How to help seniors living at home and struggling to care for themselves is a dilemma many adult children face. Living at home is the first choice of many seniors, but it comes with many challenges as the years go by. One of the most difficult for many families is helping a loved one with personal care which includes everything from bathing to brushing teeth and combing hair to dressing appropriately and keeping clothes clean. When a senior’s personal appearance seems to have gone by the wayside it’s time to consider what options are available for seniors and personal care.
How to Help Seniors When Personal Appearance is Neglected
How to Help Seniors Option #1 – A family caregiver
In many families, the need for someone to take on the role of caregiver often leads to the person who lives closest taking on the responsibilities. Usually, this is done out of love and respect, with the hope that it can be accomplished without too much impact on that person’s other responsibilities. In reality, however, in the case of seniors and personal care, it may turn out to be one of the most difficult tasks, not only because a parent may resist the help, but because it requires being there morning and evening at the least, which can be difficult for someone with a job and family. Sadly, the outcome — especially when coupled with other care needs like getting to appointments, housekeeping and meal preparation — can lead to caregiver burnout.
According to the aginginpalce.org article, “Caregiver Burnout,” statistics show caregiving can really take a toll on mental and physical health rendering a caregiver unable to continue without risk to themselves. When seniors and personal care becomes a problem, families should think about other options available. For a deeper look at caregiver burnout, check out our blog, “Do You Have Caregiver Burnout? 6 Ways Assisted Living Helps.”
How to Help Seniors Option #2 – A home health aide
When caregiver burnout occurs, or if there are no family caregivers available, the next option is a paid home health aide who can be there as needed to help a loved one attend to personal hygiene, get dressed, keep the home clean, prepare meals and do laundry. The problem is that right now in the United States, there is a home health aide shortage which according to the verywellhealth.com article, “Home Health Aide Shortage Leaves Patients Without Care,” is due in part to the pandemic as well as very low wages and long hours. This means families in some areas may have to settle for fewer hours and run the risk that help is unreliable and/or intermittent. When seniors and personal care are a top concern, families often look for another option that is reliable over the long term.
How to Help Seniors Option #3 – Assisted living
When managing seniors and personal care, it often comes down to the one option that is always there, always reliable and always a safer alternative: assisted living. Sadly, many families and seniors aren’t aware of how much assisted living communities have changed for the better and as a result, put themselves through the caregiver wringer when they didn’t have to.
Today’s best assisted living communities like Ganton’s Countryside provide not only the exact level of care needed, but also a private apartment, truly wonderful and nourishing chef-inspired meals, and a safe and accessible environment with planned activities and events, peers to enjoy time with, and an emphasis on wellness that is hard to get at home.
Thanks to compassionate and dedicated staff, modern assisted living makes seniors and personal care a top priority, taking time to create and nurture friendships and trust and help seniors stay not only healthy but fulfilled. In assisted living, seniors can enjoy life at its best while daily care is provided, apartments are cleaned, maintenance and repairs are routinely performed, and free local transportation is available when they need it.
Not only does assisted living provide everything for seniors and personal care, but it lifts the burden off family so time spent with a loved one is truly quality time. Imagine enjoying a lovely meal together in the dining room, sharing a favorite movie in a beautiful clean apartment, strolling the manicured community grounds, or just spending quiet time catching up over a cup of coffee. When all the care is provided it is easy to find fun things to do with a loved one, instead of cleaning and caregiving. Find out what to expect in a top-tier assisted living community in our blog, “Assisted Living in Michigan: Everything You Need to Know.”
Caregiving is indeed something many families want to provide until it becomes more than they can manage, but assisted living is the perfect solution to the problem posed by seniors and personal care. For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.