatic shutoff features so that stoves and ovens aren’t left on accidentally.

Install a home security system so that an alarm sounds if your senior tries to leave the home. You also may consider removing door locks inside the home to keep loved ones from locking themselves inside. If your senior tends to wander, there are even GPS tracking devices you can have them wear so you can find them if they lose their way. Senior care for a loved one with dementia is never easy, but you can definitely ease the situation by taking action to prevent dangerous situations.

Be Diligent

Close Up Of Installing Smoke Detector At HomeIt’s important to know that as adults age, they often don’t realize it when things become unsafe. After all, they’ve been living alone their whole lives, they know how to take care of themselves! Communicate with your aging loved ones and reiterate that you are available to help. Enlist family members to give the home a once-over during visits and remove anything that poses a safety threat. Provide the information seniors need at their fingertips so they don’t have to go searching for things in an emergency. Use the technology that’s available, and chances are your seniors can enjoy their independence for many years to come.

When home safety for seniors is no longer enough, there are plenty of options for senior living that can accommodate your loved one’s needs. We provide disability services, senior housing, skilled nursing, therapy, home health, and hospice care. We also offer a wide range of market rate & income-restricted rental housing communities. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We provide services throughout Minnesota and have additional properties in Maryland, Arizona, and Wisconsin.

What Are the Three Principles of Assisted Living?

The principles of assisted living ensure that senior residents receive the very best care. By continually adhering to these principles, assisted living and nursing home residents can look forward to being treated respectfully and compassionately.

Let’s look at each of these three main principles in greater detail so you’ll know what you and your loved one can expect from assisted living communities.

1. Person-Centered Care

With this guiding principle in place, loved ones can always expect to get care that is centered on their individual needs. This is incredibly important, as it ensures that there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to assisted living.

Each and every resident is treated uniquely. Their care is based on their needs and not the needs of others or the majority. This approach supports each resident’s lifestyle. It ensures they get care and attention best suited for them.

Where one resident might benefit greatly from daily jogging, the same could actually harm another. In some cases, this applies to diet and other activities. As such, it’s important to follow the first principle at all times and without deviation.

2. Practice Ethics at All Times

Every assisted living community should operate on a foundation of trust. This means being transparent with residents on all applicable matters and ensuring the ethical and moral treatment of seniors living in these communities.

Integrity must therefore be at the forefront of how assisted living facilities operate. This goes hand-in-hand with the first principle. Which helps ensure that everyone is treated with the same high standard of care.

You will find this principle throughout senior care facilities across the United States. When your loved one makes the move to a nursing home or assisted living community, you want to be sure that they won’t be treated any differently from the rest of the residents.

Thanks to this guiding principle, you can rest easy knowing that we treat all residents at Mary T with the utmost respect.

3. Mission Statement

Each assisted living community’s mission statement should be focused on improving the environment and care of every resident. What’s more, should have access to every mission statement to help communicate the facility’s goals and values.

Furthermore, staff training should be ongoing, ensuring that every member of the team is up-to-date on the mission statement. This makes sure that the actions of everyone on staff reflect the community’s goals.

There should also be a consistent drive to improve operations and care throughout every assisted living community. With this, residents can be sure to receive the very best care and attention. It’s important for every staff member to practice these three principles in everything they do. This will ensure that each community operates at the highest level and continues to thrive.

Contact Our Senior Care Staff Today

At Mary T, we’re passionate about helping families find the right senior care services for their loved ones. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can help you explore your options.

© 2021 Mary T. Inc. All rights reserved.

What Are the Recent Trends in Assisted Living?

With 2020 now in the rearview, we’ve seen some unique trends develop in assisted living communities, with more scheduled to come. In recent years, there’s been a push to meet seniors’ needs better than ever. If you are on the fence and having a hard time deciding if assisted living is right for you or your loved one, join us as we take a closer look at the latest trends.

Improving Dining

One of the benefits of assisted living is that it eliminates the burden of meal planning. But until recently, fine dining was a staple among senior living facilities. There’s now a shift to provide a casual dining experience, as well.

Not only does this offer an alternative to formal suit-and-tie dining, but it also allows for activities like billiards and sports bars.

Accommodations for Active Seniors

Many assisted living communities now cater to seniors who live active lifestyles. This means a greater variety of activities and services, such as travel opportunities and year-round social events.

With retirement communities moving away from the norms of yesteryear, there’s now so much more for seniors to enjoy.

