It’s a fact of life: our parents aren’t getting any younger. At some point, we’ll have to ask ourselves the question: should we continue supporting them in-home or should we send them to residential aged care?
Residential aged care is a nursing home facility that specialises in seniors’ care. It’s a place that offers nursing and medical treatment, as well as personal support services such as housekeeping and rehabilitation. There are various nursing homes to choose from; some may specialise in dementia or nursing, others might be more relaxed with outdoor walking tracks or gourmet chefs on staff.
While we want to ensure our parents’ (or grandparents’) dignity and independence remain intact, we also need to think about their health and safety. Before we come to a final decision, it’s important to assess the perks of choosing a nursing home environment versus hiring an attendant for in-home care.
Let’s attempt to dissect this further.
Advantages of Residential Aged Care Facilities
Here are some of the benefits when bringing your elderly family members to residential aged care facilities.
1) Medical assistance on-site, in case of a sudden illness or injury
One of the main advantages of a nursing home is that medical assistance can be administered immediately on-site. Protocols for end of life care and specialised medical help are also structured. This means that responsible parties can attend to your elderly parent to provide the fastest and highest quality professional service that they can muster.
In case of emergencies such as a stroke or heart attack, staying in a residential care facility can be a life-changing advantage compared to an occasional visit from the in-home nurse. Compared to in-home care where there’s usually only one trained physician attending during set hours, nursing homes have rotating professionals on-site to provide nursing care around the clock.
2) A place to recover and be monitored after an illness or injury
Of course, nursing homes aren’t just meant for sick people. Because they also provide nursing services, aged care facilities can give you peace of mind that your elderly family members will receive daily medical monitoring to check on their vitals.
This procedure can help prevent health complications from arising before it occurs. It can also help elderly individuals recover after serious illnesses, for example, a cancer patient who needs nursing care before they can return home.
3) Assistance with daily activities and hygiene
Residential aged care facilities come equipped with a variety of amenities to help seniors live independently. Aside from the around-the-clock nursing staff, cleaning services, wheelchair access, and laundry assistance are just some examples of the conveniences nursing homes can provide.
Your elderly family member might be perfectly capable of self-grooming, but it’s also important to maintain their hygiene and dignity. Residents living in nursing homes have access to showers with safety bars, emergency call buttons, grooming kits and a variety of toiletries. Not having to worry about these things can help you focus on your life and your family too – which is an upside that we can’t find any faults for.
4) Premium facilities and equipment
Residential aged care facilities don’t skip out on the recreational stuff, like arts and craft classes. As senior citizens spend most of their time there, nursing homes dedicate a significant portion of their space to amenities and entertainment.
For example, many premium nursing homes often have communal areas, a library, a fully equipped gymnasium, a physiotherapy room, a beauty therapy room and a chapel. While health is important, making sure that the elderly have an enjoyable time is also highly respected.
Advantages of In-Home Care
Now that we’ve covered most of where residential aged care excels, let’s also look into the perks of hiring help for in-home care.
1) You don’t have to separate
One of the main reasons why nursing homes have a less than ideal reputation is because they can be seen as a form of imprisonment.
In-home care doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to separate from your elderly relative. You can still visit them whenever you want and they’ll be more likely to spend their time with loved ones instead of complete strangers.
If your parents’ company is worth its weight in gold then you don’t need to feel pressured to put them into an aged care facility. But if you’re in dire need of time and peace of mind (and we don’t blame you), an aged care facility is the optimal choice.
2) No lengthy moving process
There’s nothing more stressful than moving house.
With in-home care, you don’t have to worry about packing everything up and transporting your entire life from one place to another.
It can be a lot of unnecessary work especially if you’re coming in unprepared, so in-home care takes that burden off your shoulders. Aside from the moving process, you won’t worry about your elderly parent or grandparent having a hard time adjusting to their place.
3) The elderly are happier
According to a study conducted by the Australian Government Productivity Commission, many older Australian folks prefer to age in place. The bond with the family will remain strong if they age at home.
In-home care allows your elderly family member to age in familiar territory with loved ones by their side. It’s also much more convenient as they won’t have to worry about taking medications or being monitored since the nursing staff is just there whenever you need them.