While having elderly family members living in the house may seem to be a good idea at first, as time passes, the expert geriatric care that your dears require could get very specialized. So much so that even if you or your family members offered to continue to cater for the elderly, simply all their needs could not be possibly meet.
The permanent care of a dependent elderly family member is no easy task, and it often results in physical and mental exhaustion for the caregiver; especially considering the many geriatric health challenges that come with old age. The elderly care and attention needed will often exceed their caregivers’ capacities.
However in retirement homes, seniors will receive all the timely specialized care they need from qualified nurses and doctors. In addition, there are different occupational alternatives for seniors, which help to maintain their physical, mental and emotional health.
Besides the timely care and attention the retired and elderly receive, they also get to live in comfort while being able to engage in various senior living activities that interest them. Living in a retirement home is like being on an extended holiday, where they will have minders to assist them with their daily needs.
When considering the best places to retire in the US, the choices can be overwhelming. Aside from choosing the best states and cities to retire, down to the best over 55 communities, it is advisable to pick a location where health services are inexpensive and easily accessible. Also think about the distance between the retirement location and where the family is living, both for the moving as well as visiting considerations.
Other factors to consider are the social and recreational activities offered, transportation services, security, costs of home maintenance, good choices of cuisine and restaurants, healthcare services, library, swimming pool with water sports, or golf courses available in the area.
The term “retirement home” encompasses a few different types of properties, from small senior apartments or large condos through to the assisted living and long term care nursing facilities. The modes of accommodation and the associated costs are all different. Below are a few of the more common types of retirement homes available today.
Independent Living Homes
This is the option best suited for retirees and older people who can take care of themselves and their home, and are able to live independently without medical attention. If the concerned individual is able to dress up, drive, cook, clean, wash their own clothes, and take all his or her medication without help, then such person is considered a good candidate for senior independent living.
The independent living homes are usually apartments, condos, or small houses. The senior apartments usually have fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities, but tend not to include any complementary domestic services. You are of course always able to hire independent help.
The most common type of an independent living center for the elderly and retirees is built in the form of retirement villages or retirement communities, where the residents can have group dinners and participate in social and recreational activities. Senior-friendly fitness programs may include lawn bowling, water aerobics, various fitness classes including yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, and even gardening. Other amenities may include stores, banks, common area to meet, chat, and play games.
When choosing independent living centers, consider your budget, the amenities, the area, and the type of services that you or your dear one will require.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities combine housing, support services and healthcare as needed. Assisted living homes are sets of self-contained units (generally studios or two-room apartments), which come with collective and optional services such as catering or laundry care.
The design of assisted living properties varies and the tenant is obligated to pay a monthly rental fee for the services. This facility is most suitable for seniors and retired people who are able to live independently in a home, but occasionally need to be helped with some aspects of daily living or require medical attention.
Some daily living areas where elderly might require assistance include personal hygiene, medication administration, dressing and undressing, feeding, voluntarily controlling urinary and faecal elimination.
These facilities do not usually cater to people who need continuous nursing care. However, it is not uncommon to find people with advanced dementia and Alzheimer disease in assisted living facilities. Some states offer waivers and tax cuts to enable retirees and seniors to be able to afford living in these facilities.
When searching for a suitable facility for a loved one, always look out for one that offers 24-hour care and supervision and is situated in the vicinity of a hospital, so that there will be quick access to health services when required. Some assisted living facilities have qualified medical on staff, which means that the resident tenant does not always have to leave the premises except when critical hospital care is required.
Such homes are usually for the long term care, but they could also be used for shorter periods, for instance, after hospitalization, when such assistance is required for short stays.
When choosing assisted living facilities, consider your budget, the area, the type of care required, and the vibe of the place and staff.
Nursing Home Facilities
Nursing home facilities provide additional assistance with daily activities beyond what assisted living facilities provide, such as help with bathing and eating. In addition, nursing homes provide full-time care for the elderly including medical procedures and administration of medications. Unlike hospitals, however, residents of nursing homes are still free to come and go as they please.
If the patient has some sort of disability, which requires extended care and adequate surveillance, nursing home is the best for that purpose. A skilled nursing facility provides treatment, nursing, care and support for the elderly by trained medical staff within a protected environment. Senior citizens can receive various forms of dementia care, including Alzheimer’s disease related. A nursing home is designed to provide intensive care when your loved ones can no longer live independently due to age or illness.
There are also people in nursing homes who are terminally ill and in the final phase of their lives. They can get the intensive care that they cannot receive at home. In a nursing home, these people have more rest and attention than they would in a hospital.
When choosing the right nursing home, compare what specific health challenges the facilities are designed to accommodate and support. These could be for comatose patients, or individuals with respiratory, psychological or mental disorders.
So what are the best places to retire?