Knowing when is the best time to seek residential care for a loved one is a question families usually dread. The realisation that someone you care for is no longer able to stay safely in their own home and now needs full time support is hard to come to terms with.
Fear of change and a misplaced belief among family members that they are somehow giving up and abandoning their loved one can transform the decision making process from a positive one, of considering the advantages that residential care can bring, to a negative one fuelled by fear of betrayal and guilt.
Powerful and understandable as these negative emotions may be, they should never be allowed to dominate.
Specialist residential care can provide enormous advantages for older people
Change often brings out feelings of insecurity and fear, but in this case, change should be seen as something positive to be embraced with both hands.
Residential care can significantly improve life for both the resident and other family members who will be freed from the worry and relentless nature of providing full time care.
Tackling loneliness and isolation
High quality residential care that has been designed with the needs of older people in mind can provide a far more stimulating environment than that of an individual’s own home, particularly if poor health or reduced mobility has restricted their ability to get out and about.
Companionship, friendship and a sense of community are all aspects of life that care homes work hard to promote and can give older people renewed purpose and zest for life.
Greater Independence with specialist support
Well designed spaces and accessibility aids built in can make life easier enabling residents to join in activities and pastimes more easily. Adaptations such as lifts, handrails, adapted bathrooms, wheelchair friendly gardens etc can all promote independence rather than taking it away.
Stimulating activities and group therapies
Well run care homes pride themselves on providing a range of activities, therapies and events that people living in their own homes would be unlikely to be able to access. These help their residents stay active, engaged, and connected to the outside world and are important in helping older people maintain a sense of purpose and ward off depression.
Improved quality of life for family carers
Access to 24 hour care removes the strain and worry that the demands of physical care puts on family members. Exhaustion and depression are common among full time family carers and the relentless nature of care means that sharing enjoyable time together can be lost among the constant demands that physical care brings.
Knowing that your love one is receiving excellent care and support both physically and mentally means that time spent together can once again be enjoyed, creating special moments to treasure.
Ensuring quality residential care
When families embrace change and take advantage of the support residential care can provide, life can be transformed for both the recipient of that care and their family members.
“If only we’d moved here sooner” is a comment we hear surprisingly frequently.
This is of course fantastic for us to hear, but it does leave us wondering how long a period of struggle and hardship some families have had to endure before finding the support and relief they so badly needed.
So our advice is simple - Keep a positive mindset, plan early, and don’t put off those difficult decisions about future care!