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Is Elderly Residential Care Right For My Family Member?

October 27th, 2023

There is no ‘perfect time’ to start thinking about residential care for the elderly. It’s a personal decision and one that you’ll make when the time is right for your loved one and your family. Whether it’s for your spouse, parent, grandparent, or another close family member, you may have started to see some signs that have got you thinking about elderly residential care and the next phase of life. 

When you begin looking into residential care for the elderly, it’s completely normal to have a number of questions about the best steps forward. Here, we take a look at some of the signs that suggest your family member may need to move into a private residential care home and offer some advice about the process.

What Is A Residential Care Home?

A residential care home for seniors offers long-term care for individuals who are unable to live independently due to physical or cognitive limitations. They provide housing, meals, and assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and meal preparation. A private residential care home has trained staff members available 24/7 to deliver personalised care and support to residents. Elderly residential care homes also offer a range of health and wellbeing activities to promote socialisation and engagement among residents. Residential care takes into account the needs of every individual to make sure residents are comfortable, happy and well looked after.

When Should You Start Thinking About Elderly Residential Care?

Elderly woman in residential care

This is a highly personal question and depends entirely on the individual circumstances of yourself and your loved one. There is no ‘right time’ as such to start thinking about a private residential care home for your family member. As a rule of thumb, if you’re worried about an elderly person, are beginning to struggle with their care, or think they may be a danger to themselves, it could be time to think about changing their living arrangements. 

You may also find that if you’re working full time while caring for an elderly parent, you could be struggling to balance your responsibilities and need more long-term help. Home care can work really well for some families but can, understandably, be challenging too. In some cases, the level of care required could have become too physically demanding; this is especially true for older people who have to look after their spouses.

Recognising the signs that your loved one might be ready to move into elderly residential care is important. Not only because you want to feel certain you’re making the right decision, but also to explain your reasons to them should they initially find the idea upsetting. Here is a list of signs that you may want to look out for if you’re beginning to think your loved one might benefit from moving into an elderly residential care home:

  • You’re becoming concerned about them being at home alone
  • You’re concerned about your loved one suffering memory loss or are anxious about symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • It’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to prepare meals
  • They’re losing weight and becoming disinterested in what they once enjoyed
  • They’re starting to feel anxious at home on their own, during the day or at night
  • They have had a bad fall at home and find it hard to move around on their own
  • They have had a few accidents or keep forgetting to turn things off

Some of these signs may be a result of something else that can be easily solved, but you know your family member better than anyone else. Supporting your loved one to move into a private residential care home means they’ll be safe and secure with staff on hand to assist them around the clock, giving you peace of mind and some respite.

Different Types Of Elderly Residential Care

Elderly people making friends in residential careResidential care can sometimes be used as an umbrella term, but there are several different types of elderly residential care, and choosing the right one depends on the needs of your loved one. Many residential care homes offer several care options under one roof, or you can find care homes that have a specialist provision, for example, residential dementia care. All care homes aim to increase the mental, physical and emotional health of your loved one, but knowing the different options can help you make an informed choice. 

Types of residential care for the elderly include:

Residential Care 

Residential care offers personal care and support in a homely environment. Residential care is generally for people who are finding it difficult to remain independent at home and need assistance with day-to-day tasks. 

Nursing Homes 

Nursing homes are for people who have very specific health needs that require the knowledge of a healthcare professional. Nursing homes have skilled nurses and medical professionals on hand all the time to provide nursing care and ensure your loved one is kept safe.

Dementia Care 

People living with dementia often need specialised care to ensure comfort and familiarity, which means a space adapted to suit more complex health needs. Residential dementia care facilities have expert staff available to offer round-the-clock personalised care to all residents.

Respite Care 

Respite care is a temporary form of care that may be needed for a number of reasons. Your loved one may have recently had surgery, be recovering from illness or their usual caregiver may need a break.

Some care homes, like New Care Homes, offer all of the above types of elderly residential care in one place. This can mean elderly couples with different care needs can stay together, and also gives you more choice when choosing a residential care home.

Is Elderly Residential Care The Right Choice?

Living in a private residential care home ensures 24/7 supervision and security, as well as opportunities to socialise and facilities such as gardens, libraries and access to different wellbeing activities. For people who are physically disabled or struggling to move around like they used to, care homes can be much safer than their own homes.

The care offered in an elderly residential care home will follow a personalised care plan to meet the needs of each individual resident, so you know that your loved one is getting everything they need. At New Care Homes, we invest greatly in staff training and strive to ensure that our care services accommodate residents with a wide range of care needs.

Making this kind of decision for your loved one can be challenging, but with the right support and all the information, the decision and potential transition can be made as smooth as possible. If you’re still not sure if your family member requires elderly residential care, you can take a look at our advice centre for more information on how to come to a decision or simply pick up a phone and give us a call – we are more than happy to talk to you about your options.