As stated earlier, Retirement Communities are geared toward seniors who are relatively active and independent. While many do build relationships and have some support from neighbors or other community members Retirement Communities consist of people who are advanced in age and have many of their own health issues and disabilities to deal with and offer needed emotional support. As we continue to age and develop disabilities and health issues, it is likely we will need more assistance with our Activities of Daily Living (ADLS) bathing, dressing, medications, shopping, cooking. You might currently have a spouse, daughter, son or friend who helps you out now, but it is a good idea to plan ahead for the future when and if your care needs change and the current assistance is no longer enough. Maybe your spouse or child needs some back up or more assistance, family caregivers often have their own stressors and life issues to contend with.
Residential Care Homes (RCH’s) are good cost effective option to consider when a loved one’s care needs start to increase. The Care is provided in a residential home with consistent and familiar caregivers, providing family-style care and environment to their residents. There are a wide variety of Residential Care homes ranging from 2 -10 residents with different types of endorsements available, for example Dementia, Mental Illness, or Chronic Illness. Generally the cost of Residential Care Homes is inclusive and includes the room, assistance with personal care, medication management, meals, laundry and varied activities. Residential Care Homes have a much different feel than large Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) which are beautifully appointed but lack the family atmosphere and felling of care.
It’s important to develop a long term care plan early on. Look at all the senior care options available and choose which options works best for you and your social support system, financial circumstance and individual preferences. There are several things to consider when looking for and building a care team of caregivers in any care setting whether it be Retirement Community, In-Home Care, Home Health Care, Assisted Living, Respite Care, Adult Day Care, Residential Care Homes or Hospice Care. First and most important is to recognize the senior care and the feeling good we all want as we begin to need assistance comes from the people who make up our care team from Doctors, nurses, administrators of the care setting and direct care workers we hire.
Don’t forget when you choose any care setting you are hiring the individual people who work there and make up the care team and need to emphasize how dedicated, interested in care giving they are more than on how the physical plant looks to achieve the highest quality of care and the feeling of being involved in the care and connected to that care team and setting. Be sure to meet the entire team; owners, administrators, managers, doctors, nurses and caregivers you will be working with to get an idea of their motivation and commitment to you and your loved one in which ever care setting you choose during this last chapter of life.