Simpler Living

In recent years, society as a whole has slowly moved away from big living in favor of a more simplistic lifestyle. Fortunately, this trend is also finding its way to assisted living communities. Seniors are going to start seeing their living spaces simplified, resulting in easier living options across the United States.

For many elderly adults, complex housing makes it difficult to get around and live comfortably. Thanks to the simpler approach, seniors can look forward to less stress, better mobility, and more affordable housing options.

Fresh Facelifts

The drab colors that were once a mainstay in senior communities will soon be a thing of the past. Replacing them are fun and exciting colors that promote energy and well-being. Home interiors are being upgraded to provide a more modern feel, allowing residents far more decorating options.

This also includes modern textures, patterns, and open floor plans that are meant to accommodate seniors. Although senior living will be simplified for the sake of convenience, it will also see its fair share of upgrades give residents a long-overdue taste of the 21st century.

© 2021 Mary T. Inc. All rights reserved.

What Benefits Do Residential Communities Have for Older Adults?

Studies show that it’s important for aging seniors to have ongoing companionship. Loneliness can cause many serious problems, from depression and obesity to high blood pressure and heart trouble. As such, a residential community could be the answer to your loved one’s needs.

Let’s look at how seniors benefit from residential communities. This way you’ll have the peace of mind that your loved one is receiving the care and attention they need for a healthy quality of life.

Companionship

Perhaps most importantly, seniors can look forward to being surrounded by residents who share similar outlooks and a need for community. Just having someone in the same age group to share thoughts and feelings with can be a big blessing to seniors.

Because senior living communities are very much like other residential areas, seniors have a true sense of togetherness and are less likely to feel alone.

What’s more, there are many programs and activities throughout the week that give residents something fun and engaging to look forward to. From book clubs to arts and crafts to dances and church services. Your loved one will never be short on ways to socialize and build friendships.

Healthy Living

Seniors can enjoy the freedom of not having to plan meals or go grocery shopping. That’s because there are on-site chefs who create healthy, balanced meals every day for community residents.

With a well-balanced diet comes the need for plenty of exercise. Thanks to the many wellness programs available at senior living communities, there are all kinds of exercise opportunities awaiting discovery.

Some facilities offer yoga classes and other programs. Combined with a nutritious daily diet, your loved one’s overall health is sure to thrive.

Low Maintenance

One of the most appealing advantages of community life is not having to worry about tiresome yard work and chores. Many seniors prefer to avoid shoveling snow in frigid temperatures or mowing the lawn in the scorching sun.

The same is true when there’s a leak in the roof or a drain gets clogged. It would be much more convenient if someone else could take care of it. Residents in a senior community don’t have to worry about such tasks ever again. Staff members and professionals will handle these services.

Not only does this help prevent a pulled back or achy muscles, but it also keeps seniors from having to foot the bill. By taking the burden off of the residents, they can focus on enjoying life and community instead of worrying about fixing things around the house.

Safety and Security

Many senior living communities are gated. This ensures that only residents, friends, and family members are welcome. And any time a senior leaves the community, whether to run errands or take a vacation, they have the peace of mind that their home and belongings are safely guarded while they’re gone.

This extends to just taking a walk in the evening. With outside visitors able to get in, there’s a true sense of privacy and safety when living in a residential community.

© 2021 Mary T. Inc. All rights reserved.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities offer seniors a safe residence to live independently, make new friends, and enjoy daily living activities with an occasional helping hand. But how do you know if your loved one is a good fit for assisted living?

Are there any downsides that family members need to be aware of? Today, we’re going to help you decide whether assisted living is the best option for your loved one. We’ll look at the benefits that many assisted living communities offer, as well as potential drawbacks that need to be considered.

Pros of Assisted Living

Help With Activities of Daily Living

Many seniors need a helping hand with personal care and daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals, for example. The benefits of assisted living are designed to accommodate seniors who need help with non-medical tasks, yet can still live largely independent lives.

Adapts to a Wide Range of Needs

Throughout the course of living in an assisted community, your loved one may require a different level of care from when they first moved in. As such, assisted living facilities offer adaptable care services to help seniors maintain their quality of life.

If it is determined that any seniors need help that isn’t offered by the assisted living facility, more accommodating care options will be recommended.

Home Maintenance

Another of the many benefits of assisted living is the peace of mind that loved ones don’t have cleaning and maintaining their homes. Instead, they can focus on enjoying life without the burden of having to fix things or perform maintenance tasks.

