As you, or somebody you care for, starts to get older you have to start asking yourself some difficult questions. What do they need? What are the risks? What are the costs? Ultimately what you need to know is that the people you care about are going to have the quality of life they deserve.
There are unique risks when you get older that need to be addressed. After the age of 60 your immune system will begin to slow down and work less effectively. After this age that means that infections, viruses and illnesses are much easier to contract and more likely to be dangerous. Even the common cold or flu for people over 60 can carry significant risk and it can take a long time to recover.
Similarly, your body will begin to weaken as you age. Your muscles will no longer be as strong and this will result in normal day to day tasks becoming more of a challenge. This means that going up and down stairs, or even going outside for a walk, can be difficult without assistance.
Joint and muscle pain is not uncommon for older people too. These can cause difficulty in moving and make people over a certain age more likely to fall and injure themselves. These injuries are more likely to have significant consequences like broken bones and cause long term issues.
Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you will become injured or sick but it makes the level of risk much higher. This is why older people need to have access to the facilities and support in order to take care of themselves.
A support network is different for everyone, but as we get older it’s important to identify who can lend their support in times of need. For a lot of people, it starts with immediate family who can organize care and support for their elderly relatives. For others, it might be a wider net of friends or extended family that are able to provide at least some element of support.
The extent of a support network will change from person to person. Some people might be lucky to have a large and able support network but others may not have anybody they can call for help. Also, there may be specific care needs that must be addressed. In these cases, then third parties and/or specialists may need to be involved.
Care homes offer a solution to elderly care needs. These care homes can provide a home for those who need it and often provide access to specialized care. Some homes even create a community to act as a support network around them. The right care home can work wonders for helping an elderly person get the most out of their later life.
The time may come that you, or a loved one, may need extra care that you can’t provide at home. A lot of families may be reluctant to do this as it feels like they are abandoning a relative in their time of need, but it all comes down to quality of life.
You have to ask the question, and give an honest answer about if they are getting the right level of care where they are. Do they have the freedom they want and are they healthy. Most importantly, do they have enough contact to stop them feeling alone?
One of the most common questions asked is, what is the cost of care at these type of facilities? Well this will vary depending on each company and on specific care needs, however it may not be as much as you think.
Generally most care homes will have a flat free for initial services. This will often be a daily rate but you may find that others charge weekly or monthly. If you have specific requirements or needs for care these will generally be charged on top. This allows you to transparently see exactly where your money is being spent and stops you paying for things you don’t need.
The cost of care homes does vary so it’s important you do a full assessment of what you can afford, and what the level of care you need costs, before making any decisions.
Getting the right support
A care home, or other support network, offer essential care needs that really allow you or a relative to get the most out of their later life. It’s important to get the right support in place for maximum independence and to remain healthy. It’s also an important part of battling isolation and sadness.
Nobody should be alone in their old age and nobody should be without the care they need. Make sure you’ve explored all the options available so you can make the right choice when the time comes.