nurse with elderly woman

If your loved one is forgetting to eat, can’t drive or perform simple tasks like bathing themselves; been diagnosed with a new disability or chronic illness; or if the effects of aging have become a permanent deterrent, then it is time to look into hiring help.

You would probably prefer to take care of your loved one on your own, maybe moving your loved one into your home, taking time off from work and involving the whole family. You are blessed if you have a solid support system at home to help you. Many people don’t have that. But what if the time has come that your loved one needs specialized care that you aren’t trained to give? It may be devastating to realize that the person who spent so much time taking care of you is in need of help that you’re not equipped to give. However, the well-being of all parties involved is most important.

So the question that remains is who do you turn to for help? In many circumstances, you may want to consult with your family doctor to see which option is best for you, but let’s go over the differences and similarities between in home care, assisted living and nursing homes.

In Home Care

In home care is generally the preferred choice of patients because it allows them to remain in their own home. This way they can live in a familiar environment, continue their normal routine, and be surrounded by family and friends.

When you hire a home care provider, they will assess your loved one’s needs and send a caregiver into your loved one’s home to provide the necessary services. Many home care providers can send in a CNA or nurse, if needed. Your loved one can receive a wide variety of assistance from a caregiver: administering an IV or medication, aid in physical and occupational therapy and help with day-to-day tasks such as bathing, eating, walking, dressing, cooking and light cleaning. Check with your provider to see what service they offer.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a good in-between option. The person needing care doesn’t live in their home, but they’re still able to maintain a degree of independence. Your loved one will be watched over more carefully, but won’t be confined to a single room in a large facility. Most assisted living facilities offer an apartment to each resident, where they are checked on regularly, and emergency response is easily accessible. Assisted living provides privacy, yet assurance that they will be monitored and cared for.

Though assisted living facilities have come under recent scrutiny, most residents of these facilities report exceptional levels of satisfaction. When in doubt, never be afraid to ask for spur of the moment tours of the facility or references that you can call.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are for those who cannot perform basic activities of daily living on their own and need constant care, for those who have digressed to the point that in home care can’t meet their needs. Nursing homes have doctors, nurses and CNAs on staff every hour of the day. This constant care can be reassuring, especially if you know your loved one needs that extra help.

Before choosing a nursing home, it’s vitally important to do your research and ask as many questions as you can, making the most of your visit. Ask for a tour of private and public facilities; see if the staff is friendly or unhappy. This will be your loved one’s new home, so take the time to make sure it’s a good one.