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Determining Your Senior Loved One’s Care Needs

When an aging loved one experiences a growing need for care or support, it can be difficult to determine what the best options are for their situation. Sometimes, an illness or accident can increase their need for support suddenly, but more often, issues associated with age progress slowly, and we may not realize the changes in their health right away. As someone who looks after an aging loved one, it may be up to you to determine what kind of support they need and when.

Jason Basile, Executive Director at The Columbia Presbyterian Community in Lexington, SC, says, “Determining a loved one’s care needs may seem like an overwhelming task for family members. However, dozens of resources are available today to help you understand a loved one’s needs and the various solutions at hand. Physicians, care providers and experts in senior living are valuable sources of guidance and advice. Speaking with knowledgeable professionals can lead you to good insights about your loved one’s health.”

Understanding your loved one’s care needs and determining what kind of support would be best for them will differ for everyone. However, The Columbia Presbyterian Community can help you consider some of the options available for your loved one to guide you to the right solution for their care.

Types of Care Offerings

Today’s seniors have plenty of options when it comes to receiving professional care and daily support, but deciding on the best type of care can be confusing. This list may help you understand the various levels and types of care offered at home and in a senior living community:

  • Basic Home Care – Seniors who still wish to remain in their own home may consider receiving basic care services at home. Home care usually helps seniors with basic tasks of daily living, such as bathing, getting dressed, eating meals and more. This option is ideal for seniors who only need a little bit of support to live independently.
  • Advanced Home Care – In addition to daily living tasks, some seniors may require assistance with medical care. Some home care agencies offer medical services to seniors living at home.
  • Assisted Living – Assisted living is a residential option for seniors who need daily support. This is a good solution for those who can no longer live at home safely or suffer from isolation. Assisted living provides assistance with daily living tasks in a supportive environment designed to promote the health and wellness of older adults.
  • Memory Care – Memory care is a specialized type of assisted living for those who have Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia and memory impairments. Most seniors who are diagnosed with memory loss eventually need the support provided by full-time, professional memory care.
  • Skilled Nursing Care – Skilled nursing care offers long-term, advanced medical care to seniors who live with chronic health conditions that require constant support and monitoring.

Now that you understand more about the kinds of care services available, it’s time to determine whether or not your loved one is in need of professional support. Ask yourself the following questions to get an idea of whether or not it’s time to consider full-time care:

  1.  Is my loved one’s health at risk? Is your loved one’s health declining due to their inability to take care of themselves? Is a health condition making it harder for them to participate fully in the activities of daily life?
  2. Is my loved one unsafe? Does your loved one’s health make them vulnerable to a severe household emergency or falling victim to scams? Is your loved one at risk of harming themselves, falling or wandering outside?
  3. Are my loved one’s needs beyond my reach? Does caring for your loved one take more time, energy or skill than you possess? Is your loved one increasingly dependent on you for help with daily living tasks? Has their health advanced to the point of needing a professional’s attention?
  4. Am I becoming an impatient, irritable caregiver?  Family caregivers often suffer from increased physical and emotional health risks, including depression, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke brought on by the stress and toll of caring for their loved one. Are you feeling depressed or hopeless or having trouble sleeping? Are you neglecting your work, family or yourself? Do you feel burnt out and ready to quit?
  5. Would the care, environment and social interaction benefit my loved one? Do the advantages of receiving professional care exceed the lifestyle your loved is currently experiencing? Do you think they could enjoy better health, safety and happiness surrounded by trained caregivers and their peers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it could indicate that it’s time for you and your loved one to look into better care options.

Help with Your Transition

“Once you determine that your loved one is in need of greater care,” says Basile, “the next step is to search for the provider that will best suit your loved one’s needs. Reach out to local senior living communities and inquire about their lifestyle options and levels of care. Some communities, such as The Columbia Presbyterian Community, offer a full continuum of care options from assisted living to skilled nursing and memory care.

“Our team understands the needs of today’s seniors, and we’re happy to guide families to the best solutions for their loved one’s care. If you could use guidance and advice for determining the best kind of support for your loved one’s care needs, contact us today.”

Senior Living with Southern Hospitality

Welcome to The Columbia Presbyterian Community, a 30-acre Life Plan Community on the banks of the Saluda River just minutes from downtown Columbia and Lexington, South Carolina. From gorgeous green spaces, walking trails, gazebos and the river boardwalk to refreshing indoor retreats – our stained-glass chapel, common spaces and elegant apartments – you’ll discover the charm of southern hospitality in every inch of our community.

Longevity & Innovation as a Life Plan Community

The Columbia Presbyterian Community is a Life Plan Community, offering a wide range of senior lifestyles and services including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation. All living options are designed to present residents with the dignity and choice they desire.

We believe a Life Plan Community should allow future planning and living to merge. Having a plan in place – and the security of access to a continuum of health care services – grants residents the freedom to live life to the fullest.

A Legacy of Service

As one of the Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina, The Columbia Presbyterian Community is a compassionate Christian ministry committed to enriching the quality of life for seniors of all faiths. Built on the values of relationships, service, teamwork and excellence, we ensure our mission and faith are honored daily. While striving to create the highest quality of retirement lifestyles for our residents, we work each day to enrich the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of seniors and their families, with our deep heritage leading the way.

Learn more about The Columbia Presbyterian Community. Contact us today!