If you have an elderly relative who is at risk living alone, you might be thinking that nursing homes are the only alternative and they can alone keep your loved one safe. In fact, you will pay the price and reduce the quality of your relative’s life by taking away their independence. Depending on the agility and health of your loved one, you should consider other options that will allow them to maintain their current lifestyle, maybe stay in their homes, and still get the support they need.
Image via Seth Hays
1. Home Living with Alterations
Sometimes older people only need a couple of home improvements that keep them safe at home. Add a ramp for wheelchairs, a couple of handrails, and renovate the bathroom to make it easier for your relative to get in and out of the bath or shower. If you are worried about seizures, you can get a medical alert system installed in your loved one’s home, so they can ring the bell and get a medical staff check on them.
2. Working from Home
If you would like to make sure that your loved one doesn’t have to leave home because of their reduced mobility, you can decide to work from home and look after them. In case you keep on worrying at the office all day wondering if they are ok, you might ask for flexible working, or set up your own business to work from your home and look after your elderly relative.
3. Retirement Communities
Sometimes the main change that older people cannot put up with when being admitted to a nursing home is the loss of independence. Thankfully, there are other options that let them have their space. Look for a continuing care retirement community where they can have their own apartment, their furniture, and the things they hold dear. You can visit them and they can come and go any time, but are supported by medical staff living nearby.
4. Assisted Living
If you would like to help your elderly loved one get on with life and maintain their independence and purpose in life, you can get them an apartment in an assisted living facility. They will get their own apartment, but there will be medical staff in the building available to help them and administer treatments and medication. Further, they will be able to order food in their room or subscribe for meals every day, so they don’t have to struggle with cooking and shopping.
5. Day Care
Image via Val Vesa
If your loved one is determined to stay in their own home, and you have to work all day, you can arrange day care center visits so they can socialize and have some fun. From watching movies to learning new skills and staying active or doing some light exercise, there are great ways to pass the time in the day and meet new faces, too.
If your loved one is no longer to cope alone, putting them in a nursing home might not be the best solution. Consider the above options to let them maintain their dignity and independence for longer.