This includes mowing the lawn and other yard care. Some assisted living communities provide assistance with laundry and similar household chores. In doing so, seniors have much more freedom and time to do what they please, such as attending on-site activities and get-togethers.

Privacy and Security

Because an assisted living facility is similar to a home setting, seniors have a lot more privacy. That said, there are often many opportunities to socialize with other residents. Many assisted living facilities offer daily activities and events that help improve quality of life.

It’s not uncommon to find dedicated buildings that house church services, dancing, arts and crafts, and much more. Assisted living residents are also capable of getting daily exercise and can enjoy doing so in a safe environment.

Each senior community is accessible only to other assisted living residents. Therefore, outside parties and unwanted guests won’t be able to get in without first being cleared by one of the residents of the community.

This ensures that seniors can take walks and socialize in peace and safety without fear of being bothered by someone who doesn’t live there.

Cons of Assisted Living

Cost

Although not as expensive as a nursing home, moving to an assisted living facility isn’t cheap. If your loved one is struggling with financial difficulties and family members can’t afford to cover the costs of care, you’ll need help from outside resources and programs, and even then there’s no guarantee.

Coping With Change

Most seniors like to do things their way. After all, they’ve been doing so for many years now. Although nothing notably restrictive, some of the rules may prove challenging for seniors to adjust to.

Just the idea of moving from their lifelong home can pose problems. As such, it’s important to reach out to our senior care specialists. We can work with you to help overcome these roadblocks and ensure a smooth transition.

© 2021 Mary T. Inc. All rights reserved.

How Does a Senior Qualify for Assisted Living?

If you are considering moving a loved one to an assisted living facility, it’s likely because they are struggling to care for themselves. But what exactly makes someone eligible for assisted living? It’s important to choose the correct long-term care plan for your loved one. Knowing what qualifies seniors for assisted living will ensure that they get the help they need through the proper care services.

Let’s discuss the various criteria that assisted living residents must meet. This way you can make the best decision for your family. With the help of this guide, you can be sure to give your loved one the care they deserve.

Assisted Living Qualifications

Requires Help With Non-Medical Needs

Assisted living facilities are designed to provide help with daily tasks  (such as using the restroom) and personal care (bathing, dressing, and eating). Essentially, any activities of daily living that aren’t necessarily medical in nature.

If your loved one has difficulty preparing their own meals or completing household chores, it may be time to make the move to assisted living.

Mobility

With that said, assisted living residents are typically capable of getting around on their own. Even if they require the aid of a wheelchair, cane, or walker. Many seniors in assisted living communities have independent living skills that allow them to be left alone for most of the time.

Independence is key. Those who need senior care around the clock are likely better suited for nursing homes.

Able to Live Independently

As we just discussed, assisted living residents are going to be on their own more often than not.  They’re receive occasional assistance from staff to help with non-medical daily living activities. Many assisted living communities are designed like small apartments. They just offer greater accessibility while making it easier to get around.

Stable or No Medical Conditions

Assisted living residents should also be free of debilitating medical issues. Many older adults with arthritis or chronic pain live happy lives in assisted living communities. However, they are still able to care for themselves for most daily tasks.

Seniors with medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease require a higher level of care and should therefore consider other senior living options. Nursing homes, for example, help seniors who require ongoing nursing care–something assisted living facilities don’t provide.

As such, seniors with memory conditions are likely to need long-term care from a skilled nursing facility. Although some assisted living communities offer daily medication management, they are not equipped for things like insulin injections, feeding tubes, and other similar medical services.

Need Guidance? We Can Help!

Here at Mary T, we understand how challenging and overwhelming it can feel trying to find the best care for seniors. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are but a couple of senior living options to consider for your loved one.

To ensure that you choose the right level of care, we encourage you to reach out to our senior care specialists. We will be happy to assist you during this difficult time.

© 2021 Mary T. Inc. All rights reserved.

Nursing Home vs Assisted Living

Many people often equate nursing homes with assisted living communities and vice versa. This is understandable, as senior living as a whole tends to get blurred into one subject. However, nursing home care and assisted living are two different things entirely.

As you search for the right living arrangement for your loved one, it is important to understand the differences between senior living services and nursing home vs assisted living. Here at Mary T, we want you to be able to make the best decision for the senior in your life who is planning to transition to a senior care facility.

