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When to consider elderly care? Before it's needed

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Understanding when to consider elderly care gives your loved one more say, and helps avoid the stress of an unexpected move.

For many older people, the catalyst for setting up a formal care arrangement is a hospital visit resulting from:

  • A sudden change in their overall condition
  • An accident in the home

With hospital staff under pressure to avoid bed blocking and your loved one no doubt eager to leave, choosing the right care option can become a rushed decision.

Making this choice and changing an entire lifestyle within a matter of days can be an exceptionally stressful experience. It will also limit your loved one's ability to consider different care options or facilities.

Here, we'll explain why you and your loved one should realise when to consider elderly care. We'll also list the benefits of starting the process before your loved one requires additional support.

What are the benefits of recognising when to consider elderly care?

These are just some of the reasons why you and your loved one could benefit from having the care conversation early:

1) Have more say

Discussing care early allows you to take as much time as you need to come to a decision.

The conversation can take place in whichever environment your loved one feels most comfortable, without the added stress of being in hospital.

Your loved one might have a condition (such as dementia) that progressively impedes their decision-making abilities. In such cases, an early decision is likely to be more representative of their true wishes.

The hospital environment can also cause temporary delirium, which might prevent your loved one from choosing the option best suited to them.

2) Consider all options

Your loved one should have a say over their preferred forms of care and the individual providers.

Making these choices is likely to require research, meetings or visitations to help them feel comfortable in their final decision. And, this process takes time.

Your loved one's main care options are:

  • Residential care: Your loved one leaves their home, moves into a dedicated facility and receives care alongside other older people with varying needs.
  • Live-in care: Your loved one stays in their own home, supported by their own dedicated team of two carers who provide personally adapted care and 24/7 support.

3) Avoid additional stress

If this decision is made following a decline in your loved one's abilities, adapting to this new way of life is likely to be stressful enough on its own.

Helping your loved one choose their preferred means of care before it's critical ensures they only have to come to terms with one thing at a time.

This is even more of a consideration with residential care. With this model, your loved one will have to adapt to an entirely new domestic setting.

Your loved one might even decide they want to set up a care arrangement imminently. Carers could then monitor their condition and mitigate any risks to help avoid unnecessary hospital visits.

Knowing when to consider elderly care is never easy. But, starting the process early gives your loved one maximum say and helps reduce overall stress.

Find out more about how live-in care can help ensure your loved one's needs and preferences are prioritised by speaking to the friendly team at The Good Care Group.

Reading resources for older people with visual impairment Care Sector News Review: December 2017
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