Caring for your senior loved one can be rewarding but also come with a multitude of challenges, from simply getting mom back and forth to doctors’ appointments to making sure she’s safe at home, won’t forget and leave the stove on again, and will get the good, healthy meals she needs to remain strong.
As these challenges build, it can put a strain on your everyday life, your work, and your relationship with your loved one, leaving you to wonder if you’re doing the right thing for either of you.
That’s why we’ve put together a short guide to help you decide whether home care is the right option for your loved one or if a senior living community could help you both live better, happier lives.
How much time does caring for mom take?
The first question to ask yourself when deciding whether home care or a senior living community makes the most sense for you and your loved one is how much time you have to provide care, housekeeping, transportation, and meal preparation for your loved one.
Depending on mom’s current ability levels and those you expect in the future, you can begin to determine how many hours each week are required for you to provide the amount of assistance she needs each day to stay healthy, happy, and safe.
Once you estimate the amount of time is needed to care for all of mom’s needs, you can better determine whether you’re capable of providing this care yourself, without compromising your ability to take care of yourself and other family members, work, or simply handle everyday tasks.
If you’re not capable of meeting all of mom’s needs, your next step is to decide whether an in-home senior care service or senior living community is better suited to giving her the help you need and your peace of mind.
Level of care
If mom needs only a minor level of assistance such as getting to the doctor once a week and light housekeeping, home care might be the way to go since these services are well-suited to help seniors who have maintained their independence and are capable of caring for themselves safely throughout the day.
However, if the level of care mom needs goes beyond an hour or two a few times per week, a senior living community is likely a better option due to the safety and security it provides as well as the levels of care that can be accessed along with high caregiver to senior ratio. These communities offer service and care options including transportation, housekeeping, meal preparation, personal hygiene, medication management, and more so that mom’s health and safety are not left to chance.
When deciding whether home care or a senior living community is right for mom, it’s also important to consider whether or not she could benefit from the opportunities for social interaction that a community setting provides.
If mom lives at home with your family where she is part of your life on a daily basis and requires only minimal assistance, home care may be enough to bridge the gap and provide the assistance and social time mom needs when you can’t be there.
However, if mom currently lives alone, a senior living community could be a much better option to combat the loneliness that can cause her health to deteriorate by offering her a social calendar full of fun events and educational opportunities to keep her feeling young.
The right choice for both of you
By looking at the answers to all of these questions, you’ll be able to determine whether home care is enough to keep mom happy, healthy, and safe on a daily basis or if a senior living community can provide the extra care and social interaction mom needs to help you both live your best lives.