Why family care isn’t always the best care for the elderly...
For many of us, the idea of our elderly family members being cared for in a facility is not a pleasant one. We want them to be in familiar surroundings, cared for by people whom we love and trust. Unfortunately, family care isn’t always the best option for our elderly. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding the best course of action for elderly care. Depending on the individual needs of the elderly, staying at home with family may not be the best option. Factors such as the physical and mental needs of the elderly, the availability of family caregivers, and the financial cost of care must all be weighed. This article will explore the pros and cons of family care versus facility care for the elderly, so that you can make an informed decision about the best care for your loved one.
Definition of family care
Family care is any type of care that is provided by a person who is part of the family. This can include adult children caring for their elderly parents, grandparents raising their grandchildren, and even non-blood relatives caring for loved ones. Family care is often an emotional choice for the elderly, since they have a vested interest in the well-being of their family members. Family caregivers may feel an added sense of responsibility to provide the best care possible, since they are likely to feel a stronger emotional connection with their loved one. Family care is almost always less costly than facility care, since it doesn’t require any outside services. However, it is important to note that there are no set standards for care in a family home, which means that standards of hygiene, food preparation, and safety are largely up to the family members. Family care may also cause a great deal of stress for the family caregivers, since they have less assistance and specialized care than they would get in a facility. Family care is often a great option for the elderly who don’t require complicated medical care. It allows the elderly to remain in familiar surroundings, surrounded by the people they love, while receiving the care they need.
Pros and cons of family care
Family care is often an emotional choice for the elderly, since they have a vested interest in the well-being of their family members. Family caregivers may feel an added sense of responsibility to provide the best care possible, since they are likely to feel a stronger emotional connection with their loved one. However, choosing family care isn’t without its drawbacks. Depending on the health and abilities of the family members, the elderly may get less specialized care than they would in a facility. In addition to getting less specialized care, family care comes with other potential drawbacks. Since there are no set standards for care in a family home, standards of hygiene, food preparation, and safety are largely up to the family members. Living with family means that the elderly person is likely to be exposed to the same germs and illnesses that affect all members of the family. This can put the elderly person at a greater risk of contracting a serious illness, since they are likely to have a weaker immune system than healthy members of the family.
Physical and mental needs of the elderly
The physical and mental needs of the elderly must be taken into account when choosing between family care and facility care. For example, if the elderly person requires a special diet due to medical issues, such as diabetes, family members may not have the knowledge or resources to provide the correct diet. Additionally, the elderly person’s physical and mental abilities should be taken into account. If the elderly person has limited mobility, or a mental decline that causes confusion, it is likely that family members would struggle keeping them safe. If the elderly person has difficulty managing their own finances, it is possible that family members don’t have the knowledge or ability to keep the finances in order. If the elderly person has physical, mental, or financial needs that family members cannot meet, choosing a facility may be the best option for the elderly person.
Availability of family caregivers
Depending on the needs of the elderly, family caregivers may not be available to provide the care that the elderly person needs. If the elderly person requires around-the-clock care, family members may not be able to provide it, since they likely have busy lives and jobs of their own. If the elderly person requires specialized medical care, such as frequent doctor’s appointments or changing an intravenous line, family members may not be able to provide this care themselves. For elderly people who have high-risk medical conditions, family caregivers may not have the training or equipment needed to provide the right care. For example, if the elderly person has a disease that requires constant monitoring, such as diabetes, they may need frequent blood glucose tests. In this case, family members may not have the training or equipment needed to provide the tests.
Financial cost of care
Another factor to consider is the financial cost of care. Since family members are providing the care for free, the elderly don’t have to worry about paying for services. However, this comes at a cost to the family members. Family members are likely to experience a great deal of stress from the added responsibilities, as well as a loss of their own personal time and space. People who choose to care for their elderly members at home may not have the time to pursue outside interests, or have little to no personal time. With family care, there is also no set cost that can be used as a guideline for how much care is needed. Depending on the needs of the elderly, the amount of care they require can vary greatly. For example, if the elderly person requires assistance with going to the bathroom, they likely need less care than someone who requires constant medical care, such as oxygen or intravenous fluids.
Advantages of facility care
When choosing between family care and facility care, it’s important to consider the advantages of facility care as well as its drawbacks. While choosing a facility means that the elderly person will have less personal attention than they would receive from family, it also means that their daily routine is likely to be more consistent than at home. A facility has the resources to provide specialized care that family members may not be able to handle. In addition to specialized care, the facility likely has more resources available than a family home. If the elderly person has a disease that requires monitoring, such as diabetes or hypertension, the facility may have tools or equipment that family members don’t have, such as blood glucose testing strips and blood pressure cuffs. A facility also likely has regular visiting hours, regular meal times, and a more consistent daily routine than the household of a family member. Since the facility has a large number of patients to care for, the staff members are used to handling a variety of different circumstances and personalities. This means that the staff members are likely more prepared to handle a wide variety of situations than a single family member.
Disadvantages of facility care
While there are many advantages to choosing facility care, there are also some drawbacks to consider. First, the elderly person is likely to be around a number of different people, many of whom they may not know. This can cause feelings of anxiety and exclusion for the elderly person, since they may not understand why other patients are there, and they may feel like they don’t belong. In addition to being around a number of different people, the elderly person is also likely to be in a very different environment than they are used to. This can cause feelings of isolation, depression, and even homesickness. Additionally, the hours at a facility are likely to be very different than the hours the elderly person is used to. This can cause feelings of confusion and disorientation, as well as feelings of resentment and frustration. While the advantages of facility care should not be overlooked, they are often greater for the caregivers than they are for the elderly.
Finding the right care for the elderly
No matter what type of care the elderly person requires, finding the right care is an important part of elderly care. However, choosing the right care for the elderly person isn’t always a straightforward process. It is important to remember that the elderly person is the one who has to live with the choices made about their care. This means that their needs and desires must be taken into account when choosing the best care for them. If you are caring for an elderly family member, it is important to remember that you are in a position of power. You get to make decisions about the care your loved one receives. This means that you can choose a care option that is best suited to the needs of the elderly person. While selecting the right elderly care can be difficult, it is important to remember that the elderly person is the one whose needs must be taken into account above all else.
If/When You Need a Eulogy
Nobody likes to think about the possibility of needing a eulogy writer, but unfortunately it can become necessary. Writing a eulogy for a loved one is a difficult and emotional task, and having a professional eulogy writer to help can make the process easier. A eulogy writer can provide the words that are often hard to come by in moments of grief, such as finding the right words to describe the individual's life and express the emotions of their loved ones. A good eulogy writer will be able to capture the spirit of the deceased, as well as the tone of the event, and provide a fitting tribute. It's important to pick a writer who understands the weight of the task and who can provide an appropriate, meaningful eulogy. May we all be blessed with never needing the help of a eulogy writer, but, if you ever do, we want you to know that The Eulogy Writers is here for you.
Steve Schafer is the founder of TheEulogyWriters and the author of hundreds of heartfelt, wonderful eulogies. He lives in Michigan and has been writing eulogies for well over thirty years. The articles in this blog are designed to help people through the process of losing loved ones and exploring issues in the aging process.
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