If you have an elderly relative who needs care, you may be conflicted about the best course of action. Perhaps your heart tells you that you need to devote all your time and energy into caring for them yourself. After all, they raised you and looked out for you when you were a child, now it’s time to return the favor.
Being there for your loved one is admirable, but it is incredibly hard work. And unless you’re a trained carer, you may not be able to meet their needs to the highest standard. Another option is to place your relative into a care home, where they can receive expert treatment and support around the clock. It’s understandable you may be hesitant to go down this route, perhaps due to the cost or a perceived feeling of abandonment. But there are many great reasons to opt for residential care.
To help you make up your mind, here are some of the pros and cons of placing your loved one into a care home.
Expert Care: In a care home, you know that your loved one is in good hands. Whatever their specific needs and conditions may be, they will receive constant care and support from a team of devoted, qualified, and experienced staff. If necessary, they will receive help taking medication, completing day-to-day tasks, and going to healthcare appointments. Your relative will receive three nutritious meals a day and be provided with a range of entertainment options to keep their body and mind active.
Safety: If your loved one is living at home by themselves, you may be constantly worried that something might happen to them. They could have a fall or suffer a medical issue at any given time, and you won’t know about it until you arrive. Yes, there are other options like personal alarms and GPS trackers that will allow them to call for assistance in an emergency. But it’s understandable that you may want to have medical staff on hand to look out for them.
Your Own Wellbeing: Caring for an elderly relative is an incredibly tough job. You have to help them with every aspect of their lives from looking after their health to assisting their mobility. You need to make sure they are fed, clean, rested, and safe. All of this while dealing with your own personal and professional issues as well. If you have a full time job and children to look after, you probably have very little energy left to provide care to an elderly relative. If you’re not careful, you risk burning yourself out and succumbing to stress and fatigue. If you’re in a bad way, you’re in no condition to be looking after someone else. Placing your loved one into residential care will allow you to take control of your health and enjoy better physical and emotional well being.
Community: Living alone can be difficult for an elderly person, particularly if their partner has passed on. It may be that you are the only human interaction they have, and they are longing for a sense of community. This is exactly what they can gain from living in residential care. They will be surrounded by plenty of other people of a similar age. They will be able to walk and talk with their new friends, play games, eat meals, and watch TV together.
The Cost: One of the main reasons people decide not to opt for residential care is that it is much more expensive than the alternative. It may set you back significantly, but it’s important to remember you are paying for expert care and assistance round the clock, as well as full room and board. Many care homes offer different packages depending on your loved ones needs, which provide an opportunity to save money. If you truly don’t have the budget for residential care, another cheaper option is assisted living. This means a carer will visit your elderly relative regularly to help them with their needs.
Disruption to Routine: Although placing your relative into residential care may be the right option, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be happy about it. Maybe they have a finely-tuned routine, and leaving their home to live in a strange new place will be disruptive and scary. It’s important to have a conversation with them about it, and let them know what to expect. Talk to them about all the amazing benefits and how it will help them to live a happier, healthier life.
Hopefully these points have equipped you with the information needed to make up your mind. It’s a big decision so take your time to weigh up the pros and cons and you will soon feel confident about the right course of action.