Throughout November, we celebrated National Long-term Care Awareness Month. This holiday shines a light on the various living and care options available to our aging population.
Typically, the phrase long-term care is associated with nursing homes. However, a nursing home is just one example of a senior care community. Long-term care often refers to what we used to think of as a nursing home and offers a range of services and support to help meet both the medical and non-medical needs of people with chronic illness or a disability and those who cannot care for themselves for long periods of time. Other examples include assisted living, continuing care retirement communities, community services, and home care.
The Benefits of Long-term Care
Depending on the type of long-term care community, minimal to in-depth services and support are offered for activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, restroom needs, transferring (to or from a bed or chair), caring for incontinence, and dining.
Assistance with everyday tasks, sometimes called instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), are also provided. These include housework, managing money, taking medication, preparing and cleaning up after meals, shopping for groceries or clothes, using the telephone or other communication devices, caring for pets, and responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms.
Choosing to live in a senior care community has many benefits for both residents and their families. It offers peace-of-mind for children and families of older adults who can no longer manage to live safely on their own. These communities also help seniors maintain their independence while getting the appropriate level of assistance when and as needed. Since the stress of maintaining a household and managing a health regimen is removed, it allows residents more time to enjoy the social and physical activities happening within their community. Residents are also provided nutritious meals for optimal health and are at a decreased risk of falling or wandering. Overall, living in a long-term care community can improve the quality of life for older adults.
How to Determine when Assisted Living is Right for You
It can be difficult for older adults to acknowledge and accept that it’s time to move into an assisted living community. However, in many cases, it is the best option to keep seniors or aging parents safe, healthy, and happy. There are several signs that indicate your loved one either needs a little extra assistance or around-the-clock care:
- The cost of in-home care or caring for your loved one becomes too expensive
- Escalating health needs such as remembering to take medications or getting to doctor’s appointments become too much to handle on their own
- Your loved one becomes aggressive or starts lashing out due to their frustration at not being able to do the things they used to do
- If you are the primary caregiver and you’re experiencing caregiver stress from trying to take care of your loved one on your own
- Safety in the home and out in the community becomes a concern, this includes wandering, falling, leaving appliances on, or reckless driving
- Overall declining health
- Increased isolation due to mobility issues – isolation often leads to loneliness and depression, which can cause further deterioration of health
- Your loved one is no longer able to or is not interested in making meals for themselves, this could be evident by food going bad in fridge and weight loss
- Unable to manage ADLs, such as wearing the same clothes multiple days in a row, a generally unkempt appearance, trouble using the bathroom, and an uncharacteristically messy house
- They don’t have a plan in place to get themselves to safety in case of an emergency
The assisted living communities of Traditions Senior Living are residences to call home. We understand the needs of our residents in order to help them lead happy and healthy lives. Call (615) 591-8231, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete an online form, to schedule a tour to discover room options, the community, the abundance of amenities offered, meals provided, and much more.