Nursing Home vs Assisted Living: How to Choose the Right Level of Care

It can be difficult trying to determine the best level of care for loved ones. Fortunately, you have resources available that can help make your decision easier.

Our senior living specialists are happy to offer their assistance in finding the best residential care based on your loved one’s needs. Contact us at your earliest convenience so we can walk you through your options.

What is the next level of care after assisted living?

Memory care is often the next level of care. It provides failure-free activities designed to accommodate seniors living with memory loss. This level of care may also offer family members educational support to help deal with the challenges that memory loss and dementia often present.

When should you move from assisted living to a nursing home?

One of the most notable clues is if caregivers are finding it more and more challenging to meet your loved one’s needs. This may present itself in the form of frustration or feeling increasingly tired. If the need for care is getting to be more than you or the caregiver can handle, or if your loved one’s health is deteriorating, it may be time to consider a nursing home.

Nursing Home vs Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

Assisted Living

Assisted livingelderly man with caretaker communities are ideally designed for seniors who are capable of providing most of their own care but still need a helping hand with some daily living tasks. When your loved one moves to an assisted living facility, they are able to live largely independently.

Many assisted living facilities offer a wide range of recreational activities and on-site services. For example, it isn’t uncommon to find happy hours, restaurant-quality dining, and outings provided for residents.

Assistance is still available to assisted living residents, such as those who need help with laundry and housekeeping. If a senior needs help with daily medication management, assisted living communities offer those services, as well.

You can trust that your loved one will have access to assistance with common activities of daily living, ensuring that all of their needs are met.

Nursing Homes

Also called convalescent homes, nursing homes are specifically designed for those who require 24-hour residential care. Nursing home residents may suffer from physical or mental conditions that make full-time skilled nursing care a necessity.

This can include bathing, dressing, and other personal care, as well as medical care. These care services ensure that nursing home residents receive personalized attention based on their medical needs. Nursing home care is often synonymous with long-term care and can help prevent illnesses from worsening.

A Deeper Level of Care

Hands of Elderly WomanAssisted living and nursing home facilities provide many of the same services, such as medication management and housekeeping, but differ in the latter being intended for residents who can no longer live independently.

Many seniors in skilled nursing facilities are wheelchair-bound or bedridden. Because of this, they have additional needs that must be met on a daily basis to ensure their health and safety. A nursing home may be the right choice if your loved one needs daily medical care to live comfortably.

There are times when an elderly person staying in an assisted living facility experiences declining health and has to be moved to a nursing facility. If you are faced with this decision and don’t know where to turn, we invite you to contact us right away.

Our specialists will be happy to speak with you and provide the guidance and direction you need. We have assisted many families in transitions like this, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to face these difficult decisions on your own.

On-Site Medical Care

Nursing homes provide medical services that range from physical occupational and speech therapy to rehabilitation and respiratory care. When seniors transition to skilled nursing facilities, you can trust they will be well cared for at all times. This includes daily meals that are based on the nutritional needs of each resident.

Some seniors who require the care of nursing homes have suffered an injury or have a chronic medical condition. Fortunately, nursing home residents can get their medical care on-site. That’s one huge benefit nursing homes have over assisted living. Assisted living simply provides transportation services for residents to attend appointments.

Skilled nursing care aside, there are still plenty of activities available to ensure that personal needs are met. Oftentimes, nursing homes include designated common areas regularly used for church and community gatherings.

Is assisted living better than a nursing home?

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities both have their place in senior care. One is not necessarily better than the other. It all depends on the needs of the seniors who are transitioning from their homes.

Assisted living facilities are more suitable for residents who can still provide some of their own daily care, whereas nursing homes are better suited to those who cannot. Both residential services offer plenty of recreational activities and promote community interaction with new people.

However, the need for family is still encouraged for the well-being of residents. Seniors who move to a care facility or community are often leaving behind their homes of many years, along with a lifetime of memories.

Having familiar people in their lives can make their transition easier. It can also make a big difference in the overall health of the residents. It is therefore important to make time for family members who are moving to nursing homes or assisted living communities.

We Can Help

At Mary T, we understand how important it is to find the right residence for your loved one’s needs. We’re happy to help you along the way to ensure that you make the best decision for your family. If you or your loved one live in Minnesota or Arizona, contact us so that we can provide the direction you need.

Our senior care team has years of training and experience to ensure that you receive the very best help as you search for the best housing option for your family. As always, we look forward to serving you and hope to hear from you soon.

© 2021 Mary T, Inc. All rights reserved.